The Athena Swan Charter is a framework which is used across the globe to support and transform gender equality within higher education (HE) and research. Established in 2005 (Imperial was a founder member) to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment, the Charter is now being used across the globe to address gender equality more broadly, and not just barriers to progression that affect women.

The Charter is run by Advance HE.

College awards

We achieved a Bronze institutional award in 2009 and have held Silver since 2012. 

We successfully renewed our Silver award in July 2022, the first university to do so under the transformed Athena Swan Charter. You can download our 2022 submission from the box above. The submission includes a succinct account of our progress in the last five years and our priorities for the next five, which are detailed in our new action plan at the end of the document. 

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, or Stephen Curry, Assistant Provost (EDI).

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 Mathematics, Bronze, renewed April 2020

Department of Physics, Silver, renewed November 2018

Faculty of Medicine

The Faculty of Medicine was the first at Imperial to achieve awards in all its departments (dates below refer to Athena Swan application rounds). 

Department for Brain Sciences, Silver, November 2020

Department of Immunology and Inflammation, Silver, November 2020

Department of Infectious Disease, Silver, November 2020

Department of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction, Silver, November 2020

Department of Surgery & Cancer, Silver, November 2018

Institute for Clinical Sciences, Silver, April 2017

National Heart and Lung Institute, Bronze, November 2020

School of Public Health, Bronze, November 2018

Recording of the town hall event

Athena town hall: gender equality at Imperial

5 November 2021

As part of our preparations to renewal our institutional Silver Athena Swan award, we held a town hall style meeting open to all staff. Led by Stephen Curry (Assistant Provost EDI) and Susan Littleson (Director of Organisational Change & Inclusion), we reviewed the state of play on gender equality at Imperial and recent initiatives, and invited people to share their observations and insights into our most urgent priorities for action. 

Athena 2021 town hall presentations (pdf)