The Terms of Reference provide detail on the membership and function of the Athena Forum, an independent and expert voice on the issues of career progression and representation in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM) higher education and research, specifically whether and how it is affected by staff’s gender, Black, Asian and minority ethnic heritage, disability and LGBT+ status. This includes the proactive role member organisations must take in representing the whole of their scientific community in Forum activities, including seeking information from members from industry and research institutes where applicable.

The Forum's remit has included disability since January 2021, following its merger with the STEMM Disability Advisory Committee ('STEMM-DAC').