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Athena SWAN

Athena SWAN

Advance HE’s was established in 2005 to encourage and recognise the 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 include arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL) departments, in addition to professional and support roles. The Charter now recognises work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly, and not just barriers to progression that affect women.

The University of Exeter is proud to hold an institutional Athena SWAN Silver Award and all our STEMM departments currently hold awards at Bronze or Silver level.

Business School Athena Swan Success! 

The University of Exeter Business School’s commitment to improving gender equality has been recognised with an . The number of Business School female staff members at the level of professor has increased by just over 50% since 2016, including in leadership roles, and this year a Chief Diversity Officer was appointed to lead on building the School’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) agenda.

The School’s commitment to improving gender equality is also reflected in the student body, where action has been taken to increase the visibility of female role models and review the curriculum to address gender imbalance.

Professor David Bruce Allen, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Executive Dean of the University of Exeter Business School, spoke of his pride at the award and thanked the efforts of staff and students who conducted the rigorous self-assessment process.

He said: “We are immensely proud that the Business School has taken this important step towards advancing gender equality. It is our aim to be viewed as a safe and welcoming space by all our students, and to be an inclusive workplace for staff.

“There is, of course, still work to be done, and we have put in place an ambitious action plan to ensure we keep improving female representation in our staff and student body and embed principles of gender equality and fairness in the Business School’s day-to-day governance.”

To find out more information, please visit the Business School's Diversity, Inclusion, Cohesion and Equity webpages . 

You can view the University of Exeter Silver Athena SWAN Action Plan 2018 here: University of Exeter Silver Athena SWAN Action Plan 2018

We always welcome feedback to help inform our progress against actions outlined in the plan. Please contact the EDI team if you have any comments or questions.

The College of Life and Environmental Sciences (CLES) currently holds four Silver Athena SWAN Awards and one Bronze Award.

  • - Bronze Award (November 2017)
  •  - Silver Award (April 2016)
  • - Silver Award (April 2020)
  •  - Silver Award (November 2017)
  • l - Silver Award (April 2018)

The College of Medicine and Health (CMH) was conferred a Silver Award in April 2019.


The College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences (CEMPS currently holds one Silver Award and two Bronze Awards).

  •  – Bronze Award (April 2020)
  •  - Silver Award (April 2018)
  •  - Bronze Award (April 2019)

The Business School achieved a Bronze Athena Swan Award in September 2021. To find out more, please visit the School's .

In May 2021, the History department became the first Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences discipline at Exeter to receive an  Bronze award in recognition of their work towards gender equality. Their submission was commended for its creation of ‘Parental Leave Advocates’ within the department to provide information and support for staff on issues relating to pregnancy and parenting independently from line-managers. The History Athena Swan team is already pushing ahead with further actions relating to improving the PDR process and support for promotions, introducing a code of conduct between staff and examining ways to reduce the unequal impact of heavy workloads.