Athena SWAN Charter

The Athena SWAN Charter was established in 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment in higher education and research.

In May 2015, the charter was expanded to recognise work undertaken in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL), and in professional and support roles, and for trans staff and students. The charter now recognises work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly, and not just barriers to progression that affect women.

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.

UCD signed the Athena SWAN charter in 2015 and received its second Athena SWAN Bronze Institutional Award in 2020 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.

Higher education institutions in Ireland are now required to hold Athena SWAN gender equality accreditation to be eligible for research funding from Science Foundation Ireland, the Irish Research Council and the Health Research Board.