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Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering

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Athena SWAN

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The Athena SWAN Charter was established by the Equality Challenge Unit to recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment in higher education and research. The Charter has since been expanded to cover additional disciplines and addresses gender equality more broadly. 

The Department of Medical Physics & Biomedical Engineering currently holds a Bronze Award.

To explore some of the exceptional achievements of the women in our department, please download our Women in Medical Physics brochure 2016: A year in review.

The stark under-representation of women in physics and engineering has been one of the few negative aspects of working in my chosen career field. Since I became Head of Department in 2008, we have been highly proactive in promoting Medical Physics to female school students and early-career women who might not otherwise consider physics or engineering as a career. However, it is essential that we are also able to provide the resources and friendly environment that will support female as well as male staff and students in developing rewarding careers in this exciting academic field. In 2012 we formed an Athena SWAN Working Group which reviewed our efforts to increase the representation of women among our students and staff, and examined our career support mechanisms. We also assessed the degree to which our departmental culture and processes take into account the particular needs of staff and students with childcare responsibilities. Our Working Group devised an Action Plan to continue our progress towards a 50:50 gender balance within the department, to enhance our career support for women, and to increase awareness of institutional and departmental family-friendly policies and schemes. As a result of our efforts, in April 2013 we were delighted to receive an Athena SWAN bronze award which recognised the positive changes we have implemented within the department, and the quality of our Action Plan for further improvement. I hope that this online Athena Swan resource will prove helpful in highlighting the actions the department has taken to combat gender inequality in physics and engineering, as well as showcasing the recent successes of our female staff and students.

- Professor Jem Hebden, November 2013.

What is the Athena SWAN Award?
Case Studies
Links and Points of Contact
2012 Athena SWAN Award: submission highlights
Outreach and Successes