Action in support of gender equality

Progress on gender equality remains a major goal at Imperial and has been largely, but not exclusively, driven through the Athena SWAN Charter. As an institution we have now been engaged with Athena SWAN for over 10 years. It remains an important initiative but one where our efforts should be kept under review to determine that they are delivering real benefits.


Athena SWAN applications

We will use the Athena SWAN Charter at College and departmental level to coordinate action on gender equality and monitor progress. We aim for every department to attain at least a Bronze award by the end of 2019 so that the College will be positioned to apply for an institutional Gold award.

We will reduce the administrative load of Athena SWAN by sharing best practice on applications and action plans between departments, and with other institutions. As part of this effort we will work with AdvanceHE to help improve the operation of the Athena SWAN scheme.


We will support and celebrate the achievements of women through Women@Imperial Week (among other events), Faculty Ambassadors, the Elsie Widdowson Fellowship, the Julia Higgins medal and awards, and tailored training and development programmes.

We will support parents through parental leave, nursery provision, family-friendly timing of College events whenever possible, and assistance with childcare to enable them to attend conferences and events outside normal working hours. We will also review the provision in place to support UG and PG students who are parents.


We will make year on year reductions in our gender pay gap, which arises because we have more men than women in our senior, more well-paid roles, and occupations throughout the grade structure that are disproportionately held mostly by men or mostly by women depending on the role (occupational segregation).

We will focus action by providing heads of department with departmental-level breakdowns of the gender pay gap. We will also continue to address any equal pay disparities through our pay strategy, which will review and adjust where appropriate starting salaries, pay reviews, and additional responsibilities.