Brain Sciences


IoN achieves Silver Athena SWAN award

4 August 2020

UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology has received a Silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of their commitment and progress towards gender equality.

Athena SWAN

The Athena SWAN awards celebrate good practise in higher education and research institutions towards the advancement of gender equality, representation, progression and success for all.

Institutes that sign up to the charter commit to adopting ten principles which focus on promoting and supporting gender equality for women. In particular, the charter aims to address what is known as the “leaky pipeline” of women progressing to senior roles in science by removing obstacles to their advancement, ensuring equal pay and mainstreaming support through action at all levels across the department or organisation.

The Institute of Neurology has achieved a coveted Silver Athena SWAN Award which recognises the Institute’s dedication to the advancement of equality through the evidence-based actions plans and initiatives set in place to eliminate gender bias.

Professor Nicholas Wood, co-chair of the Self-Assessment Team for Athena SWAN, said: "We are delighted to be awarded silver as a recognition of the very important step being taken to address inequalities in our workplace. We aim for this to stimulate further change and improvements across the department."

Professor Elizabeth Fisher, co-chair of the Self-Assessment Team for Athena SWAN, added: "This is a wonderful outcome from the hard work of many people to increase diversity at all levels.  We still have a lot of work to do, but it is so encouraging to receive this award in recognition of all our efforts and to acknowledge our future plans."

Professor Alan Thompson Dean of the Faculty of Brain Sciences said: “A huge congratulations goes to the whole team at the Institute of Neurology for receiving a Silver Athena SWAN award, recognising the Institute’s ongoing commitment to progressing gender equality – a magnificent achievement.”

The Athena SWAN Charter was established in 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment in higher education and research.

In 2015 the charter was expanded to include non-STEMMour depa subjects and recognise work undertaken in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL), and in professional and support roles, and for trans staff and students. The charter now recognises work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly, and not just barriers to progression that affect women.