Gender at UCD

UCD is committed to supporting gender diversity, equality and inclusion in the University. For more information on how UCD is making strides in gender equality and how you can support UCD in contributing to positive change for everyone, continue reading below and visit our Athena SWAN section

Gender Equality Action Group

The Gender Equality Action Group (GEAG) co -chaired by Professor Colin Scott and Dr Emma Sokell oversees the implementation of the Gender Equality Action Plan and also acts as the Steering Group for University Athena SWAN applications. It also encourages and supports Schools across all disciplines to apply for Athena SWAN awards and carry out a mock assessment role for School applications prior to submission. This group has a broader remit in terms of addressing gender-related issues and promoting gender equality that may fall outside the scope of Athena SWAN.

Any queries or comments in relation to gender equality can be sent to and will be considered by the Gender Equality Action Group.

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Chair/UMT Sponsor

The Gender Equality Action Group (including Athena SWAN) is co - chaired by Professor Colin Scott and Dr Emma Sokell.  The Chair may appoint a Deputy Chair, to fulfil specific tasks including representation on the UMT Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Group. 

Terms of Reference

The Gender Equality Action Group will:  

  • Lead on the progression of the University on gender initiatives such as membership of the Athena SWAN Charter;
  • Oversee the Implementation of UCD’s Gender Equality Action Plan (GEAP) and support project leads;
  • Conduct a gap analysis to identify areas for further consideration which are not covered by the GEAP but are necessary to respond to emerging policy changes on gender equality;
  • Report to UMT (through the UMT Sponsor);
  • Liaise with the UMT Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Group;
  • Support Schools to apply for Athena SWAN applications, including:
    • Agree with Schools the timing of submissions for Departmental Awards,
    • Support School Self-Assessment Teams, and
    • Participate in relevant quality assurance processes (e.g. peer review);
  • Specifically act as the Self-Assessment Team (SAT) for the Athena SWAN awards, and prepare a submission on behalf of the University for subsequent Athena SWAN awards;
  • Promote the GEAP and all gender initiatives within the university community; 
  • Liaise with UCD representatives on relevant UCD and national committees.


Membership and Term of Office

The membership of the Group will include standing members and those appointed to the group for a 3 year term.  At that point the membership and terms of reference will be reviewed.  Membership of the Group will be representative of the University Community including: gender balance and diversity; disciplines and grades; faculty, staff and students; relevant committees and networks; and expertise in areas such as equality and organisational development/ cultural change.

It is anticipated that there will be approximately 4 meetings per year.

Name Area
Professor Colin Scott (Co - Chair) Vice-President for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
Dr Emma Sokell (Co - Chair) School of Physics - Science
Marcellina Fogarty Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, HR
Dr Sara Benedi Lahuerta School of Law
Professor Kath Browne School of Geography
Rory Carey Culture and Engagement, HR
Dr Paula Carroll School of Business
Tom Costelloe Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
Michael Donohue School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering
Dr Jennifer Doyle Access and Lifelong Learning
Ruth Harrison School of Business
Dr Simon Kelly School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Dr Arun Kumar School of Veterinary Medicine
Professor Jason Last Office of Registrar
Dr Antoinette Perry College Vice-Principal for EDI, College of Science 
Ruairí Power
SU Welfare Officer
Dr Meriel McClatchie School of Archaeology - Social Sciences & Law
Paula McGarry China Joint Colleges
Dr Catherine Mooney Computer Science
Dr Emma Nicholson  Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems
Eimear O'Reilly Equality Diversity and Inclusion
Mark Simpson Culture and Engagement, HR
Dr Veronica Sofianos Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering
Dr Saoirse Tracy School of Agriculture & Food Sciences - Health & Agricultural Sciences
Dr Arun Kumar School of Veterinary Medicine - Science
Lisa Bennett Finance Office
Joanna O'Keeffe (Secretary to the GEAG) Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Unit, HR 


Athena SWAN at UCD

University College Dublin has received its second Athena SWAN Bronze institutional award in recognition of the university’s work towards gender equality. To achieve this accreditation, an institution must demonstrate that it has undertaken a thorough self-assessment of gender equality challenges and has developed a detailed action plan to tackle them.  The UCD Gender Equality Action Plan 2020-2024 was prepared by the Gender Equality Action Group and its Working Groups, in a process that involved external benchmarking, an EDI employee survey, focus groups and consultation across the university.  It includes actions relating to recruitment, promotions, leadership, work practices, organisation and culture.  The implementation of the Plan is already underway, and includes mechanisms to track progress on each of the actions.  It will be updated to include the actions that arise from the review currently underway of the university’s policy and procedures on Dignity and Respect.