UCL Institute of Cardiovascular Science


Silver Award Application 2018

ICS successfully renewed its Athena SWAN Silver Award in November 2018 for our continuing work to promote equal opportunities.

The ICS Self-Assessment Team worked hard to maintain the momentum which led to the successful renewal of a Silver Award in November 2018. The Institute continues to support the Athena beliefs that:

  • The advancement of science, engineering and technology (SET) is fundamental to quality of life across the globe.
  • It is vitally important that women are adequately represented in what has traditionally been, and is still, a male-dominated area.
  • Science cannot reach its full potential unless it can benefit from the talents of the whole population, and until women and men can benefit equally from the opportunities it affords.

Dr Silvia Schievano and Suneeta Nathan are the ICS Athena SWAN Leads.

The SAT team:

Silvia Schievano (co-chair),  Suneeta Nathan (co-chair), Aroon Hingorani, Simon Galloway, Philippa Talmud,  Ann Walker,  Rachael Huntley, Pier Lambiase,  Wendy Norman, Tom Carson, Christina Picken (PhD student); Alexandra Jamieson (MSc student)

The team has met at least 4 times a year since our Silver Award to sustain progress and implement actions, and more frequently in the last 6 months to finalise the 2018 application. Through the self-assessment process, we analysed staff/student data and progress in order to formulate a strategy aligned to both ICS academic/research aims and AS key principles. ICS historically had more men than women, especially in senior positions, mainly due to half of ICS scientists being clinicians, with Cardiology remaining a discipline that attracts predominantly men in the UK (80% of trainees and 86% of consultants). Therefore, gender balance at all levels may not be realistic in the short-term. Our goal is an overall gender ratio of 50:50 and a senior clinical role ratio of 1 female: 3 males, within an institutional culture where all can thrive.

To achieve this, we prioritised:
- increasing women at senior levels through proactive engagement with female candidates and internal support processes
- increasing female representation in key management committees
- fostering a culture of inclusivity and flexible working for all staff and students
- promoting engagement and communication among staff working across multiple sites.

To measure the impact of our action plan, we monitored by gender and grade our recruitment processes, appraisals, promotions, and invited speakers at internal/external meetings. We established a biennial staff survey to assess views on equality, working practices, career development and culture, with results displayed in all department buildings. We used UCL biennial staff surveys to compare responses from our staff with FPHS and UCL.

Flexible/PT study has been offered since 2014/15 as part of our AS AP and has been taken up by an increasing number of students. This means that students can complete over 2-5 years, allowing for example two clinicians (1 male and 1 female), an electrophysiologist (female) and a clinical radiographer (female) to study while in post.

I was delighted to find that the MSc was offered on a part-time basis. Not only was this financially of great benefit to me, but it also allowed me to continue my clinical work, whilst working towards an MSc” – PT student, 2016, female

ICS Staff Survey 2017 - Results

ICS Staff Survey 2017

credit: Christina Picken

Full results can be downloaded here





















Training and Development 


Development Opportunities











Flexible Working

Flexible Working






Equal Opportunities 

Equal Opportunities






Role Models 

ICS role models







Role Model photos