Working in Chemistry

Department of Chemistry University of Oxford

The Department of Chemistry has the largest number of employees and visitors from overseas requiring visas in the University, and is committed to fairness and equality for all students and employees. The Equality and Diversity Group incorporates males and females from all categories of students and employee groups within the Department. This group meets quarterly and focuses on all areas of equality, including gender, race, LGBT, religion, disability etc., putting in place actions to address any perceived or actual inequality and developing and promoting equality and diversity within the Department.

One particular area of focus has been to tackle the unequal representation of women in science and to improve career progression for female academics. The Department’s work on this area has been recognised when it was awarded the Bronze Athena SWAN award in November 2012 and Silver Award in November 2015.

The Athena SWAN Charter recognises and celebrates good employment practice for employees working in higher education and research. Originally designed for Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine, it has now been broadened for all women in higher education, including professional and support employees, and trans students and employees. The scheme recognises good work in equality throughout the career pathway, from Outreach activity for school children through to professorships, and for professional and support employees in academia.

Women in Chemistry

The Department has excellent support mechanisms for its female and other minority students, researchers and professors, including mentoring, support for grant applications and practice interviews. Details of our current female and BME researchers and their research can be found at

Our famous historical alumnae include Baroness Margaret Thatcher, who studied chemistry at Oxford before establishing her career in politics, and Professor Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin, who remains the only British female to receive a Nobel Prize.