Athena SWAN

Recognising significant commitment and progress towards gender equality in all that we do.

The University has engaged with the Athena SWAN (AS) Charter for gender equality since its inception in 2005. Advance HE’s  AS Charter is a framework that is used across the globe to support and transform gender equality within higher education and research. We’ve held an Institutional Silver award since 2015, and were the first Scottish institution to achieve this level of award. 

We remain committed to progressing equality, diversity and inclusion in all its forms. Our action plan takes into account the specific needs and responsibilities of women, non-binary and gender-diverse people, and the intersection of gender and other protected characteristics. 

The University of Edinburgh successfully achieved AS Institutional Silver in 2015, (first in Scotland) and has successfully renewed this award in 2018 and 2024. 

Athena Swan Institutional Silver Award Certificate 2024


We won our first University award, AS Institutional Bronze, in 2006, and successfully renewed in this award in 2009 and 2012.

The University of Edinburgh has continued to strengthen its commitment to gender, with all eligible Schools within the University having achieved an AS award since 2006, as outlined below:

Gold Awards

Roslin Institute – Gold 2024

Silver Awards

University of Edinburgh Institutional Award - Silver 2024

Business School - Silver 2022

Deaneries of Clinical Sciences & Molecular Genetic and Population Health Science - Silver 2021

Edinburgh College of Art - Silver 2023

School of Biological Sciences - Silver 2016

School of Chemistry - Silver 2022

School of Divinity Action Plan - Silver 2018

School of GeoSciences Submission - Silver 2016

School of Health and Social Sciences  - Silver 2024

School of Informatics  - Silver 2024

School of Physics and Astronomy - Silver 2023

Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies  - Silver 2019

Bronze Awards

Edinburgh Law School - Bronze 2017

Edinburgh College of Art - Bronze 2016

Moray House School of Education  - Bronze 2018 

School of Economics - Bronze 2016

School of Engineering - Bronze 2016

School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures - Bronze 2017

School of Mathematics - Bronze 2017

School of Philosophy, Psychology & Language Sciences Action Plan - Bronze 2017

School of Social and Political Science Submission - Bronze 2017 

School of History, Classics & Archaeology Submission - Bronze 2016 

Shows the different schools which hold Athena Swan awards

Athena SWAN Charter

Athena SWAN (Scientific Women's Academic Network) is an equality charter mark framework and accreditation scheme established and managed by the UK Equality Challenge Unit (now part of Advance HE) in 2005 that recognises and celebrates good practices in higher education and research institutions towards the advancement of gender equality: representation, progression and success.

Universities who sign up to the charter are invited  to apply for an AS award, at Bronze, Silver or Gold level. Each award is valid for four years under the post-2015 rules (three years where pre-2015 rules apply).

The AS charter was established in 2005 and the first awards were given in 2006. The initial charter set out to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM) institutions of higher education and research.

In May 2015 the charter was expanded to include non-STEMM departments including arts, humanities, social sciences, business, and law. Additionally, it expanded to cover additional communities including professional and support staff, technical staff, as well as transgender staff and students. The first awards to non-STEMM university departments were announced in April 2016. The new charter recognises work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly, and not just barriers to progression that affect women.


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