College marked the 2007 International Women's Day with a number of exciting events, celebrating diversity and collaboration between women from arts and sciences.
The Centre for Gender & Women's Studies (CGWS) organised a Future Leaders seminar featuring Jane Williams of the Sia Group and Martina Harford of the Smurfit Kappa Group to start the day.
The official launch of TCD's celebrations followed this event. Trinity's Vice Provost, Professor Ruth Byrne, launched the celebrations. Professor Jane Ohlmeyer, Erasmus Smith's Chair of Modern History and Head of the School of Histories and Professor Sheila Greene AIB Professor of Childhood Research delivered a series of short speeches to mark the occasion.
Following the launch, a colourful procession of students performed a dramatic presentation of a selection of statistics on gender equality issues in Ireland. The students wore items of purple clothing representing the official colour of International Women's Day and performed a range of facts and figures including: women represent 46% of the labour market; 91% of lone parents are women and 13% of professors in Trinity College are women.
Linking to the International aspect of the day, Professor Jane Grimson, speaking from Front Square, stressed that "education - particularly of girls and young women - is a central element in strategies to lift the least developed countries of the world out of poverty. Trinity is planning to partner with universities in Africa to work towards ensuring that young women there have the same opportunities to avail of higher education as women in Ireland have enjoyed for over 100 years. This will ensure that they can take their full place in society and in shaping their country's future."
The day was finished off by a special screening by the Dublin University Gender Equality Society of the Lilya 4 Ever, which was accompanied by an introductory talk by Jennifer Redmond of the CGWS, on prostitution and trafficking.
International Women's Day was organized by a collaborative team including the Centre for Gender and Women's Studies (CGWS), the Centre for Women in Science and Engineering Research (WiSER), Dublin University Gender Equality Society (DUGES), Music and Media Technologies, Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering and the School of Drama, Film and Music and the Trinity College Equality Officer.
The LGBT Society Room was open all day every day this week, with tea and coffee as usual, and also films were shown in the afternoons. The Soc Room is on the second floor of House 6 (above the Students' Union Shop) - and students were invited to pop in any time during the week, stay as long as they liked, and pick from their library of dvds.
As part of Anti-Racist Workplace Week, Trinity College's Vice Provost, Professor Ruth Byrne, launched a series of events which will take place throughout the College campus this week, highlighting awareness around the issue. Trinity College has a long history of student and staff diversity, with students from 91 countries spread across the six continents. Many of TCD staff have also traveled from across the world to join Trinity College, with several departments having up to 10 or 12 different nationalities in their midst. This racial diversity includes staff in academic, administrative, technical and support areas.
Vice Provost, Professor Ruth Byrne, stated at the launch of the Anti-Racist Workplace: "The growing internationalisation of our staff and student body reflects Trinity's standing in the world as a leading university, and the increasing globalisation of the educational arena. It also reflects the significant and major changes in Irish society in recent times. The resulting multicultural community in Trinity provides a welcome diversity of experiences and perspectives that is of great benefit to us all."
"A full appreciation of our cultural diversity can enrich our unique Irish experience. Achieving this balance is an important goal for Trinity and part of the university's contribution to our changing Irish society. We are committed to ensuring respect and dignity in the workplace for all our staff and students. This week provides us with an opportunity to celebrate our multicultural community."
The response by Trinity to Anti-Racist Workplace Week reflects its commitment to the new national partnership agreement, Towards 2016, that racism in the workplace will be proactively addressed.
Based on a theme of 'Integration in the Workplace,' the College has devised events which highlight issues directly relating to racial integration such as a series of focus groups entitled Working in a multi-cultural environment; Handling Racism Issues; Diversity in the Workplace for supervisors, and those who are directly involved in handling issues of racism in the College. The Irish Congress of Trade Unions will be presenting its Workplace Initiative for Employee Learning and Development which focuses on skills for the workplace, diversity and equality, and English language training for staff. In addition, the catering department in the College will be providing an international dish every day during the week.
The Chief Executive Officer, of the Equality Authority, Niall Crowley is also a guest speaker on Tuesday (November 7), presenting a seminar on the 'Integrated Workplace' to both staff and students in the College. This week also marks the launch of an Inter-University Equality and Diversity group, of which Trinity College is a member. The group is a collaborative group comprising all seven universities which meets regularly to discuss issues around racism, and equality. This is an exciting opportunity for the College to develop the inter-university agenda, and participate in shared learning and best practice.
At the end of the week's activities in Trinity, its newly appointed Equality Officer, Karen Campos McCormack, along with the Staff Office's Personnel Officer, Louise Power will be reporting to the Equality Committee in relation to the activities and outcomes of the Anti-Racist Workplace Week with a view to formulating an action plan for the coming year. The Equality Committee is responsible for the promotion of diversity and equality in College.
Anti-racist Workplace Week is an annual event, which is run by the Equality Authority in the Republic and Northern Ireland, in order to highlight issues of racism in the workplace. Anti-Racist Workplace Week is a key element of the National Action Plan Against Racism, which aims to develop a more inclusive intercultural society in Ireland.