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UCD International Women's Day 2021: "Bridging the Gender Gap - Research and Responses to COVID-19"

Monday 8 March 2021

There is a growing body of research on the impact of COVID-19 on widening the gender equality gap for women in the higher education sector. The higher education sector in Ireland have taken significant steps to progress gender equality through initiatives such as Athena SWAN and the Senior Academic Leadership Initiative (SALI.) This webinar explored recent research on gender equality and COVID-19 and how the higher education sector can best adapt and respond to support women.

Please see webinar below or click (opens in a new window)here.

Guest Speakers:

  • Professor Colin Scott, Vice President for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, UCD and Chair of UCD's Gender Equality Action Group
  • Chryssi Giannitsarou, Economist, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge
  • Dr. Ioana Latu, Department of Psychology, Queen’s University Belfast

Chryssi Giannitsarou is a Reader in macroeconomics and finance at the Faculty of Economics of the University of Cambridge, and a Research Fellow of Centre for Economic Policy Research CEPR). She has recently become interested in the gender gap of academic economists, and is part of the team of (opens in a new window)Project CAPER (Covid-19 and Academic Productivity in Economic Research) which tracks research output in economics in order to quantify the effects of the pandemic containment measures on economists’ research productivity by gender and seniority. 

Dr Ioana Latu is a Senior Lecturer in Social Psychology at Queen’s University Belfast. She obtained her PhD in Social Psychology at Georgia State University, USA in 2010. Before joining Queen’s in 2016, she was an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Rutgers University, USA and a Fellow of the Swiss National Science Foundation at the University of Neuchâtel in Switzerland. Ioana’s research focuses on understanding and reducing intergroup biases, with a specific focus on gender biases in organisational and academic contexts. She is particularly interested in analysing the interpersonal mechanism through which women are negatively influenced by existing implicit and explicit gender stereotypes in actual social interactions such as job interviews and negotiations. Her current research, funded by an EPSRC Inclusion Matters grant, seeks to understand and reduce potentially negative attitudes towards gender equality initiatives in STEM fields. Ioana is a SWAN Champion in the School of Psychology at Queen’s University Belfast, a School which renewed its gold award in 2017. She also teaches Psychology of Gender at the undergraduate level.   

Women @ STEMM

Reporting on the UCDWomen@STEM “Women in AI – Ethical Leadership”

What could have been the best way to mark and celebrate International Women’s Day if not to host a Zoom webinar with Dr. Alessandra Sala, Director of AI and Data Science at Shutterstock and Ambassador for Women in AI Ireland? It was an opportunity not to be missed!

Dr Paula Carroll (Lecturer at the UCD Quinn School of Business - MIS Subject Area, Advisory Board Member of UCDWomen@STEM and Chair of the EURO WISDOM forum) contacted Dr Sala who kindly agreed to participate. This event has also been possible thanks to the support of Dr Alessia Paccagnini (Lecturer at the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School - Banking and Finance Subject Area and Co-Chair of UCDWomen@STEM), Eimear O’Reilly (UCD EDI office), and the entire UCDWomen@STEM team.

The webinar was held via Zoom on March 9th and lasted one hour. Dr Sala introduced herself and shared her own story. Alessandra earned her PhD from the University of Salerno (Italy) during which she had international research experiences firstly at the ETH Zurich (Switzerland) and then at UC Santa Barbara (USA). She started as a post-doc researcher at UC Santa Barbara and then, when she thought she would have been an academic all of her life, she received an offer from Bell Labs in Ireland and moved back to Europe where she started as a senior researcher, progressing as a technical manager and then head of analytics. When Nokia left Ireland, the Bell labs closed and she moved at Shutterstock.

