As part of the faculty's work on diversity & inclusion, we are actively working to support women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics in order to address the current imbalance of women working and studying in these areas. In 2013, the Women in Science Initiative was established to assess, address and challenge the inequities women face in their academic careers.
There is substantial evidence highlighting gender imbalance within science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEM) careers. In 2010, the Athena ASSET survey showed that at every stage of their career women either still perceive disadvantage, or there remain differences, relative to men. These differences accumulate over the course of an individual’s career to create differences in opportunity and experience.
What we are doing
The Athena SWAN charter was launched in 2005 to recognise commitment of institutions that promote and advance careers of women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM), in academia.
King's College London gained its bronze institutional award in 2008 and renewed this award in 2013 and again in 2017.
Since October 2020 all departments in the faculty hold Athena SWAN awards at Bronze (Engineering, Informatics, Mathematics, Chemistry) or Silver (Physics).
Women in Science Week
The faculty holds its Women in Science Week in October each year to coincide with the annual Ada Lovelace Day, which is internationally celebrated.
Born in 1815, Ada Lovelace was a mathematician and writer who has been adopted as a figurehead for an international celebration of the achievements of women working in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). She is often referred to as the first computer programmer for her work on Babbage's Analytical Engine.
Women in Science Week aims to celebrate women working in science within the Faculty, the University and beyond. It hopes to highlight the issues faced in STEM subjects surrounding the representation of women, and that gender equality is a relevant and important topic for all by bringing together both staff and students from across the Faculty in a number of events.
Ada Lovelace Day is the flagship event of Women in Science Week and consists of inspirational talks from a wide variety of speakers. It aims to address the problem of there being too few women in STEM subjects. Despite evidence that girls do well in such subjects at school, few go on to study them at university and even fewer pursue a career in such subjects.
Gender Equality Student Fund
The Gender Equality Student Fund is open to all undergraduate and postgraduate (taught and research) students in the Faculty. Individual students or groups of students may apply to the Fund for grants of up to £200 for student initiatives and activities that support the promotion of gender equality in STEM fields.
Awards are made to individuals or groups of undergraduate, postgraduate taught or postgraduate research students who have proposed innovative projects, activities or events that promote gender equality in STEM.
Women in STEM Scholarships
The Women in STEM Scholarships are funded by the Faculty of Natural, Mathematical & Engineering Sciences as part of our commitment to increasing the representation of women working in and studying STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) subjects. The scholarships are designed to offer financial assistance to outstanding candidates during their undergraduate programme.
The scholarships are designed to offer financial assistance to outstanding female candidates throughout their undergraduate programme (for a maximum of three years of study) and to introduce them to various initiatives and activities taking place across the university in response to the issue. The Faculty expects scholarship holders to contribute to these initiatives and be an active participant in such events and activities.
We particularly welcome applications from Black and Mixed Black Heritage students to further improve the representation of these groups in STEM as well.