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UCL Division of Medicine

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Women in Science 

Athena Swan Silver Award

The Division of Medicine is proud to hold an Athena SWAN Silver Award

The Division achieved its first Athena SWAN award (Silver) in 2013 for its efforts to remove barriers for its female academic and research staff. More recently in June 2017, we were awarded a Silver award under the new Charter, which recognizes departments that champion gender equality for all employees, including professional, administrative and support staff. The Division was the first UCL department to achieve the Silver level with these more inclusive criteria. Silver awards recognise that action has been taken in response to previously identified challenges and that the impact of the actions implemented has been demonstrated.

About Athena SWAN

Launched in 2005, the Athena SWAN Charter which is run by the Equalities Challenge Unit (ECU), recognises commitment to advancing women’s careers in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM). More recently, scope was expanded to include the arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law.

The Charter is underpinned by the belief that:

  1. It is vitally important that woman are adequately represented in what has traditionally been, and is still, a male-dominated area
  2. Science cannot reach its full potential unless it can benefit from the talents of the whole population, and until women and men can benefit equally from the opportunities it affords
  3. The Division of Medicine is fully committed to these beliefs and seeks to change the culture of our department to reflect Athena SWAN values.

•    History and principles of the Charter

Athena SWAN in the Division of Medicine

The Division’s self-assessment team (DoM-SAT) comprises a diverse group of clinical and non-clinical academics as well as non-academics from across the Division’s sites, representing a wide range of professional and personal experiences.  The team was assembled in June 2012 and has been meeting regularly since then. The team is responsible for carrying out the Action Plan detailed in the Silver application, which comprises a wide-ranging and diverse set of initiatives.

Examples of some Athena SWAN initiatives in the Division

Many of our initiatives end up benefitting all, not just women. Some highlights include:

  • Maternity/Paternity Award scheme to support staff who have recently had children – over £90k disbursed to date
  • Gender-balanced composition of the annual promotions Committee (50% female)
  • Review of senior academic/research staff to identify suitable female scientists who should be encouraged to apply for promotion
  • Gender-balanced composition of staff recruitment panels
  • A mentoring scheme for female staff at PhD and postdoc level
  • Establishment of a thriving Early Career Researcher network as well as a network for Technicians
  • High-profile celebratory events each year to mark International Women's Day
  • Staff surveys and focus groups to identify problem areas that can be addressed