The 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 professional and support roles, and for trans staff and students. Through its award system, Athena SWAN aims to recognise and celebrate good practice on recruiting, retaining, and promoting women in higher education. Athena SWAN also provides a valuable framework for self-assessment and action planning.

The Department was awarded a Bronze Athena SWAN Award in 2018.  The Department's Equality, Diversity and Departmental Culture (EDDC) Committee are leading implementation of the action plan.  The bronze award application can be viewed at Athena Swan Bronze Submission 2017 .