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Athena SWAN for Schools

Athena SWAN for Schools

Page Updated: 29 April 2024

The Athena SWAN School accreditation recognises a Schools commitment to gender equality for staff and students and advancing the careers of women in research and employment in higher education. Schools must undertake a self-assessment of gender equality challenges and develop tailored actions plans to tackle gender inequality and enhance inclusion. UCD is committed to supporting Schools achieve Athena SWAN accreditation as part of its University level UCD Gender Equality Action Plan 2020-2024 overseen by the University Gender Equality Action Group. The University has committed to the following School level targets under the action plan.  

UCD has one silver, seventeen Athena SWAN Bronze School Awards and one Athena SWAN Bronze College level Award covering 6 Schools. Twenty-four UCD Schools are covered by Athena SWAN awards and implementing Gender Equality Action Plans.

Getting Started

UCD Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Unit support Schools in the accreditation process.  To commence the Athena Swan procees in UCD, contact (opens in a new window)edi@ucd.ie and request a meeting. The EDI Project Officer will support those chairing the Athena SWAN process, onboarding the Self-Assessment Team, attending SAT meetings and guiding Chairs throughout the Athena SWAN process.

A suite of resources is available from the (opens in a new window)EDI Unit to support Chairs establish a self-assessment team and throughout the accreditation process.

UCD Athena SWAN School Resources:

  • Athena Swan application form and handbook
  • School Gender Analytics Dashboard
  • Data visuals template
  • UCD Athena SWAN Guide to Data
  • Staff and Student Survey and Consultations Templates
  • Benchmarking reports
  • Self-Assessment Team Meeting Supporting Documents
  • Successful Athena SWAN Submissions
  • Data Analysis and Athena SWAN
  • Developing a Gender Equality Action Plan
  • Athena SWAN Ireland FAQs: (opens in a new window)Click here

Athena SWAN Ireland  

Selecting your Chair / Self-Assessment Team (SAT)

In addition to the chair or co-chairs, the team should include people from a variety of backgrounds and with different experiences, with consideration of intersectionality.

Chairing a UCD Athena Swan Self-Assessment Team

UCD requires Chairs to be:

  • A senior academic
  • A minimum of 24 months working in UCD
  • A permanent staff member and passed their probation

If a co-chair model is adopted, the co-chair can be at an earlier career stage. However, it is recommended that early career staff such as Assistant Professors are members of the SAT rather than appointed as co-chairs.

SAT

A proportion of men and women that reflects the gender profile of the School should be represented on the SAT. Where the numbers of women (or men) in a department are very small, it may be that one gender is overrepresented on the SAT due to small numbers, for example: if there are only four women in a department of 25 and two of them sit on an SAT of six, the SAT would be 33% women while the department is only 16% women. It is vital that the composition of the SAT does not lead to a disproportionate burden on underrepresented groups.

A group of academics, professional and support staff, researchers, and students at different grades and levels that is representative of the submitting School. This should include full time and part time staff, and staff on different contract types. The application requires extensive quantitative and qualitative data, which requires in-depth analysis and good presentation, so that it may be readily interpreted by others. You may want to include someone on your SAT who can take the lead on producing relevant data sets.

Individuals with knowledge of, skills and experience in advancing gender equality. This may be a mix of both lived experience and that gained through research and scholarship.

For more information, see Setting up SAT Guide

Athena SWAN Accredited UCD Schools

School/College Accreditation Gender Equality Action Plan
School of Archaeology Bronze Renewal Gender Equality Action Plan
School of Agriculture and Food Science Silver 

Silver Action Plan to follow.

School of Biomedical and Biomolecular Science Bronze  Gender Equality Action Plan
School of Chemistry Bronze Gender Equality Action Plan to follow
School of Biology and Environmental Science Bronze  Gender Equality Action Plan
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems Bronze Gender Equality Action Plan to follow
School of Mathematics & Statistics Bronze Gender Equality Action Plan to follow
School of Medicine Bronze Renewal Gender Equality Action Plan
College of Engineering and Architecture  Bronze Renewal Gender Equality Action Plan to follow
School of Economics Bronze  Gender Equality Action Plan 
School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics   Bronze  Gender Equality Action Plan 
School of Law Bronze Gender Equality Action Plan to follow
School of Physics Bronze Gender Equality Action Plan
School of Politics and International Relations Bronze Gender Equality Action Plan to follow
School of Psychology Bronze Gender Equality Action Plan to follow
School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science Bronze Gender Equality Action Plan to follow
School of Computer Science Bronze (opens in a new window)Gender Equality Action Plan
School of History Bronze (opens in a new window)Gender Equality Action Plan
College of Business Bronze (opens in a new window)Gender Equality Action Plan
School of Veterinary Medicine Silver Gender Equality Action Plan to follow

UCD Schools applying for accreditation in 2024

Schools Award Level Scheduled Submission Date
School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science Silver April 2024
School of Biology and Environmental Science Silver April 2024
School of Earth Science  Bronze April 2024
School of Economics  Renewal Bronze April 2024
School of Philosophy  Bronze November 2024
School of Sociology  Bronze November 2024
School of Social Policy, Social Work, and Social Justice  Bronze November 2024
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Celebrating success

“I am delighted to congratulate the School of Agriculture and Food Science, the first School to achieve a silver Athena Swan award in UCD. The School is a leader in UCD demonstrating the positive change and impact of equitable and inclusive practices that can be achieved through implementation of their gender equality action plan,” Professor Colin Scott, Vice President for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and Co-chair of Gender Equality Action Group, UCD.

Twenty-four Schools in UCD are Athena Swan accredited. 86% of staff working for UCD Schools, and 81% of UCD students belong to UCD Schools delivering ambitious gender equality action plans. To receive accreditation at silver level, a school must implement a four-year gender equality action plan and demonstrate impact through a rigorous data driven 18-month audit of gender equality practices.

Diversity is one of the core values in UCD’s strategy, and one of our strategic objectives is the attraction, development, and retention of an excellent and diverse cohort of students, faculty and staff. The Athena SWAN process is central to our ability to deliver on this objective and deliver on UCD’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy. Professor Emma Sokell, Co-chair of UCD Gender Equality Action Group

UCD Athena SWAN Thought Leadership Series

UCD EDI Unit holds annual thought leadership and good practice events, conferences and webinars on gender equality and inclusion in higher education. Check out our latest webinars on gender equality and inclusion and EDI data.

Gender Equality & Promotions: Professor Caroline Dessent, Physical Chemistry, University of York (Gold Athena SWAN accreditation)

 UCD Gender Equality Good Practice @ School, College & University Level: Professor Frank Monahan, School of Agriculture and Food Science, Dr John Healy, College of Engineering & Architecture, Marcellina Fogarty, Strategic EDI Manager, EDI Unit

Applying for a Bronze and Silver Athena SWAN Award: Dr Victoria Brownlee, Athena SWAN Ireland, Advance HE

Good Practice and applying for a Silver Application: Dr Gabriele Di Chiara, School of Mathematics and Physics, Queens University Belfast

Contact UCD Equality Diversity and Inclusion

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