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 study 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 face-to-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 COVID-19, when governamentality of gender issues can become limited and when targets on efficiency are set as a priority.


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de Aguiar, T., Haque, S. & Bender, K. 2021, 'Athena SWAN gender equality plans and the gendered impact of COVID-19', Gender, Work and Organization, 29(2), pp. 591-608. https://doi.org/10.1111/gwao.12784

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Last updated: 27 January 2023
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