Research & Policy
The position of women in science has come under increasing examination within the UK since the 1990s. As was the case in Ireland and elsewhere, women scientists in academic careers were the exceptions to the rule, particularly at the higher career levels, despite their substantial participation at undergraduate level. Since 1994 the tide has been gradually turning, and the UK has taken action on varying fronts increase the representation of innovative and highly-skilled women researchers.
Today the Athena SWAN Charter provides a set of guiding principles for good practice regarding excellence in SET employment for universities. The SWAN Awards recognise and celebrate universities who have successfully adopted the charter principles and developed action plans on gender equality. Departments receiving these awards can promote themselves as good practice models and thereby attract young, upcoming scientists to the university.