Then followed an interesting discussion with participants’ questions touching upon relevant topics such as how to embrace diversity: Alessandra stated that diversity and women shall be supported because of the skills they have, not as a part of a tick-the-box exercise. This is the reason why, with the Women in AI Ireland chapter she is part of, Alessandra has promoted education of women and minorities so as to allow them to gain relevant skills and being recognized for their talent. Dr Sala also pointed out that AI and big data allow to measure bias; hence, AI can actually be used for greater good! She noted that women seem to have a natural affinity towards AI and data/analytics-oriented jobs due to their inner curiosity and desire to explore, delve deeper into a topic, which is actually the secret of their success. However, actions shall be taken. As Alessandra stated, sometimes it may take as little as asking for balance or attempting something bigger such as what she did with Women in AI Ireland by participating to the foundation of a Certificate as well as a Master in AI while supporting women and minorities.

The key message is that support is paramount: a woman alone can do well but women together can do great!

About the Author: Annunziata Esposito Amideo, B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in Business Analytics at the University College Dublin Quinn School of Business. She serves as an advisory board member for UCD Women@STEM. Together with Dr Paula Carroll, she is part of the EURO WISDOM (Women in Society Doing Operational Research and Management science) Forum, where she acts as a secretary. She is also secretary and member of the OR Society WORAN (Women in OR and Analytics Network).

Please see the webinar below or by clicking (opens in a new window)here.

Padlet initiative
To celebrate International Women's Day, Woment @ STEMM also organised a Padlet initiative wherein everyone could contribute by posting videos, images, inspirational quotes and much more. Everyone was welcome to contribute to the padlet via this link:  (opens in a new window)https://padlet.com/womenstem/olach4jf48opjgad 

"Giving a Voice to Women on the Margins", College of Social Sciences & Law International Women's Day event

To mark International Women's Day 2021, Professor Judith Harford, Vice Principal for Equality Diversity and Inclusion for UCD's College of Social Sciences and Law, hosted a webinar on the theme of  'Giving a Voice to Women on the Margins' on March 8th 1-2pm (GMT). 

Speakers included:

  • Aisling Swaine, Professor of Gender Studies, UCD, whose research focuses on feminist legal theory, gender peace and security and women's experiences of armed violence;
  • Emma Penney, post-doctoral fellow, UCC & former Access student, UCD, whose research focuses on working-class women's community writing;
  • Dyuti Chakravarty, doctoral student in the School of Sociology, UCD, whose research examines women's movements for bodily autonomy in India and Ireland.

School of Veterinary Medicine

This International Women’s Day, the School of Veterinary Medicine welcomed three UCD School of Veterinary Medicine graduates for a panel discussion about how they have chosen to challenge and achieved significant success in their careers.

The Panellists:

  • Delia Grace Randolph, MVB 1990

Professor of Food Safety at the University of Greenwich. Epidemiologist and veterinarian with 20 years’ experience in developing countries, focussing on food safety. Leads research on zoonoses and foodborne disease at the International Livestock Research Institute in Kenya.

  • Ciara Feeney-Reid, MVB 1996

Veterinary practitioner, Practice Manager and Chair of the Farm Animal Welfare Advisory Group. Formerly both the youngest ever and first female President of Veterinary Ireland. Mother of a child with special needs who overcame significant health challenges that changed the trajectory of her career.

  • Patricia Reilly, MVB 1996

Head of Animal Welfare Division, DAFM, Patricia spent 10 years in Brussels, first as a Member of Cabinet with Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn and then Deputy Head of Cabinet for EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport. Veterinary surgeon and graduate of the King’s Inns, Patricia was also Ireland’s first Agricultural Attaché in Central/Eastern Europe.

WITS (Women in Technology and Sience)

To celebrate their 30 year anniversary, WITS ran a Leadership Series of Panel Discussions ((opens in a new window)https://www.witsireland.com/news/wits-leadership-series-2021/).

The theme discussed was ‘Engineering’. The panellists included:

  • Marguerite Sayers, ESB
  • Peter Hendrick, National Broadband
  • Prof. Aoife Ahern, UCD
  • Margie McCarthy, SFI 

Contact UCD Equality Diversity and Inclusion

University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
E: edi@ucd.ie