Skip to main content

28 March 2022

Institute celebrates Athena Swan Silver Award

The Cicely Saunders Institute receives a renewal of its Athena Swan Silver Award from Advance HE.

women celebrating at event

The Cicely Saunders Institute of Palliative Care, Policy & Rehabilitation at King’s College London has received a renewal of its Athena Swan Silver Award from Advance HE, following a successful application earlier this year.

Athena Swan awards recognise the advancement of gender equality in higher education. Both the Institute and the Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery & Palliative Care, of which it is a part, hold these prestigious Silver Awards. King's College London also holds an institutional silver accreditation.

This award underlines the commitment and work taking place across the university to being an inclusive employer and educator where everyone can succeed.

Areas highlighted and celebrated within the Cicely Saunders application include:

  • Development of professional services staff through creation of Research Projects and Coordination Assistant roles.
  • Ongoing commitment to address gender inequality and inequities within the department whilst achieving external impact through data analyses examining gender inequality.
  • Ongoing commitment to develop our staff and students whilst impacting the sector nationally by founding the Palliative Care Athena SWAN network.
  • Our inspirational intersectional gender equality work securing research funding to improve services for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or trans (LGBT+) and those from ethnically diverse backgrounds.

The Institute is committed to making ongoing progress on:

  • Decreasing the award gap between male and female students on the Palliative Care MSc course.
  • Ensuring that female staff do not suffer from the ‘leaky pipeline’ of academic promotion and work to have proportionate number of male and female staff in senior roles.
  • Continuing to develop the Institute’s professional services staff.
  • Continuing to strive towards recruiting more male staff and students within the Institute and on their MSc and PhD courses in what is a female dominated science.

I am delighted that Advance HE has again recognised our work in the Cicely Saunders Institute to advance gender equality. This success is a truly collective effort that acknowledges the progress made and the steps we continue to take in improving gender equality, not only in the Institute but more broadly at King’s. Enhancing intersectional gender equality and overall equality, diversity and inclusion are central to our mission in the Cicely Saunders Institute, in the Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery & Palliative Care, as well as the whole university. Congratulations go to all my colleagues whose hard work to deliver on and maintain our commitments ensured this renewal of our Silver Award.

Professor Richard Harding, Director of the Cicely Saunders Institute

The application process for an Athena Swan award requires substantial effort, including completing a self-assessment document that reflects on quantitative and qualitative analysis, results of surveys of staff and students, and progress made against any previous action plan and impacts of previous actions. Each submission also includes, based on the self-assessment, an action plan to make real improvements in gender equality over the next five years. Advance HE members can apply for institutional and departmental Athena Swan awards that recognise their specific gender equality efforts, and this accreditation is valid until March 2027.

Ensuring equity and equality for staff, students and the people we care for as health professionals is critical to our success and to creating an inclusive and flexible culture for all. This accreditation has given us the opportunity to review areas of current good practice, progress we have made, and identify areas for development and improvement. We still have more to do but I’m delighted we have been conferred this renewal of our Athena Swan Silver Award.

Dr Sabrina Bajwah, Clinical Senior Lecturer and Athena Swan submission lead

Cicely Saunders Institute Athena Swan Action Plan

Find out more about the Institute’s commitments to enhancing gender equality in the Cicely Saunders Institute Athena Swan Silver Award submission and Action Plan.

In this story

Richard  Harding

Vice Dean (International) and Director and Global Lead, Cicely Saunders Institute of Palliative Care, Policy & Rehabilitation

Sabrina Bajwah

Clinical Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant in Palliative Care