Office of the President and Provost (Equality, Diversity & Inclusion)


UCL celebrates Institutional Silver Athena Swan Award success

7 September 2021

UCL has retained its Silver Athena Swan award status for the next five years, in the latest round of assessments run by Advance HE, a membership scheme promoting excellence in higher education.

side view of the portico columns with colourful flags flying in between

Set up in 2005, Athena Swan is a framework used across the globe to support and transform gender equality within higher education and research and uses a self-assessment criteria to help applicants identify areas for positive action as well as recognise and share good practice.

Silver level awards recognise the impact of an institution in realising gender equality for staff during the period of the previous award and developing a SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-based) action plan to respond to ongoing and new issues identified through a systematic analysis of quantitative and qualitative data. 

The assessment panel highlighted the impact of initiatives to support the promotion of women into the professoriate and heads of department roles and the focus on intersectionality, a key issue that the UCL Equality Charters Group identified in preparing the submission. 

UCL President and Provost, Dr Michael Spence said: “Congratulations to all who were involved in making this successful submission that marks UCL’s continued progress towards gender equality.  It would not have been possible without the commitment and hard work of colleagues across UCL.”

Pro-Provost (Equity and Inclusion), Professor Sasha Roseneil added: “This latest award is a further indication of UCL’s founding commitment to equity and inclusion and evidences how we are embedding best practice in all of our work at UCL.”

UCL Envoy for Gender Equality and co-Chair of the Gender Steering Group, Professor Sara Mole said: “Whilst this is very good news, the hardest work starts now with a demanding an institutional Action Plan that requires effective and efficient engagement across all academic departments and for the first time including professional services areas. This will keep driving forward equality, diversity and inclusion for all staff and students.”

UCL received its first institutional Silver award in 2015. There are also 41 awards currently held by UCL departments, the highest number of any UK higher education institution, including three at Gold level and 17 at Silver.