Gender Equity & Athena SWAN

Gender Equity

The UCL Division of Psychiatry (DoP) Gender Equity working group, co-led by Dr Gemma Lewis and Dr Andrew Sommerlad, comprises members from across our departments who represent all grades of staff and PhD students. The Gender Equity working group oversees the development and implementation of a strategy to promote gender equity in the DoP, in line with the principles of the Athena SWAN charter.

Gender Equity Working Group

Athena Swan

The Athena SWAN Charter is run by the Equality Challenge Unit to encourage and recognise commitment to eliminating the under representation of women in science, specifically in the "STEMM" (science, technology, engineering, medicine and mathematics) subject areas.  It aims to promote changes in the culture and processes of academic and research departments in order to attract women into academic careers in these fields, and to ensure that women are recognised for their achievements and have the same opportunities to advance in their careers as their male colleagues. The charter covers women in academic roles, the progression of students into academia and the working environment for all staff.

In 2022 the Division of Psychiatry was pleased to achieve a silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of the many ways in which we have promoted a positive working environment that recognises all employees on an equal basis, regardless of gender. The Gender Equity Working Group produces the written application for the Athena SWAN kitemark.

Our successful 2022 Athena SWAN silver application is available to view below. We devised a plan of action to address areas where we aim to improve equity for all staff and students irrespective of gender or other protected characteristics, which is also available to view below. It includes, but is not limited to, actions related to 1) the recruitment, and attainment of MSc and PhD students in the Division, and supporting their future careers, 2) staff recruitment, 3) supporting staff to develop skills, achieve careers goals such as promotion, 4) nurturing a supportive working culture including helping staff or students who have experienced bullying or harassment, 5) encouraging and recognising outreach and public engagement activities.

As the Director of our Division, Glyn Lewis says:

We have achieved much in the past few years. The proportion of female professors has risen from 25% in 2008 to 50% in 2020. Nine of our 17 Associate Professors are women. Half of our Executive group is female.  At a more junior level, we have also made progress. Over the last 2 years our staff have achieved six fellowships, of which four were to women, including two non-clinical scientists. What is striking is that the vast majority of our female senior academics have had their academic careers within UCL so we have demonstrably provided an environment allowing these individuals to achieve senior positions. Glyn Lewis