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School of Genetics and Microbiology Awarded Athena SWAN Bronze Award

We are delighted to announce that the School of Genetics and Microbiology at Trinity College Dublin has been granted a Bronze Athena SWAN gender equality Award by Advance HE/Athena SWAN.

This award recognises a commitment to advancing gender equality for women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and creating cultural change within the School.

The award, granted September 2020, is valid until April 2024.

  Athena SWAN Bronze Award

Background to Athena Swan

The Athena SWAN (Scientific Women’s Academic Network) Charter is the internationally recognised quality mark for gender equality in universities/colleges.

The Charter was established in 2005 by the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) in the UK 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. Figures published by the Higher Education Authority highlight gender inequality as an issue for higher education in Ireland. Across Irish universities, only 19% of professors are women and in Institutes of Technology, women make up 45% of academic staff but just 29% of senior academic staff. In a major national initiative supported by the Higher Education Authority, the Athena SWAN Charter was launched in Ireland in early 2015 to help combat this under-representation.

In May 2015 the scope of the Athena SWAN Charter was expanded to cover gender equality in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law disciplines, staff in professional and support roles, and for trans* staff and students. The Charter, now run by Advance HE, now recognises work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly, not just the barriers to progression that affect women.

Accreditation under the Charter is made at bronze, silver and gold levels. Trinity College Dublin has a bronze medal at institutional level, awarded in 2015 and renewed in 2019, but Schools and Faculties can also apply separately; a number in TCD have already carried out the process.