FEATURE: See how NHLI staff are benefiting from Athena SWAN

The Faculty of Medicine is immensely proud that all of our Departments hold an Athena SWAN award, which recognises and celebrates good employment practices for women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine.

Imperial was one of the original signatories of the Charter in 2005, whose founding principles were:

  • To address gender inequalities 
  • To change cultures and attitudes 
  • To ensure diversity at management and policy-making levels 
  • To reduce the high loss rate of women 
  • To improve the retention and progression of women 
  • To break down the personal and structural obstacles allowing for a transition from PhD into a sustainable academic career 

Evidence suggests that whilst both men and women benefit from good practice, women in particular are adversely affected by bad practice. More recently, the Athena remit has been expanded to ensure diverse, inclusive and empowering work and study practices are extended to all our staff and students.

Each department has its own Athena self assessment team. Each team meets regularly to challenge and introduce initiatives to improve the appointment and selection process, promotions, career development, early careers support, workplace flexibility and working culture. 

A few examples of Athena-inspired projects are:

  • the burgeoning mentoring scheme (open to both academic and support staff)
  • improving the uptake and quality of the PRDP process
  • unconscious bias training for senior staff
  • improving preparation for and the transparency of the promotions process
  • better support for staff with caring responsibilities 
  • our celebrated bring-your-child-to-work day

The people who are involved in Athena SWAN are all passionate about improving the working culture and career development opportunities at Imperial. For more information about Athena SWAN in the Faculty of Medicine, visit our Departmental pages.