Although originally set up to tackle the issues of gender balance in Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Medicine (STEMM) subjects, the Athena SWAN programme has since broadened its remit. It now includes work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly, not just barriers to progression that affect women, and works across the arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law disciplines. In addition, UCL is committed to the Race Equality Charter mark which aims to improve the representation, progression and success of minority ethnic staff and students within higher education.
To reflect these changes, in 2017 the Athena SWAN self-assessment team at the Institute changed their name to the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Team (EDIT). As well as gender equality, we cover issues such as BME representation, disability, bullying/harassment and LGBTQ+ inclusion.
Our current EDI team has a mix of professional services and academic staff (PS: 24%, Academic: 76%), gender (F: 71%, M: 29%), ethnicity (BME: 18%) and seniority - ranging from professor to doctoral student. We also have a group of IfWH Masters students who feed ideas and initiatives into the main team. EDI members have specific roles relating to our action plan commitments. We have maintained continuity with two members of the original team from 2012 (*); newer members have expanded the team's influence within and outside UCL.
Simon is Professor of Gene Therapy. He was born in a declining mill town in East Lancashire and came to London in the early 90s to study for his PhD at Imperial College. He joined UCL in 2006. He is passionate about equality, diversity and inclusion all in aspects of academia.
Dr Rajvinder Karda is a Lecturer in Gene therapy. She joined IfWH in 2017. She is passionate about improving wellbeing & mentoring staff members and students.
Ms Christina Ahlfors* is a Senior HR Officer and has been with the EGA IfWH since 2008. She is also an active member of the organisation SWEA, which is aimed at supporting Swedish women working abroad. She is passionate about reading and writing fiction.
Dr Bola Grace is an Honorary Research & Teaching Fellow. She completed her PhD part time at the EGA Institute for Women's Health, where first joined the Athena Swan Team as a student member. Bola has been an active volunteer for youth clubs in her local community for many years. She enjoys working with and mentoring young people.
Dr Pascale Guillot joined EGA IfWH as a Senior Lecturer in 2014. She is passionate about inspiring and empowering women in leadership positions. She and her husband have a daughter at primary school and they live in the countryside with their animals.
Marcia Jacks has been at UCL for over 25 years and had a steady career progression before successfully applying for the role of Institute Manager in Women’s Health in 2009. Marcia has 3 children and is a grandmother. She has throughout her time at UCL been involved in equality issues and was Chair/Co-Chair of the Race Equality Steering Group (RESG) for over 10 years, she now remains an active member of the RESG. She was a member of the Commission set up for the Inquiry into the History of Eugenics at UCL which led to the de-naming of the Pearson and Galton lecture theatres and now sits of the UCL Buildings Naming and Renaming Committee. Marcia’s Sponsorship project and recommendation was formulated into the Inclusive Advocacy initiative which forms part of the UCL Equality Toolkit to support the career progression of BAME staff in grades 7-10. Marcia is passionate about equality issues and want to promote fairness and respect for all staff regardless of gender, race, disability, religion or sexual orientation.
Ms Jenny Rattray is the MBBS Module Manager at EGA IfWH. She is a supporter of access to the arts for disabled people; captioned and audio described performances of plays and art through words, where works in collections are described with the use of sound recordings or tactile aids.
Mr Ian Waller is the Finance Manager for the EGA IfWH and joined UCL in April 2011. Ian is married, with a school aged step-daughter and a toddler-aged son. Flexible working has allowed Ian to share the childcare arrangements for his son, as well as sharing the school ‘run’ for his step-daughter.
Dr Alexey Zaikin holds a Chair of Computational Biomedicine and Applied Mathematics. It is a joint appointment between Institute for Women’s Health and Department of Mathematics. He had the unusual but satisfying experience of supervising a PhD student who completed her project over 7 years that included 3 periods of maternity leave. Alexey is married and has worked at UCL since 2008.
Dr Tania Castillo Hernandez joined the EGA IfWH as a research Fellow in 2020. She is passionate about supporting Early Career Researchers by providing a space for skills and community development. Tania is also motivated in representing international staff and students in the institute.
Dr Ashley Boyle joined EGA IfWH as a Research Associate in 2018. She is passionate about supporting other Early Career Researchers. Ashley’s other interests include public engagement and encouraging young people to pursue careers in science.