Athena SWAN Gender Equality Plans and the Gendered Impact of COVID-19

Thereza Sales de Aguiar* (Corresponding Author), Shamima Haque, Keith Bender

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This study explores Athena SWAN as a mechanism to govern gender equality and diversity in the context of the UK Business and Management Schools during COVID-19. More specifically, this paper reports on the struggles that UK Business Schools are now facing in projecting themselves as equal and diverse as well as efficient and viable. Using governmentality theory, a thematic analysis is applied to Athena SWAN applications and faceto-face interviews conducted with a number of leaders of Athena SWAN-awarded UK Business Schools. The results suggest that Athena SWAN opens a space for self-governing gender equality and diversity with some progress on this agenda. However, the Athena SWAN
framework calls our attention to invisibilities of inequalities in times of crisis such as COVID19, when governamentality of gender issues can become limited when targets on efficiency are set as a priority
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)591-608
Number of pages18
JournalGender, Work and Organization
Issue number2
Early online date9 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022


  • CoVID-19
  • Gender
  • Athena SWAN
  • Governmentality


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