The Institute of Clinical Sciences and MRC Clinical Sciences Centre at Imperial College London has achieved an Athena SWAN Bronze Award, which recognises commitment to advancing women’s careers in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) in higher education and research.
Launched in 2005, the Equality Challenge Unit’s Athena SWAN Charter has been developed to encourage commitment to combating underrepresentation and advancing the careers of women in STEMM research and academia.
There are three levels of awards available (bronze, silver and gold), designed to encourage continuous progression and sustainable change. The bronze institutional award recognises a solid foundation for addressing unconscious bias and developing an inclusive culture that allows people and science to reach their full potential.
CSC Director and Head of the Institute of Clinical Sciences Professor Amanda Fisher said: “I am proud to encourage and actively promote female scientists and the Athena SWAN aim is part of the culture of the Institute. I look forward to the positive impact that delivering the action plan will have locally, and to making a future application for a Silver award”.
Students and employees at the Institute took part in a surveys and a series of focus groups, which helped inform a three year action plan. The action plan will now be taken forward by a number of working groups made up of employees and students from the Institute.
“I’m delighted that the Institute has achieved this award and I would like to sincerely thank everyone for their contribution. Now the challenge is to bring our plans to action and to further advance the careers of women in research,” said Dr. Christian Speck, who chaired the Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team and who will chair the Institutes Opportunities Committee.
The Institute has been actively involved in celebrating the achievements of women in science. In 2011, they launched Suffrage Science on the centenary of International Women’s Day, which celebrates the achievements of leading women in science as they are awarded bespoke heirlooms, designed by students from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. The heirlooms are passed on each year to the next generation of leading female scientists. This year’s event will take place on 9 October 2014.