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Division awarded Athena SWAN Bronze Award

30 May 2014

Athena SWAN Bronze Award Logo

The Division is delighted to announce that it has been awarded an Athena Swan Bronze Award for its efforts in supporting and empowering women within the Division.

The Athena SWAN Charter evolved from work between the Athena Project and the Scientific Women’s Academic Network (SWAN), to advance the representation of women in science, technology, engineering, medicine and mathematics (STEMM).

The Charter specifies that Bronze Award holders have thoroughly assessed the structure, processes and culture of the Division to identify particular challenges facing female academics and have compiled a robust plan which seeks to address these issues.

The Division’s Athena SWAN self-assessment team (SAT), established in August 2012, has tried to understand the personal and structural obstacles which prevent many females making the transition from post-doctoral researcher into a sustainable academic career. The SAT discovered that opportunities to discuss promotions were being missed, uptake of mandatory UCL training courses was poor and there was a distinct lack of visible female role models within the Division.

The Division has since began a systematic attempt to change its culture by encouraging an approach that clearly defines, values and nurtures merit and tries to maximise the rewards that result from it. Substantial changes have been made to the appraisal and senior promotions processes, ensuring that all female academics are encouraged to progress within the Division.  New Divisional initiatives such as the Women’s Forum and Junior Faculty Development Forum have encouraged discussion and collaboration, as have the monthly Academic Surgical Meetings. The upcoming BBQ and Away Day are intended to promote the Division as a vibrant and inclusive working environment where excellence is celebrated. Further details of the Division’s 3-year action plan can be found here.

The Division would like to thank the entire Athena SWAN SAT for their efforts in the compilation of the application. Special thanks go to Caroline Moore, Athena SWAN Lead, whose tireless dedication has been instrumental to the Division’s success.


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