Our department is recognised by an Athena SWAN Silver Award, renewed in 2017, reflecting our continued commitment to supporting gender equality in Chemical Engineering. The Athena Swan Charter framework, established in 2005 with Imperial as a founding member, seeks transform gender equality within higher education and research. Alongside, the Race Equality Charter (REC), launched in 2016, aims to improve the representation, progression and success of minority ethnic staff and students within higher education.

The department of Chemical Engineering is committed to removing barriers to equal progress and achievement. We work to provide an environment where everyone, at all career stages including undergraduate, postgraduate, postdoctoral, academic, professional and technical staff, can reach their full potential.

For instance, when we advertise academic jobs, our search panel actively encourages female and black and ethnic minority applicants. We provide detailed feedback to unsuccessful shortlisted applicants, and support for their next career steps.  Our department currently (2022) has a ratio of female lecturers and professors of 50% and 24%, respectively, and the latter is growing steadily since 2016.

Our work is not finished - we continue to be committed to this transformation, and our current Athena SWAN action plan includes a range of activities, such as:

  • Growing our scholarship scheme for students from underprivileged backgrounds
  • Training all first year students and staff in Active Bystander and Unconscious Bias, as well as embedding our EDI values and culture in the curriculum (we also monitor bias in student peer assessment and lecturer evaluation)
  • Ensuring gender diversity at Open days, including 50% female representation
  • Ensuring ethnicity and gender balance in our Distinguished Seminar Series
  • Cementing our values and culture via the Rewards & Recognition award scheme

We look forward to working with our department and external community in realising our ambitions.