Women in Science (Athena SWAN)

Recognising advancement of gender equality: representation, progression and success for all.

The Athena SWAN Charter was established by Advance HE (formerly Equality Challenge Unit) in 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in STEMM employment in higher education and research. Find out more about The Athena SWAN Charter and it’s principles.

TAthena SWAN Bronze Awardhe Institute of Zoology has been awarded an Athena SWAN Bronze Award in recognition of our ongoing commitment to the advancement of gender equality: representation, progression and success for all.

Read our action plan: PDF icon Athena Swan ZSL Institute of Zoology Action plan (345.93 KB)

Key initiatives:

  • A new pay and progression framework that recognises a broad range of contributions and responsibilities
  • Introduction of mentoring and buddying schemes, a parent/carer network group and social committee
  • Introduction of a Return to Science Fellowship that provides up to 2 years’ salary for grant-funded staff returning to work after parental leave
  • Mandatory equality and diversity training
  • An unconscious bias refresher course for all staff involved in recruitment
  • New procedures to support students and staff during fieldwork


Soapbox Science

Soapbox Science is an award-winning public outreach platform for promoting women scientists and the science they do, which is administered by staff at the Institute of Zoology. The events transform public areas into an arena for public learning and scientific exploration. Since it’s inception in 2011 by Dr Nathalie Pettorelli (ZSL) and Dr Seirian Sumner (UCL), the initiative has grown globally, showcasing the work of 1000 women in science.

Find out more about Soapbox Science

Photograph of the two presenters stood on boxes in front of a large crowd with the Thames in the background.
Soapbox Scientists engage passers-by on London’s Southbank

Athena SWAN contacts


The Athena SWAN steering group provides overall direction and coordinates Athena SWAN work for the Institute of Zoology.



Ken Norris (Director of Science)



  • Aline Cerqueira (PhD Student)
  • Guy Cowlishaw (Senior Research Fellow & Postgraduate Tutor)
  • Linda DaVolls (Head of Scientific Publications & Meetings)
  • Amrit Dehal (Information Systems Administrator)
  • Stefanie Deinet (Postgraduate Research Assistant)
  • Sarah Durant (Senior Research Fellow)
  • Helen Griffin (Head of Human Resources)
  • Xavier Harrison (Research Fellow)
  • Sergio Henriques (PhD Student)
  • Becki Lawson (Senior Research Fellow & Postgraduate Tutor)
  • Nathalie Pettorelli (Senior Research Fellow & Co-Chair)
  • Chris Sergeant (Animal Technician)
  • Nichola Stallword (HR Head of Training & Organisational Development)