UCL Cancer Institute


Kate Brooks - Athena SWAN co-chair

Kate Brooks shares her thoughts on the Athena SWAN committee.

What is your role in the Athena SWAN Committee?

I am a co-chair along with Kevin Litchfield, representing professional services staff.

Why did you decide to join the Athena SWAN Committee?

It is part of my job and key resposibilites to engage with this important work. On a more personal level, my work with Athena SWAN has made equality a day to day consideration and it is a way to continue learning more about equality, diversity and other inclusion issues that are imporant to staff. 

What does the Athena SWAN Committee do?

We look at our equality data to identify issues. We implement and adapt our action plan that is working towards a more equitable, inclusive and diverse institute. We try to ensure equality issues are represented/discussed at all levels and whenever relevant. 

Why is the Athena SWAN Committee important?

I believe it helps the Institute to make the principles of equality and inclusion a day to day reality. Having an active and engaged committee (as I believe we do!) makes this more likely as we have more chance of accurately representing and improving issues that are important to our colleagues and students.

Has the Athena SWAN Committee helped you to learn more about the Cancer Institute?

Definitely. We are quite a large Institute and it can be hard to get to know people in other teams. The Athena SWAN Committee has helped me to get to know people and work with them on issues that will hopefully make things better for all staff. 

Are there any Athena SWAN initiatives that have helped you in your career?

Prior to my role in the Cancer Institute, my career benefitted froma secondment opportunity. Secondments are a good way to get experience. I have also been mor eporactive about accessing training to enhanvce my knowledge and skills but there is always more to learn!

Are you involved in any other EDI activites in UCL?

Yes, I sit on mock panels for other UCL departments, I am on the Faculty EDI Committee and have provided 1:1 support for a department finalising their application for Athena SWAN silver.