Trinity wins prestigious Athena Swan Silver Awards

Posted on: 30 August 2023

Trinity College Dublin has won a silver institutional Athena Swan award for advancing gender equality. Two of its schools (Natural Sciences and Chemistry) have also received silver awards.

The awards demonstrate Trinity’s impactful and sustained commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.

Welcoming the awards, Trinity’s Provost, Dr Linda Doyle, said:

“This Silver Athena Swan Award is a huge encouragement as we continue our efforts towards making Trinity a place where equality, diversity and inclusion are fundamental to how we work. It builds on our initial Athena Swan Bronze Awards in 2015 and 2018 and is a great acknowledgement of progress in this sphere.

I want to thank our inaugural Associate Vice Provost for Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (AVPEDI), Professor Clodagh Brook, for initiating work on Trinity’s application for the Silver Athena Swan Award and I also want to acknowledge the work of our current AVPEDI, Professor Lorraine Leeson, and her dedicated team, for their commitment to driving this work and submitting an award-winning application.

I also warmly congratulate our School of Chemistry and School of Natural Sciences on achieving their first silver awards and thank them for their dedication to equality in the University."

EDI team in Provost's garden on a sunny dayTrinity's Equality, Diversity & Inclusion team: Susan Cantwell, Sam Williams, Dr Siobán O'Brien Green, Professor Lorraine Leeson and Aliyah Sy


The Athena Swan Charter is a framework that is used to support and transform gender equality in higher education and research in Ireland and globally. The Charter launched in Ireland in 2015 with Trinity gaining a bronze award that year.

Professor Lorraine Leeson, Associate Vice Provost for Equality, Diversity & Inclusion and Chair of the University Athena Swan Committee said:

“Securing this institutional Silver Athena Swan Award is a remarkable and important milestone in our history representing a College-wide effort that demonstrates our ongoing and sustained commitment to equality over time. Getting to this point has entailed close collaboration with colleagues from across the College: I want to acknowledge the concerted effort and commitment of colleagues on the University Athena Swan Committee, the Equality Committee, and, particularly regarding implementing actions, our EDI and HR colleagues. Working to ensure that Trinity’s mission of embedding equality in all we do is a dynamic and iterative process – we must remain innovative, responsive, evidence-informed, and ambitious as we continue to demonstrate our commitment to this work. By building on our Sustainable Gender Equality Champions Award conferred by the European Commission earlier this year [8 March 2023] and achieving the silver Athena Swan Award today we signal our intent to remain leaders in the higher education sector in this crucial area.”

In winning the silver institutional award, Trinity has joined just one other Irish university, University of Limerick, with that distinction. Eighteen schools in Trinity now hold Athena Swan awards, including the two first-time silver award-winning schools. 

Trinity’s School of Natural Sciences welcomed their first Athena Swan silver award today. Speaking about this achievement, Professor Fraser Mitchell, Athena Swan Champion, and Dr Pepijn Luijckx, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Director, said:

“We are delighted to receive this award. Not only does it acknowledge the dedication that the School of Natural Sciences places on EDI for its staff and students but also provides us with an ideal platform for implementing our new EDI action plan that will run through to 2027.

The School of Natural Sciences has worked hard over the last four years to develop and implement a wide range of EDI initiatives, this award is a fitting acknowledgement for our staff and students.

In being one of the first Schools in Trinity to receive a Silver award, we hope that we can engage with other Schools in aiding them with their applications.”

Professor Graeme Watson, Head of School of Chemistry & Athena Swan Champion, and Dr Larisa Florea, Associate Professor, Athena Swan Champion said:

“Gaining an Athena Swan silver award is validation of our work and efforts over many years to gain traction and show impact when it comes to equality, in particular gender equality in our School. We are thrilled to receive this important recognition in the form of an Athena Swan silver school award today."

Professor Sylvia Draper, Dean of the Faculty of STEM said:

“As a woman in STEM and Dean of the Faculty, I am excited to learn that the Schools of Natural Science and my own School of Chemistry, have secured the College’s first School Athena Swan Silver Awards. These schools have been at the forefront of our EDI efforts. Their ambitions, hard work and implementation plans have led the Faculty charge. Under the new Athena Swan Ireland Framework, they will continue to shape our attitudes to equality of opportunity and attainment in STEM. I am equally delighted to hear the news of our Institutional Athena Swan Silver Award. As a long-standing member of the College’s Athena Swan committee, I know that working together is the key to unlocking College’s potential, and to creating a space in which we all flourish”.  

To read more about Athena Swan in Trinity please visit the website.

To read more about Advance HE and the Athena Swan awards conferred today please visit their website.

Media Contact:

Joanne Carroll | Internal Communications Officer | | +353 86 136 8036