Female Futures is an initiative to support women and underrepresented groups in STEM. We provide events and resources to foster an open, transparent and collaborative environment in the department.
The Female Futures initiative is driven by researchers and academics in the department. As we aim to encourage more girls and young women to choose STEM paths, it is important for us to highlight the work that our female academics are currently doing.
These are just a few of them:
Professor Clare Elwell is a Female Futures committee member and an academic in the department. Learn more about Clare's award-winning research and work to inspire girls and women in STEM.
Dr Charlotte Maughan Jones is a Female Futures committee member and a researcher in the department. Learn more about how she went from being a vet to a medical physicist, and completed her PhD shortly after becoming a parent.
Dr Elly Martin is a Female Futures committee member and a researcher in the department. Learn more about Elly's work in the Biomedical Ultrasound Group.
Professor Maria Hawkins is an academic in radiation oncology, working with UCLH's new Proton Beam Therapy Centre. Find her on UCL IRIS.
Dr Lynsey Duffell is an academic in the department working on neuromodulation. Find her on UCL IRIS.
Dr Gemma Bale is a researcher in the Biomedical Optics Research Laboratory. Learn more about her life in the Department and her recent British Science Association Media Fellowship.
The Athena SWAN Charter was established by the Equality Challenge Unit to recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment in higher education and research. The Charter has since been expanded to cover additional disciplines and addresses gender equality more broadly. The Department of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering currently holds an Athena Swan Bronze Award in recognition of our commitment to supporting and advancing the careers of women in STEM.
The reason for the launch of our Female Futures initiative, and why this field needs organisations like Athena SWAN, is a stark under-representation of women in physics and engineering. A report by the Institute of Physics in 2018 found that only 1.9% of girls study A level Physics compared to 6.5% of boys, despite the fact that girls perform just as well as boys in the subject at GCSE. In addition to Female Futures, our department therefore has a dedicated Athena SWAN committee, chaired by Professor Jem Hebden. As Jem explains:
We are keen to change those numbers. We strive for, and regularly achieve, a 50/50 gender balance on our courses, and our staff and students are 100% committed to promoting Physics and Engineering to female school students and early-career women who might not otherwise have considered these subjects as a career option. I am incredibly proud of this diverse, welcoming department and of the staff and students working so hard to spread the word — to girls and boys alike — about this exciting field of research and the many career routes a degree in Medical Physics or Biomedical Engineering can lead to."“
The Athena SWAN Committee meets every month to ensure that our departmental culture, processes and career support mechanisms take into account the particular needs of staff and students, both male and female, with childcare or other caring responsibilities.
Department Athena SWAN Committee
Jem Hebden (Chair)
Charlotte Hagen (Deputy Chair)
Pilar Garcia Souto
Charlotte Maughan Jones