Imperial celebrated the College's recent successes in supporting female academics with the presentation of the Julia Higgins Medal and Awards.
Staff gathered to celebrate the presentation of the accolades, which recognise individuals and departments that have made a significant contribution to the support of academic women at Imperial.
In the Department of Chemistry we have worked hard to build a community where all staff feel supported, valued, and able to reach their potential – whatever their gender.
– Professor Tom Welton
Head of the Department of Chemistry
Named in honour of the former Dean of the City and Guilds College and Principal of the Faculty of Engineering, Professor Dame Julia Higgins FRS, FREng, the Medal was awarded to the Department of Chemistry in recognition of being the first College department to be awarded the much coveted Athena SWAN Gold Award.
Professor Dot Griffiths, Provost’s Envoy for Gender Equality, paid tribute to the Department’s efforts, saying: “Achieving the Athena SWAN Gold Award sets the Department of Chemistry apart as a beacon of inspiration, and is a testament to tireless efforts and dedication of all within the Department. I am delighted that we are able to recognise their achievements with the Julia Higgins Medal.”
Professor Tom Welton, Head of the Department of Chemistry said: “We are thrilled and honoured to have received this recognition. In the Department of Chemistry we have worked hard to build a community where all staff feel supported, valued, and able to reach their potential – whatever their gender. I am immensely proud of all we have achieved so far, and we will continue to aim high.”
Dr Patricia Hunt, from the Department of Chemistry, was presented with an individual Julia Higgins Award for her work leading the Department’s Athena SWAN Gold application.
Professor Welton added: “I am very grateful for all Dr Hunt’s hard work driving forward the Department’s Athena SWAN application and leading us to success. Her personal contribution has been immense, and it is fitting that she be recognised for her efforts with this award”
Our support for academic women at the College continues and we hope to make as big an impact next year.
– Steve Rathborne
Head of the Learning and Development Centre
Also recognised with awards were Rob Bell – for his work as Athena SWAN Coordinator - and the College’s Learning and Development Centre – for their support of the professional and personal development of the College’s academic women.
Rob said: “I’m very honoured to receive the Julia Higgins award. It is wonderful to be valued for your work, and it is great that Imperial recognises the efforts made across the College community to support academic women. Much progress has been made in this area and we have a lot to celebrate, though there is more still to be done. I look forward to contributing further as we work to renew our Silver institutional Athena SWAN award and continue our journey to Gold”
Steve Rathborn, Head of the Learning and Development Centre, said: ”We are delighted to be recognised with a Julia Higgins Award. The Learning and Development Centre is committed to ensuring a level playing field for all in the workplace - an aim that underpins many of our training programmes and workshops. Our support for academic women at the College continues and we hope to make as big an impact next year.”
The evening was also an opportunity to celebrate Imperial’s successes in the Athena Swan Awards over the past year, which saw the Department of Surgery and Cancer and the Institute of Clinical Sciences receiving their first Bronze Awards, the Department of Computing renewing their Bronze Award, and renewed Silver Awards for the Department of Chemical Engineering, the National Heart and Lung Institute, the Department of Materials, and the School of Public Health
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