What is Athena Swan?

The Athena Swan Charter was established in 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) in higher education and research. Athena SWAN provides a framework for self-assessment and action planning. Through its award system, Athena SWAN aims to recognise, promote, and celebrate good practice.

In May 2015 the Charter expanded to recognise work undertaken in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law, and now includes staff in professional and support roles, as well as trans staff and students. The Charter now recognises work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly, and not just barriers to progression that affect women.

In 2021, the new transformed Charter further revised the framework, enacting the recommendations on an independent review of the Charter. 

Athena Swan at Imperial

Athena SWAN Silver logo

Imperial was a founder member of the Athena Swan Charter in 2005. We achieved a Bronze institutional award in 2009 and have held Silver since 2012. 

All departments at Imperial are engaged with Athena Swan. The majority hold awards, as detailed below, and the remaining departments are working on applications. 

If you have any questions about Athena Swan or require more information about Imperial's submissions, please email Rob Bell, the College Athena SWAN Coordinator

Department awards

Business School

The Business School (Imperial's only AHSSBL department) successfully applied for Bronze in the April 2016 submission round.

Faculty of Engineering

Successful applications in the Faculty of Engineering are listed below (dates below refer to Athena SWAN application rounds).

National Women in Engineering cupcakes

Department of Aeronautics, Bronze, November 2019

Department of Bioengineering, Silver, November 2018

Department of Chemical Engineering, Silver, renewed November 2017

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Bronze, April 2018

Department of Computing, Bronze, renewed April 2017

Department of Earth Science and Engineering, Bronze, April 2021

Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Bronze, November 2017

Department of Materials, Silver, renewed April 2017

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Bronze, April 2019

Dyson School of Design Engineering, new department working towards an application

Faculty of Natural Sciences

Successful applications in the Faculty of Natural Sciences are listed below (dates below refer to Athena SWAN application rounds).

Gold cake for Chemistry

Centre for Environmental Policy, Bronze, April 2019

Department of Chemistry, Gold, April 2019

Department of Life Sciences, Bronze, renewed November 2018

Department of MathematicsBronze, renewed April 2020

Department of Physics, Silver, renewed November 2018

Faculty of Medicine

The Faculty of Medicine was the first at Imperial to achieve all its departments holding awards (dates below refer to Athena SWAN application rounds). Due to the 2019 reorganisation of the Faculty, four departments are using Athena SWAN's interim process to retain previous Silver awards.

Department for Brain Sciences, Silver, November 2020

Department of Immunology and InflammationSilver, November 2020

Department of Infectious DiseaseSilver, November 2020

Department of Metabolism, Digestion and ReproductionSilver, November 2020

Department of Surgery & Cancer, Silver, November 2018

Institute for Clinical SciencesSilver, April 2017

National Heart and Lung Institute, Bronze, November 2020

School of Public Health, Bronze, November 2018