Athena SWAN and the Faculty of Social Sciences

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. The charter is based on ten key principles which help foster positive, cultural change across the working environment and tackle inequalities.

The Faculty of Social Sciences has been awarded a Bronze Athena SWAN award which is valid until 2025.

Athena SWAN bronze logo

Dr Liz Forbat, Faculty of Social Sciences Athena SWAN Chair, said: “This award recognises the Faculty’s commitment to ensuring wider equality, diversity and inclusion for staff and students.

“Achieving an Athena Swan award is a substantial task and further highlights the dedication of colleagues to advancing gender equality and creating a truly inclusive environment to both work and learn.”

Faculty of Social Sciences Athena SWAN action plan and activities

As part of our application we demonstrated the work we are doing to improve gender equality and propose new actions to improve the experiences of staff and students in our Faculty. We also created a detailed action plan which will drive change within the Faculty and inform and influence change at both a University and social level.

We have activities planned to improve equalities at undergraduate and post-graduate levels, and for academic and professional support staff. For example, to increase the gender and racial diversity of our initial teacher education and social work programmes, we will want to increase the number of men graduating from these courses. We will engage in proactive outreach to under-represented groups, ensure we have a diverse range of student ambassadors at open days, and change University admissions policies to shift structural barriers to widening participation.

For staff, we will embed more structure for professional services staff and early career academics to support their career development. We will provide positive action to staff to support publications and grant success, assess and amend workloads to ensure equity, and adapt policies to address any differential career attainments.

As part of our new actions we are embedding equality as a core item in all formal committees and our governance structure. We will provide regular updates on equality to staff and post-graduate research students through our weekly Faculty newsletter. The Faculty’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion committee is chaired by Dr Liz Forbat and Professor Jane Callaghan. 

Find out more about ATHENA Swan and the awards held by the University of Stirling.

Contact us


Liz Forbat

Faculty of Social Sciences

X: @LizForbat