UCD receives Athena SWAN Bronze institutional accreditation for work towards gender equality

Posted 28 September, 2020

University College Dublin has received a renewal of its Athena SWAN Bronze institutional award in recognition of the university’s work towards gender equality.

First awarded to the University in 2017, this accreditation is given to higher education institutions that have analysed gender equality issues within their institution and have developed a detailed action plan to tackle them.

The UCD Gender Equality Action Plan was prepared by the Gender Equality Action Group, in a process that involved external benchmarking, an Equality Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) employee survey, focus groups and consultation across the University. It includes actions relating to recruitment, promotions, leadership, work practices, organisation and culture.

The Athena SWAN Bronze award process focuses on academic staff but many of the actions will also benefit professional support staff and will bring about cultural change that benefits students.

The implementation of the Plan is already underway, and includes mechanisms to track progress on each of the actions. It will be updated to include the actions that arise from current revision of the University’s Dignity and Respect policy and procedures.

Professor Orla Feely, UCD VP for Research, Innovation and Impact and Chair of the Gender Equality Action Group, said: “The development of our Gender Equality Action Plan drew on significant effort from the Gender Equality Action Group and its Working Groups, along with the UCD EDI team, and I would like to thank them very much for this.

"The implementation of the plan will involve every member of the UCD community, as we work to ensure that we have the policies and procedures we need, that they are implemented robustly, and that our culture in every part and at every level of the University reflects our firm commitment to gender equality.

"We know that we are not yet where we want to be, but the Gender Equality Action Plan sets out the important steps that we will now take to improve our practices and strengthen our culture.”

In addition to the institutional award, eight Schools and one College (consisting of a further six Schools) within UCD have earned department-level Athena SWAN Bronze Awards:

  • UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science (May 2019)
  • UCD School of Archaeology (May 2019)
  • UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science (May 2019)
  • UCD School of Veterinary Medicine (May 2019)
  • UCD School of Biology and Environmental Science (October 2019)
  • UCD School of Medicine (October 2019)
  • UCD College of Engineering and Architecture (October 2019)
  • UCD School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy
  • UCD School of Biosystems and Food Engineering
  • UCD School of Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering
  • UCD School of Civil Engineering
  • UCD School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • UCD School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering
  • UCD School of Economics (March 2020)
  • UCD School of Languages, Linguistics and Cultures (March 2020)