Trinity College Dublin has won a bronze institutional Athena SWAN award for advancing gender equality. Three of its Schools (Physics, Chemistry, Natural Sciences) have also received landmark bronze awards.
The Athena SWAN programme run by the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) and implemented by Trinity College aims to advance women’s careers in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM) employment in higher education and research.
Welcoming the award, Trinity Provost, Dr Patrick Prendergast said:
“Inclusivity, equality and diversity are core values for Trinity College Dublin, and are enshrined in our recent Strategic Plan. We strive to create an inclusive College community in which women and men participate at all levels and where all are recognised fully for their contribution to the university. These are fundamental principles that underpin Trinity’s excellence."
Established in 2005, the Athena SWAN Charter originally rewarded institutions in the UK that were actively tackling gender equality challenges. This is now accessible to Irish institutions for the first time.
In winning the bronze institutional award, Trinity has joined just one other Irish university, the University of Limerick with that distinction.
Director of the Women in Science & Engineering Research (WiSER) Centre, Professor Eileen Drew, said: “The prestigious Athena SWAN award is a major milestone for Trinity College. It will copper-fasten the achievements we have already made towards gender equality and paves the way for further gender actions that follow the practices of the best UK Athena SWAN award holder universities: Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial, York, Edinburgh, UCL and Queens University Belfast.”
Among the policies adopted by Trinity to level the gender playing field are training and awareness sessions in unconscious bias for key decision-makers, leave arrangements post-maternity (or equivalent caring/sickness) leave to help academic staff to pursue their research horizons and leadership training for women academics and administrators.
Next year, the Athena SWAN programme will expand to include the arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law.