Athena Swan

Oxford’s Faculty of Law was one of the first law faculties in the UK to be awarded an Athena Swan Bronze Certificate by Advance HE (formerly the Equality Challenge Unit). Being part of Athena Swan means that we join a global community of people and institutions committed to tackling gender inequality and building inclusive cultures.

The Transformed UK Athena Swan Charter acknowledges that each institution, research institute, department and directorate has different gender equality challenges and development priorities. These priorities should be developed based on an understanding of the local evidence and national and global gender equality issues.

In determining our priorities and interventions, we commit to:

  1. Adopting robust, transparent and accountable processes for gender equality work, including:

a. embedding diversity, equity and inclusion in our culture, decision-making and partnerships, and holding ourselves and others in our institution/institute/department/directorate accountable.

b. undertaking evidence-based, transparent self-assessment processes to direct our priorities and interventions for gender equality, and evaluating our progress to inform our continuous development.

c. ensuring that gender equality work is distributed appropriately, is recognised and properly rewarded.

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

The Faculty’s work on gender equality is led by the Associate Dean for Equality and Diversity, Kristin van Zwieten, under the oversight of the Equality and Diversity Committee and the help of the Self-Assessment Team (SAT). 

The SAT plays a key role in pushing forward the Faculty's agenda on gender equality. It is responsible for providing reflection, gathering data and for planning bold new actions for the Faculty to take on over the next 4-5 years. For further information, see SAT Guidance document. 

The SAT’s composition was agreed upon by the Personnel Committee and is intended to afford the membership of the Equality and Diversity Committee, whose members are also part of the SAT. 

You can read the Faculty's most recent Athena Swan Bronze Renewal Submission (May 2022), which includes a five year action plan covering the 2022-2027 period, and the feedback received by Advance HE on our application below.

Athena Swan Bronze Renewal Application (May 2022)

Feedback from Advance HE (Aug 2022)

For any further questions, please contact