The Athena Scientific Women’s Academic Network (Athena SWAN) Charter recognises commitment to advancing women’s careers in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment in higher education. The Athena SWAN Charter is a follow up from the original Athena Project which is a UK-wide initiative and was launched in 1999. The current Charter was launched in June 2005. Any higher education institution which is committed to the advancement and promotion of the careers of women in STEMM in higher education and research can apply for membership.
The beliefs underpinning the Charter are: The advancement of science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine is fundamental to quality of life across the globe, It is vitally important that women are adequately represented in what has traditionally been, and is still, a male-dominated area, Science cannot reach its full potential unless it can benefit from the talents of the whole population, and until women and men can benefit equally from the opportunities it affords.