UCL School of Pharmacy


Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

We are delighted to announce that the UCL School of Pharmacy has been awarded a Silver Athena Swan award following the application submission in March 2024.

    Athena Swan Silver Award 
    Athena Swan Silver Award Logo

    The UCL School of Pharmacy has been awarded a Silver Athena Swan award following the application submission in March 2024. This comes following many years of hard work by a team across the School of Pharmacy led by Professors Catherine Tuleu and Mine Orlu. 

    The Athena Swan Charter is a framework which is used across the globe to support and transform gender equality within higher education (HE) and research. Established in 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment, the Charter is now being used across the globe to address gender equality more broadly, and not just barriers to progression that affect women.

    Staff and students at the School of Pharmacy embody Athena Swan principles intersectionally. The local success culture celebrates milestones like publications, grants, teaching, awards, staffing changes, and promotions, fostering inclusive excellence. Achievements include empowering staff through role modelling and mentoring for promotion and engagement in influential committees.

    This inclusive culture has led to high female representation in leadership: with 5 BAME female professors, 4 out of 5 professional leadership positions held by women (1 BAME), reflecting London’s multicultural diversity, and the current Director being the first female director since 1842.

    All staff are supported with mentoring and opportunities such as flexible working/career breaks/secondment/ job share partnership. Positive recruitment actions increased female presence in critical areas like Pharmaceutical and Biological Chemistry. Mentoring/coaching has been prioritised for early-career researchers/lecturers as they are tomorrow’s leaders, and recruiting more male undergraduates through outreach remains a priority. The EDI committee encourages dialogue relevant to teaching and research. Well-being events cover topics like menopause and parenthood/fertility in academia. Rainbow lanyards signal our support for LGBTQ+ colleagues/students.

    Professor Gail Taylor, new Dean of the Faculty of Life Sciences, commented: “This is wonderful news!! This is a significant achievement so please pass on my personal thanks in recognising the commitment required to get here!"

    Professor Cate Whittlesea, Director of the UCL School of Pharmacy, added: “The principles embedded in Athena Swan are extremely important to colleagues across the UCL School of Pharmacy, and we are pleased that our engagement in this area has been acknowledged with a Silver award. Heartful thanks to our self-assessment team members for their support and dedication over our journey to gain this important milestone, which included work during the pandemic. We are looking forward to working together to further enhance the healthy, safe, equitable and supportive environment for all working and studying at the UCL School of Pharmacy as we begin our journey for a gold award.”


    Professor Mine Orlu and Professor Catherine Tuleu

    Professors Mine Orlu and Catherine Tuleu added: ”We would like to take the opportunity to congratulate all my colleagues in the UCL School of Pharmacy and in particular, our Self-Assessment Team on our prestigious award. We are dedicated to deliver on equality and inclusion across UCL. We will continue delivering a more inclusive practice and advancing outcomes for EDI communities.”

    Vice-Dean for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Professor Rob De Bruin congratulated the team by saying: “Congratulations to all who were involved in making this successful submission, which recognises the School of Pharmacy's continued progress towards gender equality. It would not have been possible without the commitment and hard work of the many colleagues at School involved in promoting gender equality who will keep driving forward equality, diversity and inclusion for all staff and students.”

    We wish to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved with a special thanks to Professors Catherine Tuleu & Mine Orlu, the Athena Swan team, and everyone who contributed to the editing/review of the March application.