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Launch of Trinity Centre for Gender Equality and Leadership

Regent House

11th October


Good evening,

Welcome everyone to the launch of the Trinity Centre for Gender Equality and Leadership – or TC GEL, a particularly apt acronym which we hope will stick.

TC-Gel builds on the impressive work achieved by WiSER, Trinity’s Centre for Women in Science and Engineering Research, to recruit, retain, return and advance women in the STEM fields. TC-Gel’s remit has now been extended beyond STEM to all disciplines and support areas across the university. The new Centre seeks to deliver sustainable structural and cultural change, and a working environment that exemplifies good practice and equality throughout, building on the success of the Athena SWAN Bronze Institutional Award.

Athena SWAN is a universally recognised award against which universities can benchmark themselves. It is about more than ‘fixing the numbers’ – it represents a way of changing and improving the culture.

Gender equality is for everyone in Trinity – women and men and non-binary, in all faculties and areas, and for academic, research, professional and support staff, and students alike.

Inclusivity, equality and diversity are core values for Trinity College Dublin, and are enshrined in our Strategic Plan.  We strive to create an inclusive College community in which everyone can participate at all levels and where all are recognised fully for their contribution to the university. 

The more we can embed this principle the more excellent we will be in research and teaching.

TC-Gel will focus on supporting support the University in delivering its strategic objectives to:

  • Develop and implement exemplary gender equality practices;
  • Advance a structural change process to incorporate gender-balanced representation at all stages and levels;
  • Act as a national leader in driving the Athena SWAN Charter in Ireland; and
  • Contribute to the development of international and national good practice, expertise and research on gender equality.

I thank:

  • the HEA for its continuing attention to gender equality through its report and upcoming Task Force; and
  • the TC-Gel staff - Eileen Drew, Claire Marshall and Susan Cantwell; and
  • the convenors of the College Athena SWAN Self Assessment Teams: Jane Grimson, Sylvia Draper, Celia Holland, James Murray and Aline Vidotto.

All are contributing towards a ‘gender equal’ campus.

And now, to launch TC-Gel, it gives me great pleasure to welcome the Chancellor, a woman who has done more than almost anyone else to advance the cause of gender equality in Ireland, and indeed internationally.


She needs no introduction. She is a trailblazer in her life – the first female senator of this university, the first female President of Ireland, the first female Chancellor of the University of Dublin – and she has consistently used the eminent positions to which her abilities have placed her, to advance the cause of gender equality.

She put the issue starkly in context when she said: “In a society where the rights and potential of women are constrained, no man can be truly free. He may have power, but he will not have freedom.”

In office, and out of office, she has moved the agenda forward, with persistence but also steadfast tolerance. If we are going to get to the right place, we must all get there together.

It is typical of her commitment and generosity that she joins us today for this important event.

Ladies and Gentlemen, to launch TC-Gel – the Trinity Centre for Gender Equality and Leadership – please welcome the Chancellor, Dr Mary Robinson.

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