Brain Sciences


Gender equity

The Athena SWAN charter remains central to our commitment to enhance women's careers and provides a framework to guide our work on equality, diversity and inclusion.

What is Athena SWAN?

The Athena SWAN Charter recognises and celebrates good employment practices for women working in higher education and research. It aims to assist the recruitment, retention and promotion of women in STEM and promote good practice. UCL is committed to the aims and principles of Athena SWAN and was one of the first universities to sign up to the scheme. 

Gender equality within the Faculty of Brain Sciences

We have a long-standing history of progressing gender equity within the Faculty, with our Institutes and Divisions regularly achieving Silver Athena SWAN awards since 2009. Silver Athena SWAN awards are awarded for making significant progress in addressing gender inequality in higher education. All of our Institutes and Divisions are currently working towards their own strategies and goals to nurture an inclusive and supportive workplace for all. 

The Faculty of Brain Sciences Athena SWAN team


  • Professor Sam Gilbert, Faculty Athena SWAN and Gender Equity Lead
  • Ciara Wright, Faculty Athena SWAN Coordinator

Our mission

Our mission is to promote gender equity and achieve gender equality across the Faculty. A recognisable indicator of mission achievement is to be granted Silver awards for all Divisions/Institutes of the Faculty by 2023.   

What we are doing

Our role is to convey UCL’s and the Faculty’s Athena SWAN goals and principles and promote best practice regarding gender equality, equity and increasingly intersectionality, and coordinate and facilitate Athena SWAN activities across the Faculty.

We act as a channel of communication between senior management and Institutional/Divisional Athena SWAN teams, ensuring the needs of all parties are understood. 

To achieve greater gender equality across the Faculty of Brain Sciences, we have developed guidance documents for setting up a successful Athena SWAN self-assessment team. 

Guidance documents we have issued:

We have created the following guidance documents:
•    How to commission, resource and support successful self-assessment team leads and teams in large Divisions
•    How to write a successful application: section by section guidance 

We are in the process of creating the following guidance documents:
•    How best to set your Equality Mission 
•    How best to get data and coordinate across Faculty 
•    How best to survey your staff

Who is this guidance for? 

This guidance is for Athena SWAN self-assessment team leads, chairs and project managers, to organise, train and govern their committees. 

How should people use the guidance?

Use this guidance to structure your self-assessment team in an efficient and effective way. It details how best to commission, resource and support successful self-assessment leads and teams in your Division/Institute. 

When should people use the guidance? 

Staff should use the guidance when they are looking to restructure their self-assessment team or are looking to formalise the existing structure.

Athena SWAN training module

To support all of the Faculty’s staff and students progressing gender equity with the Athena SWAN framework, our Athena SWAN Coordinator created a training module as a comprehensive induction to the charter mark.

Access the training module

Read a selection of our recent Women in Science interviews