Institute achieves Athena SWAN recognition

12 June 2014

Athena SWAN Bronze Award

UCL Eastman Dental Institute's commitment to "advancing women's careers in STEMM academia" has been recognised with an Athena SWAN Bronze Award.

Athena SWAN is the UK's Charter for women in science, and exists to address gender inequality in science, technology, engineering, medicine and mathematics.

The Institute's submission was headed by Dr Anne Young and Professor Stephen Porter.  Dr Young explains the process:

"The application required extensive collation and critical examination of data from across the whole Institute on equality between men and women.

"Aspects covered ranged from numbers of men versus women at different levels, from students to professorial staff, through to male-female balance on key decision making committees. We compared data across different departments and compared with national averages wherever possible.

"We were able to show that the number of women in higher grades is increasing and that there has been a gradual change in culture that is more encouraging for women."

Areas identified as having been particularly beneficial included:

  • training opportunities for female academics to complete PhD studies or higher clinical training as a paid employee
  • strong guidance and support during promotion rounds
  • appointment of women as leaders of educational activities and research enabling activities and as members of key managerial committees
  • involvement of women during any new staff selection
  • moving all important Institute meetings to core working hours to enhance work-life balance.

Workshops arising from the Athena SWAN process have been run recently to improve support for all staff, and seminars are planned to help younger staff with proposal writing.

Acknowledging a need to improve gender equality at higher grades, the Institute plans to further build on the Bronze award, focusing on encouraging women to remain in academia and ensuring their equal opportunity of promotion.