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August 2015

Humanities academics appointed as patrons of Athena SWAN

(29 July 2015)

Professor Helen Beebee, from the School of Social Sciences, and Sir Cary Cooper, a Professor from Manchester Business School, have been announced as the new patrons of Athena SWAN. The Athena SWAN scheme focuses on the advancement of gender equality, helping women’s progression at the University.

The Charter now also supports the advancement of professional and support staff, technical staff, as well as transgender staff and students and now recognises work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly, and not just barriers to progression that affect women. 

Helen and Cary join fellow new appointee Royal Society President Professor Sir Paul Nurse and Dame Professor Julia Higgins from Imperial College London.

The two Humanities academics have been appointed as a result of Athena SWAN being expanded to cover arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law, in addition to the STEMM subjects it already covers.

The scheme has been running at the University since 2008 and has made a positive difference to the recruitment, retention and progression of women, with all of our 15 STEMM Schools holding Athena SWAN awards (five silver, 10 bronze).

Helen Beebee commented: “I am delighted to be supporting the Athena SWAN Charter as one of its new patrons. The Charter has been hugely successful in encouraging academic institutions and departments across the UK to address the underrepresentation of women in the sciences. But the problem is not unique to the sciences; it’s just more visible in disciplines where the women are significantly underrepresented right from the start, at undergraduate level. Across the arts and humanities women are also increasingly underrepresented, the higher up the academic hierarchy you look. That’s why I welcome the extension of the Charter to cover arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law as well.”

More information about the Athena SWAN Charter at the University can be found online at: