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Professor Valerie Gibson (Cavendish Laboratory) and Dr Mateja Jamnik (Computer Laboratory) have both received a Royal Society award for their efforts to increase and advance women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

They are among four individuals and two organisations recognised by the inaugural Royal Society Athena Prize, which celebrates individuals or organisations who have contributed most to the advancement of diversity in STEM in their communities. They received their awards in a ceremony at the Royal Society’s annual diversity conference on 31 October.

Gibson (above, left) was recognised for her impact on the culture at the Cavendish Laboratory and at CERN in becoming more accepting of life beyond work and in the introduction of a child policy.

Gibson is Head of the High Energy Physics Research Group at the Cavendish Laboratory and the School of Physical Sciences Equality & Diversity Champion at Cambridge. She spearheaded the Cavendish Laboratory’s Athena Swan Gold Award in 2014. The Cavendish was the first – and remains the only – university physics department in the UK to achieve this recognition of its development of employment practices that support and further the careers of women.

Jamnik (above, right) was recognised for founding women@CL, an initiative targeted at computer science which has started to change the culture in computing departments nationwide

The purpose of the women@CL network is to put in place a positive action programme for women in computing research, with a particular focus on interdisciplinary research, leadership and enterprise. The programme consists of career development activities including regional and national workshops, mentoring and networking. 


Date awarded

07 November 2016

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Val Gibson (Left), Mateja Jamnik (Right)