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Women in science

The Institute of Cancer Research, London, trains the next generation of cancer researchers. Our aim is to create a supportive work environment and provide good career support for both women and men, and to remove any unnecessary barriers to career progression for all.

Scientist working at a fume cupboard

Many factors contribute to the fact that far fewer women than men are represented at senior levels in science. These include the working environment, which can present particular challenges to women in progressing their careers.

We know that the ICR can play our part in promoting change by identifying the challenges faced by women in establishing their careers, and doing our best to address them.


The Athena Swan Charter

The ICR is proud to hold an Athena SWAN Silver Award which recognises that we have made significant activity and achievement in promoting gender equality in research, supported by evidence of the impact of our Athena SWAN activities

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Our women in science initiatives

We’ve identified the specific career transition points where we need to provide more support for our female researchers, to make sure that women are as successful as men in taking the next steps. We are putting in place a series of initiatives to help support our researchers at these transition points, and have made real progress in creating a more flexible and family-friendly working environment.

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Our female researchers

The ICR already has many world-class, high-profile female researchers. We hope our new measures will open the way for the next generation of excellent female researchers.

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I am personally committed to enhancing the career opportunities for all our female staff across the organisation. I believe that the actions we take to support women here at the ICR will help us attract and retain the very best scientists across the board. And we will do much better science if everyone – regardless of gender – is supported and encouraged as much as possible throughout their careers. If we fail to realise the full potential of half our workforce we are not only letting women down, but the whole research enterprise too Professor Paul Workman Chief Executive of The Institute of Cancer Research, London
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