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Culham Centre for Fusion Energy embraces diversity and has adopted the principles of the Equality Challenge Unit’s Athena SWAN charter.

CCFE scientists

CCFE wants to attract employees from all backgrounds and aims to create a welcoming environment where they can achieve their best and contribute to our mission.

We are taking steps to recruit more women and people from other under-represented groups, addressing the historic lack of diversity in our industry. The Athena SWAN accreditation programme, which focuses on increasing the number of women in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Medicine), provides us with industry standards to make the improvements needed to make CCFE a more equal workplace.

Athena Swan Bronze Award logo

CCFE and its operator the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) began working towards Athena SWAN accreditation in 2013. We achieved the Bronze award in October 2015, and received a second Bronze award in May 2019.

Since 2015, UKAEA has used the Athena SWAN scheme as the springboard for a wider programme of changes to bring about a more inclusive workplace culture and practices. Uptake of flexible working practices has increased significantly, and there are a large team of Inclusion Ambassadors and support networks for new parents and LGBT+ staff.

Winning another Bronze Award is a sign of this progress – less than 60% of applications are successful – but we are committed to making further improvements. We are targeting a Silver Award within the next four years as we continue our efforts to become a more diverse and inclusive organisation.

Charter principles:


We acknowledge that academia cannot reach its full potential unless it can benefit from the talents of all.

We commit to advancing gender equality in academia, in particular, addressing the loss of women across the career pipeline and the absence of women from senior academic, professional and support roles.

We commit to addressing unequal gender representation across academic disciplines and professional and support functions. In this we recognise disciplinary differences including:
- the relative underrepresentation of women in senior roles in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL);
- the particularly high loss rate of women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM).

We commit to tackling the gender pay gap.

We commit to removing the obstacles faced by women, in particular, at major points of career development and progression including the transition from PhD into a sustainable academic career.

We commit to addressing the negative consequences of using short-term contracts for the retention and progression of staff in academia, particularly women.

We commit to tackling the discriminatory treatment often experienced by trans people.

We acknowledge that advancing gender equality demands commitment and action from all levels of the organisation and in particular active leadership from those in senior roles.

We commit to making and mainstreaming sustainable structural and cultural changes to advance gender equality, recognising that initiatives and actions that support individuals alone will not sufficiently advance equality.

All individuals have identities shaped by several different factors. We commit to considering the intersection of gender and other factors wherever possible.
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