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Anthena SWAN Silver Award © ©Athena Swan

Athena SWAN SILVER Award

On 1st October 2015, the department was awarded the Athena SWAN Silver Award, in recognition of the steps we have taken in establishing good practice on recruiting, retaining and promoting women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Medicine (STEMM) in higher education.

Our Athena SWAN Lead is Professor Kate Watkins.

In the interests of best practice, you are able to view our Athena SWAN Silver Award Application by clicking here. If you decide to view our application, it would be very much appreciated if you could:

1. Inform Nicola Bridge, stating your full contact details

2. Cite the application in your documentation

If you have any questions regarding the application, please email Kate Watkins.

Athena Swan charter

Recognising advancement of gender equality: representation, progression and success for all.

ECU’s Athena SWAN Charter was established in 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment in higher education and research.

In May 2015 the charter was expanded to recognise work undertaken in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL), and in professional and support roles, and for trans staff and students. The charter now recognises work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly, and not just barriers to progression that affect women.

ECU’s Athena SWAN Charter covers women (and men where appropriate) in:

  • academic roles in STEMM and AHSSBL
  • professional and support staff
  • trans staff and students

In relation to their:

  • representation
  • progression of students into academia
  • journey through career milestones
  • working environment for all staff
For further information about Athena SWAN, please visit the ECU website.

Recent ongoing projects include:

Supporting career development through:

  • improving the provision of career advice and talks for all, including undergraduates, and publicising the many career talks and courses available in the university
  • providing mentoring and personal development reviews for all staff
  • improving the Department's information for parents and the support available 
  • encouraging women to apply for promotions to redress the imbalance that exists at the higher levels within Psychology
  • making workloads more transparent so they are seen as fairer
  • collecting information on career changes when people leave, to monitor gender differences 
  • finding out whether there are differences between men and women in terms of priorities and aspirations, and whether anything can be done to encourage women to remain in science
  • holding focus groups to find out how people perceive the culture of the Department in relation to being supported in the workplace
  • improving induction processes so new members of staff and students feel welcomed, integrated and supported, and have all the information they need
  • setting up a buddy system for new members of staff
  • welcome lunches for new support staff
  • holding lunches for Research Assistants to provide a support network
  • continuing to develop the range of activities for post-doc lunches


Supporting parents at work - see webpage here

  • having seminars and meetings within core hours (10 - 4)
  • setting up an informal parental support network
  • asking parents for suggestions for how to support them in their career
  • setting up a room for returning mothers who wish to continue nursing
  • arranging more family friendly activities, such as arranging post-doc lunches at different times and on different days to accommodate those with children
  • making sure people understand what is meant by flexible working