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Athena Swan Institutional Silver Application Consultation - World Café

Athena Swan Institutional Silver Application Consultation 


UCD is currently preparing the Athena SWAN institutional silver application which also involves the development of a four-year Gender Equality Action Plan 2024 - 2028. The involvement of the UCD community is essential to ensure that an ambitious gender equality action plan is developed and that gaps that currently exist are identified and addressed. Whilst the Athena SWAN process and action plan continues to have an emphasis on gender equality, the revised Athena SWAN Charter is now more encompassing of EDI more broadly across all equality grounds as well as intersectionality. To learn more about the revised Athena SWAN Charter please click here.

To support the institutional silver application a number of working groups with broad representation across the UCD community have been established, with co-chairs from an academic and practitioner background, to lead on the development of key aspects of the application and associated actions. 

These working groups are supporting key topics that are essential to achieving gender equality covering:

  • Recruitment
  • Promotions and Career Development
  • Leaves/Flexible Working/Wellbeing
  • Students and Diversity (separate consultation events will be held) 

Membership of each working group can be found here


Employees of all genders across all equality grounds were invited to a consultation event on November 2023 (it is vital that people of all genders across all equality grounds and staff categories get involved to ensure that the next action plan for the University is as inclusive as it can be). This was the first of three consultation events and was undertaken through a World Café style (see further information below) where employees had the  opportunity to give open and honest opinions across emerging themes in relation to the gaps that exists and their ideas as to how the University can best address these.  

The University then held a further two consultation events designed for a specific cohort of employees: 

  •  Student facing employees 
  •  College Administrative employees

The student-facing consultation event for employees was carried out in early January 2024 and was focused on views from employees who work directly with students.  The third consultation event (also held in January 2024) was designed for a specific cohort of employees (college-based employees) who would normally not have the opportunity to give feedback into School or Unit Athena SWAN processes as they fall outside of these structures.

Purpose of Consultation

  • To update on highlights in relation to the implementation of the current GEAP 2020 - 2024
  • To provide an update on key findings from data analysis and key emerging themes
  • To do a deeper dive into key emerging themes to identify gaps and solutions

The following is a flavour of the range of themes that will be discussed

  • Inclusive recruitment
  • Faculty Promotions including experiences with current framework and supports
  • PMS Promotion and Career development
  • Career development challenges and opportunities
  • Workload Allocation and Management for Faculty and Staff – transparency, fairness, job families
  • University Orientation and local level induction
  • Career Development including P4G framework
  • Leaves/Supports such as Family and Carers
  • Flexible Working
  • Dignity and Respect
  • Transgender and Gender Identity and Expression
  • Anti-Racism and Cultural Awareness (intersectionality with gender)

What is a World Café

The World Café is a method which makes use of an informal café setting for participants to explore an issue by discussing it in small groups (up to 10 people per group). Discussions are held in multiple rounds with the café ambience intended to allow for more relaxed and open conversations to take place. Smaller groups rotate between a series of tables discussing a specific talking point at each table (for approx. 10 minutes) with the help of a fixed table host (facilitator) at each table. The intention is to build on the discussion already held by previous participants at each table.

Contact UCD Equality Diversity and Inclusion

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