Athena SWAN and the Institute of Aquaculture

The Athena SWAN initiative is a national charter developed by the Equality Challenge Unit in 2005 (now part of Advance HE). Athena SWAN recognises and promotes good practice in gender equality, based on eight key principles which help foster positive, cultural change across the working environment and tackle inequalities:

  1. Adopting robust, transparent and accountable processes for gender equality work.
  2. Addressing structural inequalities and social injustices that manifest as differential experiences and outcomes for staff and students.
  3. Tackling behaviours and cultures that detract from the safety and collegiality of our work and study environments, including not tolerating gender-based violence, discrimination, bullying, harassment or exploitation.
  4. Understanding and addressing intersectional inequalities.
  5. Recognising that individuals can determine their own gender identity, and tackling the specific issues faced by trans and non-binary people.
  6. Examining gendered occupational segregation, and elevating the status, voice and career opportunities of any identified under-valued and at-risk groups.
  7. Mitigating the gendered impact of caring responsibilities and career breaks, and supporting flexibility and the maintenance of a healthy ‘whole life balance’.
  8. Mitigating the gendered impact of short-term and casual contracts for staff seeking sustainable careers.

Athena SWAN bronze logo

The charter supports institutions to undertake an assessment of their context, identify priority issues and design and implement actions to advance gender equality autonomously and flexibly.

The Institute of Aquaculture has been awarded a Bronze Athena SWAN award which is valid until 2025.

Professor Alistair Jump, Dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences, said: “I am delighted that the Institute of Aquaculture has received an Athena SWAN Bronze award. This award is testament to the hard work of staff and students in the Institute striving to achieve equality, diversity and inclusion."

The Institute of Aquaculture remains ambitious in our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) actions to ensure that we maintain a welcoming working environment accessible to all. This is reflected in our award of an Athena Swan Bronze Award.

The Institute of Aquaculture Athena SWAN commitment

The Institute of Aquaculture (IoA) was founded in 1971 and remains the only academic centre dedicated to the study of aquaculture in the UK. Our activities centre on research-led teaching as well as fundamental and applied research in all areas related to aquaculture and aquatic food security, globally. The recruitment of our new Head of Department, Professor Simon MacKenzie, combined with the Stirling and Clackmannanshire City Deal £17M financial investment means that we expect to see significant development over the next few years within the Institute. As such it is critical that we continue to embrace good practise in our EDI actions. 

Advance HE launched the transformed Athena Swan Charter framework in 2021. An update to the previous framework, recognizing that advancing gender equality encompasses addressing inequalities experienced due to sex, gender reassignment and pregnancy and maternity, as well as broader equality work relating to gender identity, trans inclusion and caring responsibilities, as well as addressing intersectional inequalities.

The IoA is committed to continued progress for gender equality and the renewal of our Athena Swan Bronze award by 2025 through the transformed charter.

Action plan

All Athena Swan Award applications must include a tailored Action Plan, which outlines equality, diversity and inclusion related actions the department will fulfil and their outcomes. 

The execution of the Action Plan is overseen by the Self-Assessment Team in collaboration with IoA staff and students.

The Action Plan activities are fully supported by all including those with management responsibilities within the IoA, thus providing the confidence that we can deliver the change in culture required. The actions accurately reflect the needs for the IoA to improve our gender equality in a fair and transparent manner as part of a broader EDI Strategy.

You can find the IoA’s previous Athena Swann application and Action Plan for the 2016 to 2019 period here (link to attached Action Plan).

What Athena Swan means to our staff

Hear from Institute of Aquaculture staff talking about Athena SWAN and why it's important to them.

Further information

If you would like to know more about the Institute of Aquaculture Athena SWAN Award you can contact Dr Sonia Rey Planellas Chair of our IoA self-assessment team (SAT) and EDI Lead.


If you have any questions or suggestions, you can find contact details on the Institute of Aquaculture EDI website.