UCD unveils strategy and action plan putting EDI at the heart of university life

Posted 4 March, 2019

University College Dublin has launched a new strategy and action plan aimed at creating an environment which promotes equality and reaps the benefits of diversity and inclusion. 

“We want to ensure that employees and students can thrive in UCD, able to participate fully in their work and study, in a respectful environment where they can reach their full potential,” said UCD President Professor Andrew Deeks who launched the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy and Action Plan, 2018-2025.

“This policy goes beyond legislative requirements… [our] strategy sets out six objectives and the related actions, including measures of success over the course of the next seven years.

“This strategy won’t be achieved by any one particular action but rather through the implementation of many smaller actions, all of which will contribute to UCD being a great place to work, learn and develop,” he said.

Promoting and maintaining diversity in the workplace is crucial for recognising talent said Martin Shanahan, CEO of IDA Ireland - the agency responsible for encouraging foreign direct investment into Ireland.

Speaking at the launch, Mr Shanahan said that businesses with a healthy balance of men and women were more likely to outperform their competitors, as too were those with employees from a wide mix of ethnic, social, and sexual backgrounds.

Closing the launch, Professor Judith Harford, Vice-Principal for EDI at the College of Social Sciences and Law said that while UCD was “heading in the right direction” – highlighting that 29% of its undergraduates were now from under-represented groups – there was still much work to be done on EDI.

UCD’s new equality, diversity and inclusion strategy and action plan was developed by the UMT EDI Group, chaired by Professor Colin Scott, College Principal for Social Sciences and Law, and UCD Vice-President for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.

Established in September 2015, and supported by the Equality and Diversity unit, the working group advises the University on how best to mainstream equality, diversity and inclusion throughout the University.

Marie O’Connor, the new chair of the University Governing Authority was present at the event.

A founder member and the country lead for the 30% Club in Ireland, which promotes gender diversity in business, Ms O’Connor was appointed by the Government in November 2017 to lead a taskforce on Gender Balance in Higher Education in Ireland.

By: David Kearns, Digital Journalist / Media Officer, UCD University Relations