Athena Swan

The Athena SWAN Charter evolved from work between the Athena Project and the Scientific Women’s Academic Network (SWAN), to advance the representation of women in science, engineering and technology (SET). The Charter was officially launched in June 2005 with the support of the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) and the UK Resource Centre for Women in SET (UKRC).

The School of Natural and Built Environment strives towards equal representation of male and female staff at all levels and activities. The School has historically had a high proportion of female undergraduates and postgraduates, but a lower proportion of female staff, especially at more senior levels. We have seen encouraging increases over the last few years in female staff in more senior roles. It is important that all staff recognise the importance of maximising the participation and visibility of female staff as part of moves towards more equal representation generally, and as role models for early career staff and students.


  • All committees, meetings and other events and activities should include at least one member of each gender, and the gender ratio should be as equal as reasonably practical.
  • Particular care should be taken to ensure that both male and female staff are included on examining boards (e.g. PhD).
  • Externally-invited speakers should include a high proportion of women (nearer to the postgraduate proportion of 60% women than the staff proportion of 39%).
  • GAP actively seeks female applications for open positions and provides feedback if requested.
  • New staff members are assigned mentors to meet regularly and provide tailored advice.
  • PGR students, postdocs and early career researchers are supported as much as possible in attending and organising conference and workshops.
  • Silver award

The School of Natural and Built Environment (formerly GAP) was awarded a SWAN Silver Award to recognize and celebrate good employment practice for women working in Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) in higher education and research. 

Find out more about Athena Swan Charter on the Equality Challenge Unit's website

QUB GAP SWAN Action Plan achieved (PDF 352KB)

QUB GAP SWAN Action Plan 2015 (PDF 294KB)

QUB GAP SWAN Silver department renewal case studies (PDF 1.73MB)