King’s continues to further its work towards gender equality in traditionally male-dominated subjects.
In September 2013, King’s College London received a renewal of its Bronze Institutional Award, the Athena SWAN (Scientific Women’s Academic Network) Charter. King’s originally became a member of the Charter in 2007 and received its Bronze Award in 2008. Now, this award has been renewed for a further three years. The Athena SWAN Charter was launched in 2005. It recognises an institution’s commitment to gender equality in STEMM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine).
Regarding the award, the Vice Principal (Arts and Sciences) of King’s College London and the Chair of the Athena SWAN College Steering Committee, Evelyn Welch, said, “We are delighted to receive the Athena SWAN Bronze Award in recognition of the steps being taken to develop equality for women in science career progression. It is well deserved and I am grateful for all the efforts of those who helped us to maintain this status. However, this is just a first step in terms of good employment practice, as we acknowledge there’s still a significant amount to be done.”
Though we are not always happy with the College’s plans for science at King’s (bear in mind the time last year when College planned to merge School of Medicine and School of Biomedical Sciences), this time they are doing something good. As a female Science student, I really appreciate their efforts.
King’s isn’t just stopping at the Bronze Award but instead has decided to go for the Athena SWAN Silver Award. The College has established Self-Assessment Teams in all six Science schools, which are currently working towards achieving the Silver Award by November 2014. In addition, to take its efforts further, King’s has decided to go for the Gender Charter Mark, which is a similar project to Athena SWAN. This will not only extend the Athena SWAN Programme to Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, but will encompass all genders. The good news is that the Department of Social Sciences, Health and Medicine have successfully submitted an application for this and have been accepted on the trial programme.
Let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope that King’s achieves the fruit of its efforts, and continues to work towards gender equality and diversity in all areas.