Athena SWAN

In 2017, the Institute received an Athena SWAN Silver Award to recognise its commitment to advancing women’s careers in science and research. The Silver award was renewed in 2023.

At the LMS there are two working groups which deliver on the action plan developed for the silver application. These are:

  • Careers and Development Working Group
  • Work-Life Balance Working Group

The Careers and Development Working Group aims to promote networking, encourage mentoring and support career development, improve people’s experiences of appraisals and encourage participation in seminars and meetings. The Work-Life Balance Working Group aim to improve support for those with childcare and caring responsibilities.

The working groups feed into the Athena SWAN opportunities committee, which is led by Dr Mikhail Spivakov.

The award is held jointly with the Institute of Clinical Sciences, Imperial College London, and of which the LMS is one part. Read more about the Athena SWAN Charter here.

The LMS is committed to continuing to work towards the areas of our action plan. Below you can find out more about some of the initiatives implemented from our three working groups:

  • Career planning toolkit for all members of staff
  • Generous maternity and parental leave support and provision with no employment qualifying period
  • Mentoring scheme with mentoring champions
  • Support of a team of Mental Health First Aiders
  • Increasing opportunities to allow our employees and students to network professionally and socially
  • Funding for Institute, Post-doc and PhD student retreats
  • Partnership with Imperial Post-doc and Fellows Development Centre
  • Training opportunities for all staff across a variety of topics including work-life balance, career skills, networking and unconscious bias
  • Bi-Annual ‘Bring your Family to Work’ Day
  • Supporting our technicians as a signatory of the Technician’s Commitment

Our latest Athena SWAN action plan can be found here: Athena SWAN Action Plan


The awards are designed to encourage continuous progression and sustainable change. The Silver Institutional Award recognises an ongoing commitment to addressing unconscious bias and developing an inclusive culture that allows people and science to reach their full potential.

Launched in 2005, the Equality Challenge Unit’s Athena SWAN Charter was originally developed to encourage commitment to combating under representation and advancing the careers of women in STEMM research and academia. In May 2015, the Charter was expanded to address gender equality more broadly, not just barriers to progression that affect women. It also now covers arts, humanities, social science, business and professional and support roles.

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