IMA Policy on Women in Mathematics


At its November 2012 meeting, Council gave its strong support to the positive action of finalising a policy on women in mathematics. Further information relating to this decision and the IMA Council statement on women in mathematics follow below.


The IMA Council discussed the development of a ‘women in mathematics’ policy at its 2011 Strategy Review Weekend. Following the lead of the panel of the International Review of Mathematical Sciences in the UK, 2010, the IMA decided that it should adopt a ‘positive action’ policy, building on initiatives developed in the research community and extending the policy throughout the IMA.
The IMA, led by IMA Vice President Learned Society, Professor Paul Glendinning, considered this issue, and held discussions with Professor Gwyneth Stallard, Chair of the London Mathematical Society (LMS) Women in Mathematics Committee. The IMA concluded that it would adopt a policy based on that of the LMS, whose Council has considerable experience in this area and already runs several successful, related initiatives. It would also lend public support to related LMS initiatives.
The IMA is very grateful that the LMS has worked to develop this area over a period of more than ten years. The LMS has operated a ‘Women in Mathematics Committee’ since 1999, and approved a Council Statement on Women in Mathematics in 2008.
The IMA has no wish to duplicate work already carried out by the LMS, and therefore has developed its policy based on the LMS statement.

IMA Statement on Women in Mathematics

The IMA will:
(a) be aware of and seek an appropriate gender balance on its committees and working groups, and encourage the Nominating Committee to give similar attention in its proposals for election;
(b) keep under review the regulations governing its membership, prizes, awards and grants to ensure that they do not inadvertently deter or fail to recognize people with non-standard career patterns;
(c) actively encourage and facilitate the nomination of women for its prizes and awards, and ensure that it considers women when it is proposing nominees for external prizes and positions;
(d) actively seek to include women speakers in its meetings and workshops;
(e) continue to increase the emphasis on gender and diversity in all aspects of our journals;
(f) expect that the organisers of conferences and activities who are seeking grants and support from the Institute will invite both male and female speakers.
In addition to the above the IMA endorses the work of the LMS in this area, as follows:
  1. LMS Women in Mathematics Committee
    The IMA does not plan to form a parallel committee, but supports the LMS Committee through its representation on the Committee by a member of the IMA Research Committee.
  2. The Women in Mathematics Day annual event
    The IMA encourages members to attend this event.
  3. The Annual Mary Cartwright Lecture
    The IMA encourages members to attend this event.
  4. Good Practice Scheme (GPS)
    The IMA endorses the LMS GPS, and welcomes the associated benchmarking survey of university mathematical sciences departments.
  5. Support for those who wish to apply for the Athena SWAN Award
    The IMA endorses the initiative of the LMS to assist mathematical sciences departments to develop the good practice required for this award.


LMS Good Practice Scheme

The LMS Good Practice Scheme (GPS) has been mentioned, at point 4, above, as an initiative which the IMA endorses. Further details of the scheme can be found at the following web page:

LMS Women in Mathematics

Further information on LMS Women in Mathematics activities can be found at the following web page:
March 2013