We don’t want to just secure an Athena SWAN award. We want to ensure that female students and staff including those from traditionally under-represented, discriminated or marginalised groups reach their full potential within University College Dublin and the UCD School of Medicine.
Medicine and Academia are two domains which have been traditionally male-dominated, paternalistic and drawn from a narrow socio-economic group. However today, 70% of the applicants to our undergraduate programmes and 64% of School staff are female. Notwithstanding this, like many academic institutions, female staff predominate at lower academic and administrative ranks in the UCD School of Medicine.
The School is emerging from a very challenging period of economic downturn where academic and academic-support resources have declined while student numbers have increased substantially. As a research-intensive University, our ambition for discovery and enquiry has also been impacted by reductions in external grant funding.
Our success in navigating this challenging period is in no small way due to the efforts of our dedicated and hardworking staff. However, we are acutely aware that we must make a concerted effort to ensure that this burden is carried equitably across the School.
We cannot progress as a School unless all staff and all students are given the opportunity to flourish and achieve their full potential. The lessons that we learn by assessing gender equality within the School can inform our engagement and support of other minority groups, will ensure that all staff are appropriately recognised and will result in our continued success as a School.
We don’t want to just secure an Athena SWAN award. We want to be a School that fully reflects the Athena SWAN charter in our values and actions.