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Silver Athena Swan Award for UCD School

Posted 3 May, 2023

The UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science has received a (opens in a new window)Silver Athena Swan Award for their commitment to gender equality amongst faculty, staff, and students.

The first School at University College Dublin to achieve the honour, the Silver award represents ongoing efforts in achieving equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) by assessing current practices and culture, identifying key issues, and demonstrating progress and success in addressing them.

“I am delighted to congratulate the School of Agriculture and Food Science, the first School to achieve a silver Athena Swan award in UCD,” said (opens in a new window)Professor Colin Scott, Vice President for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and Co-chair of UCD Gender Equality Action Group.

“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.”

(opens in a new window)Professor Frank Monahan, Head of UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science added: “We are delighted to achieve an Athena Swan Silver Award. It has been a real privilege to witness the positive impact the School’s engagement with Athena Swan has had among our School community.”

The UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science were recognised for a Silver Award based on a number of steps taken aimed at driving gender equity and representation, including: 

  • Greater EDI awareness across the School, and a high uptake of EDI training provided by UCD.
  • A Mentorship programme to support career development and application for academic promotion.
  • Seven women achieved academic promotion, three of whom were promoted to professorship.
  • Female graduates from the School’s undergraduate programmes increased from 42% in 2018/19 to 51% in 2020/21.
  • Introduction of gender balanced speaker list for Annual School Seminar Series.
  • Campaigns to increase visibility of women in Agriculture and Food Science across social media, school promotional material, events, and webinars.
  • Held a Women’s Writing Retreat

“The Athena SWAN Silver Award is a wonderful validation of the commitment from the Leadership within our school to promoting gender equality and inclusivity,” said (opens in a new window)Professor Trudee Fair, Athena Swan Chair, UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science.

“It also recognizes the strong ethos across the School’s Staff and Student Body to support each other and the National and International Agricultural Community.”

Twenty-four Schools in UCD are now Athena Swan accredited, and as an institution, UCD first received an Athena SWAN Bronze Award in 2017, and had its accreditation renewed in 2020 in recognition of the University’s work towards gender equality.

(opens in a new window)Professor Emma Sokell, Co-chair of UCD Gender Equality Action Group said: “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.”

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

To contact the UCD News & Content Team, email: newsdesk@ucd.ie