Athena swan lecture event

Faculty of Medicine Athena Swan Lecture – Alison Johns, Chief Executive of Advance HE 

The Faculty of Medicine is pleased to co-host this year’s Athena Swan lecture with the National Heart and Lung Institute. Hear from guest speaker Alison Johns who will reflect on the progress achieved through Athena Swan and where there is still work to be done. A reception will follow the lecture in the SAF foyer. 

Athena Swan: Changing policies, changing lives

When Athena Swan was created by a group of academic women in STEM in the first decade of this century, it had great ambitions to change the working lives of women and enable them to progress their careers on equal terms. 20 years on, Athena Swan is part of the warp and weft of higher education in the UK across all disciplines and enjoys growing international take up. Imperial has been a long-standing early adopter and advocate. Great strides have been made and yet, some of the seemingly more intractable problems continue to persist. What can we learn from other charter holders? What can we learn from global participants? How does your Faculty stack up? And in passing, how did I get to be the CEO of the organisation which leads on such an important intervention for progressing gender equality?


Alison Johns has worked in higher education for three decades. She has been CEO of Advance HE since its inception, 5 years ago. Prior to that she was the CEO of the Leadership Foundation for HE and has held numerous senior posts in HE. Whilst at Hefce (the HE regulator at that time), she was Head of Policy for Leadership, Governance and Management where she was responsible for establishing the Equality Challenge Unit which became the ‘home’ of Athena Swan, before it merged into Advance HE. Alison also works extensively internationally advising on and speaking on higher education leadership, governance, equality, diversity, inclusion and teaching and learning. She is also a lay member of the Court of the University of St Andrews.

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