These awards recognise the employment practices that we’ve embedded to support the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine. We are committed to gender equality at every level in the College and will build on the excellent progress so far to remove the obstacles that women in science face"
Professor James Stirling
Imperial was a founder member of the Athena SWAN Charter in 2005 and we achieved a Bronze institutional award in 2009. We successfully submitted for Silver in the November 2012 submission round, becoming one of a very small number of universities at this level. We renewed our Silver in the April 2016 submission round - Imperial was the first university to achieve institutional Silver on the new post-May 2015 expanded criteria. We are more than happy to share our application and answer questions about it - please email Rob Bell.
All departments at Imperial are expected to eventually hold an Athena SWAN award. A majority of departments hold awards, as detailed below, and the other departments are working on applications. The Business School (Imperial's only AHSSBL department) successfully applied for Bronze in the April 2016 submission round.
If you have any questions about Athena SWAN or require more information about Imperial's submissions, please contact Rob Bell, Imperial's Athena SWAN Coordinator.
Information on Athena SWAN
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) employment in higher education and research.
In May 2015 the Athena SWAN Charter was expanded to recognise work undertaken in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL), 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.
Through its award system, Athena SWAN aims to recognise and celebrate good practice on recruiting, retaining, and promoting women in higher education. Athena SWAN also provides a valuable framework for self-assessment and action planning.
For more information about Athena SWAN, please see the Equality Challenge Unit website.
Athena SWAN at Imperial
Imperial is one of a very small number of universities to hold Silver, and was the first university to achieve Silver on the new post-May 2015 expanded criteria.
- Athena Silver Submission (Nov 2012) (pdf)
- April 2016 submission - Rob Bell, the College Athena SWAN Coordinator, is able to provide a copy of the submission and is the best person to contact with any questions in the first instance.
The Athena Committee is operationally-focused. Its main purpose is to ensure that changes are made to departmental practices and culture so that departments gain, or retain, Athena SWAN awards, increasing the award level where possible. The Committee is chaired by Professor Stephen Curry, Assistant Provost (Equality, Diversity & Inclusion).
Previously, the Academic Opportunities Committee oversaw the College's progression with Athena SWAN. In 2013 the Committee was restructured into the Academic Gender Strategy Committee (AGSC), which in 2017 became part of the new College Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Strategy Group, chaired by the Provost.
All departments at Imperial are expected to eventually hold an Athena SWAN award. Successful applications in the Faculty of Engineering are listed below (dates refer to Athena SWAN application rounds), and the other departments are working on applications.
- Department of Aeronautics; Bronze, November 2014
- Department of Bioengineering; Bronze, April 2015
- Department of Chemical Engineering; Silver, renewed April 2014
- Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Bronze application planned for 2017
- Department of Computing; Bronze, renewed April 2017
- Department of Earth Science and Engineering; application planned for 2018
- Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering; Bronze application planned for 2017
- Department of Materials; Silver, renewed April 2017
- Department of Mechanical Engineering; Bronze application planned for 2018
- Dyson School of Design Engineering; new department
Natural Science Faculty
All departments at Imperial are expected to eventually hold an Athena SWAN award. Successful applications in the Faculty of Natural Sciences are listed below (dates refer to Athena SWAN application rounds), and the other departments are working on applications.
- Centre for Environmental Policy; Bronze application planned for 2018
- Department of Chemistry; Gold, April 2013
- Department of Life Sciences; Bronze, renewed April 2015
- Department of Mathematics; Bronze, renewed April 2016
- Department of Physics; Silver, renewed April 2015
The Faculty of Medicine was the first faculty at Imperial to achieve all its departments holding Athena SWAN awards (dates refer to Athena SWAN application rounds).
- Institute for Clinical Sciences; Silver, April 2017
- Department of Medicine; Silver, November 2014
- National Heart and Lung Institute; Silver, renewed April 2014
- School of Public Health; Silver, renewed November 2013
- Department of Surgery & Cancer; Bronze, renewed November 2015