UCL News


Engineering gender equality at UCL

5 September 2011

UCL's Department of Biochemical Engineering has recently been awarded a prestigious Athena SWAN Silver award for progressing gender equality.

Gender equality award

Athena SWAN awards are given in recognition of a department's commitment to recruit, retain and advance the careers of women academics and researchers in science, engineering and technology (SET) disciplines. The Department of Biochemical Engineering has been particularly commended for:

  • its proactive and innovative approach to female student recruitment
  • the highly positive and inclusive culture within the Department
  • the level of awareness and dedication exhibited by all staff to addressing the obstacles female academics in science and engineering face

The submission was judged to be of such a high standard that the department has been encouraged to apply for a Gold award in the future.

Professor Nigel Titcher-Hooker, Head of the Department of Biochemical Engineering said; "As a new Head of Department I have recognised that more can always be done to encourage a family-friendly and accepting culture. New modes of working have been adopted within our department and the benefits for all are becoming very clear. There is more to do, but the most striking message is that our female staff feel empowered and are supported to achieve their full potential."

UCL President & Provost, Professor Malcolm Grant added "UCL now holds 5 Athena SWAN Silver awards and I am delighted that Biochemical Engineering has become the latest Department to accomplish this honour. The award process is extremely competitive so I congratulate them on their hard work in putting together an excellent submission. There is no simple solution to improve the representation of women in science, engineering and technology. The Department of Biochemical Engineering has shown, however, that having the will to try a variety of initiatives can make a real difference."

Staff from all science, engineering and technology departments are also invited to:

UCL's Athena SWAN Silver award seminar

12.30pm - 2pm, 14 September 2011

Room 337, Rockefeller Building

Lunch will be available

The seminar will enable to colleagues to:

  • Find out more about the Athena SWAN awards to promote women in Science, Engineering and Technology (SET)
  • Learn about the benefits of taking part
  • Find out what's involved in the process
  • Meet colleagues from UCL's latest Silver award winning department

Speakers to include:

  • Professor Nigel Titchener-Hooker, Head of UCL's Department of Biochemical Engineering, Silver SWAN Award winner
  • Dr Sara Mole, MRC Lab for Molecular Cell Biology, Silver Award winner
  • Sarah Guise, Head of Equalities and Diversity

Please email Sonal Bharadva to confirm your attendance.

Image: Professor Nigel Titchener-Hooker, Head of the Department of Biochemical Engineering and Dr Martina Micheletti who led on the submission.