Imperial College London

Imperial sees Athena SWAN success for supporting women in science

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Postgraduate students in the Department of Chemical Engineering

Four Imperial Departments have been recognised with Athena SWAN awards for their work to promote female academics.

The College’s Department of Chemical Engineering and the National Heart and Lung Institute were both successful in renewing their Silver Awards, while the Department of Surgery and Cancer and the Institute of Clinical Sciences &  the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre achieved Bronze.

The College is a proud member of the Athena SWAN Charter, and I am delighted that all Imperial’s academic departments now either hold awards or are on the journey towards an application in the future

– Professor James Stirling

Provost

Athena SWAN awards recognise and celebrate good practice in recruiting, retaining and promoting women in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Medicine and Mathematics) in higher education, with each award lasting for three years.

Provost Professor James Stirling said: "At Imperial, we know that attracting, developing, promoting and retaining the very best scientists is key to Imperial remaining one of the world’s great universities. This is why we are committed to removing barriers and ensuring gender equality at all levels across the College."

"The College is a proud member of the Athena SWAN Charter, and I am delighted that all Imperial’s academic departments now either hold awards or are on the journey towards an application in the future. These latest awards are a testament to the efforts and commitment of colleagues in the National Heart and Lung institute, the Department of Chemical Engineering, the Department of Surgery and Cancer, and the Institute of Clinical Sciences & MRC Clinical Sciences Centre."

Imperial staff collect their Athena SWAN awards at ceremony at the University of Cambridge on 6 November 2014

Imperial staff collect their Athena SWAN awards at ceremony at the University of Cambridge on 6 November 2014

Professor Claire Lloyd, Athena SWAN Lead for the National Heart and Lung Institute said: “In the National Heart and Lung Institute we’ve worked hard to engage with the Athena SWAN process to develop initiatives that will promote a more inclusive environment for the benefit of all within the department. We are delighted to have these continued efforts recognised with the renewal of our Silver award”

“We are particularly proud of the success of our inaugural Bring Your Child to Work Day which received acclaim from across the College and is now set to be run annually to acknowledge and celebrate the family life of our academic community.”

Dr Cleo Kontoravdi, Athena SWAN coordinator for the Department of Chemical Engineering, said: “We are delighted with the news of our Silver award renewal and are grateful for  the support, dedication and drive of all those who have contributed to this success. Our current focus is on nurturing our post-doctoral staff and empowering our undergraduates and postgraduates, particularly the female students, as we strive to boost recruitment for women at all levels. The Department will work hard over the next three years to deliver our ambitious action plan will and continue to work to improve our practices further.”

The MRC Clinical Sciences Centre, while an institute of the Medical Research Council, is integrated into the College’s Institute of Clinical Sciences. One initiative which contributed to their Athena success was to reach a reciprocal agreement between Imperial and the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre to ensure that service in either counts towards maternity leave entitlement – facilitating the freer movement of female researchers between the two organisations.

Dr Christian Speck and Sharon Citrone led the Athena SWAN application. Speaking of their success, Dr Speck said: “Science is a challenging environment – helping women to have equal access to opportunities that enable them to succeed in their aspirations throughout their career will help us to deliver excellent science at world class level.”

“The Athena Swan application process provided valuable feedback across a variety of areas, and the action plan which has been formulated will undoubtedly help the Institute of Clinical Sciences & MRC Clinical Sciences Centre to enhance support for all our scientists.”

Reporter

Deborah Evanson

Deborah Evanson
Communications and Public Affairs

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Contact details

Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 3921
Email: d.evanson@imperial.ac.uk

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