Trinity College Dublin’s champions for seeking equality for women in higher education and research in STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine) disciplines today received landmark Athena Swan awards at a special ceremony held at the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland.
The awards were presented by Ann O’Dea, CEO and Co-founder of Silicon Republic, and founder of the highly successful Women Invent campaign to champion and promote the role of women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths).
Trinity College Dublin this year won a bronze institutional Athena SWAN award for advancing gender equality, while three of its Schools (Physics, Chemistry, Natural Sciences) also received bronze awards.
Trinity is one of only two institutions in Ireland – along with the University of Limerick – to be acknowledged with these 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, but 2015 marked the first year they were also accessible to Irish institutions.
Director of the Women in Science & Engineering Research (WiSER) Centre, Professor Eileen Drew, said:
“Securing these prestigious Athena SWAN awards really is a major milestone for Trinity College."
"They copper-fasten the achievements we have already made towards gender equality and will pave 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 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.