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Athena SWAN

Welcome to Athena SWAN at The Open University

In photo:OU staff receiveing Bronze Institutional and Departmental awards at an Athena SWAN ceremony

The Athena SWAN Charter is a scheme which recognises and celebrates good employment practice and was originally designed to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Medicine) and their employment in higher education and research. In recent years, the charter has been expanded to include Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, Business and Law, and includes people in professional and support roles. The charter also now recognises work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly and not just barriers to progression that affect women. 

As a member of Athena SWAN, the OU is strongly committed to the advancement and promotion of the careers of all staff. The OU is proud to have gained its first Athena SWAN Bronze Institutional Award in April 2013 and achieved a Bronze renewal in April 2016. The Award recognises good practice in supporting gender equality and celebrates our inclusive culture. Our Action Plan 2016-2019, developed for the submission and approved by the University Research Committee, committed the OU to further development and progress until the next submission in April 2020.

To contact the OU's Athena SWAN team please email

Athena SWAN Bronze Award logo


Contact us

People Engagement and Inclusion
People Services
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes

Telephone +44 (0) 1908 652867