UCD receives Athena SWAN Award on Gender Equality

Posted March 16, 2017

University College Dublin has received the Athena SWAN Bronze Institutional Award in recognition of its commitment to improving gender equality.

The award is given to higher education institutions that have demonstrated a comprehensive understanding of gender equality issues and have enacted an action plan to tackle them.

UCD signed the Athena SWAN charter in 2015. It has delivered the following actions:

  • The appointment of a Vice-President for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
  • The establishment of an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Group reporting to the University Management Team
  • A new HR strategy and faculty development processes integrating gender equality
  • The development of an Equality Impact Assessment Tool, which will enable and require all policy developers to ensure that UCD policies are inclusive and promote equality and diversity
  • The introduction of a social levy, to distribute the costs of leave

“Receiving this award is a welcome recognition of UCD’s commitment to our community to enhance gender equality in the university,” said Professor Orla Feely, Chair of Athena SWAN Steering Group and Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact.

“Diversity is highlighted in the university’s strategic plan as one of the core values of UCD, and one of our strategic objectives is the attraction and retention of an excellent and diverse cohort of students, faculty and staff.”

By the end of 2019, Higher Education Institutions in Ireland will be required to hold an Athena SWAN Bronze award to be eligible for research funding from Science Foundation Ireland, Irish Research Council and Health Research Board.

Athena SWAN was established in 2005 and is operated by the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) in the United Kingdom. It aims to promote the advancement of women’s careers in higher education and research.

The Athena SWAN charter commits education institutions to adopt ten principles to tackle gender inequality and the underrepresentation of women in senior roles in higher education.

By: Jonny Baxter, digital journalist, UCD University Relations