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July 2020

Publication of The Gender-Sensitive University: A Contradiction in Terms?

The Trinity Centre for Gender Equality and Leadership announces the publication by Routledge of  The Gender-Sensitive University: A Contradiction in Terms? in July 2020. Edited by Eileen Drew and Siobhán Canavan (Trinity Centre for Gender Equality and Leadership) it is a collaboration with partners from the SAGE (Systemic Action for Gender Equality) Horizon 2020 project and other eminent academic researchers across the EU. For details of hard copy publication and online open access of the book please use this link:

Representing ten EU countries and multiple disciplines, contributors to this volume include Eileen Drew, Siobhán Canavan, Jemimah Bailey, Rita Bencivenga, Claire Marshall and Tony McMahon (Trinity College Dublin); Yvonne Galligan, Sara Clavero, Mary Kinahan, Julie Dunn and Jean Cahill (Technological University of Dublin); Annie Doona and Andrew Power (Institute of Art Design and Technology Dublin); Jane Gray-Sadran and Laure Squarcioni (Sciences Po Bordeaux); Jadranka Gvozdanović (Heidelberg University); Jeff Hern and Liisa Husu (Örebro University); Mathias Wullum Nielsen (University of Copenhagen); Marion Paoletti (University of Bordeaux); Suzanne Quintin (University of Rennes 2); Tom Millar (Queens University Belfast); and Rodrigo Rosa (University Institute of Lisbon).

Foreworded by University of Dublin Chancellor, Professor Mary McAleese, the book explores prevailing forces that pose obstacles to driving a gender-sensitive university, including the emergence of far-right movements that seek to subvert advances towards gender equality and a managerialism that promotes creeping corporatism. The book demonstrates that an awareness and embedding of gender equality and gender sensitivity are essential for change. The concept of a gender-sensitive university requires re-envisioning academia to meet these challenges, as does developing new forms of leadership, a different engagement of men and a shift towards fluidity in how gender is formulated and performed. Academia can only be truly gender-sensitive if, learning from the past, it can avoid repeating the same mistakes and address existing and new biases. The book chapters analyse these challenges and advocate a range of possibilities to ‘fix it forward’ for real and lasting change.

EPWS Woman Scientist of the Month

This month the European Platform of Women Scientists gives the floor to Prof. Yvonne Buckley, Professor of Zoology, Trinity College Dublin.

Read the interview

SAGE Final Event, Brussels, July 10th 2019

Members of the SAGE consortium were joined by representatives of the European Commission, gender experts, policy makers and members of academic and the research sector to discuss innovative strategies to advance gender equality and excellence in research and innovation. The event marked the European launch of the SAGE Charter of Principles for Gender Equality in Higher Education.

The SAGE (Systemic Action for Gender Equality) Horizon 2020 project final event included a workshop showcasing the SAGE tools developed, presentation of the final results and experiences of the partners, and a panel discussion involving representatives of the next generation of EU gender equality projects.

Launch of the Senior Academic Leadership Initiative

Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D. Minister of State with special responsibility for Higher Education on 21 June 2019 announced the opening of the call for applications to the Senior Academic Leadership Initiative (SALI).  This is a targeted and innovative positive action initiative which aims to accelerate gender balance objectives at senior academic leadership levels in Irish higher education institutions.

Minister Mitchell O'Connor described the initiative as “truly a game-changing moment in Irish academia."

Read more here:

The occasion provided an opportunity for further commitment to the SAGE Charter of Principles for Gender Equality in Higher Education, which was signed by Dr Annie Doona, President of THEA.

From left: Jennifer Brennan (THEA), Prof Eileen Drew (TCD), TCD Provost Patrick Prendergast, Minister Mitchell O'Connor, Dr Annie Doona (THEA), and Jennifer Cleary (IUA)

COIMBRA Group Annual Conference and General Assembly, June 2019

The COIMBRA conference was held at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków from June 5 to June 7, 2019. Representatives of 39 European universities came together to discuss important issues for the future of both European and global academia.

The theme of the annual conference “Women in the University – the past, the present and the future” in recognition of the key importance of inclusiveness and equal opportunities as key values at European universities.

The conference proceedings are available to watch here:

Launch of the SAGE Charter of Principles for Gender Equality in Higher Education

Wednesday 15th May 2019, Royal College of Physicians, Kildare Street, Dublin 2

TCD News Minister Mitchell O'Connor Launches Gender Equality Charter

Provost's Address

SAGE Day marked the launch of the SAGE Charter of Principles for Gender Equality. The Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O'Connor, formally launched the Charter, which documents a set of principles for gender equality using an intersectional approach, inviting Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to commit to concerted action to advance equality and research excellence. It has been developed through the Horizon 2020 Project SAGE (Systemic Action for Gender Equality), coordinated by the Centre for Gender Equality and Leadership at Trinity College Dublin. HEIs across Europe will be invited to sign up to the Charter in acknowledgement of their commitment to the important priorities it contains.

About SAGE

Trinity successfully renews its Athena SWAN Institutional Bronze Award

We are delighted to announce that Trinity College has renewed its Athena SWAN Institutional Bronze Award.

More about Athena SWAN

Athena SWAN event: How to be a Transgender Ally

An event organised by the Faculty of Health Sciences, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin and TCGEL (Trinity Centre for Gender Equality and Leadership).

When? Tuesday 7th May, 6:30pm-8pm
Where? Jonathan Swift Theatre, Arts, 2041A, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Ireland

The expanded Athena SWAN Charter looks at recognising and addressing potential barriers for trans colleagues and students and this event aimed to shine a spotlight on how best to support trans colleagues and students in a University setting through honest and shared personal experiences.

Key Note speaker was CN Lester. CN is a musician, international activist and author (‘Trans Like Me: A Journey For All Of Us’). They are also the co-founder of the UK’s first national queer youth organisation and their work has featured on BBC Radio and the Guardian.

Gordon Grehan from TENI (Transgender Equality Network Ireland) also joined CN Lester. Gordon delivered the ‘Trans 101’ training programme to employers, higher education institutions and helps support and guide their policies and procedures to ensure they are trans friendly.

Athena SWAN Schools Network

TCGEL were delighted to welcome Prof Karen McCloskey to address our growing network of Athena SWAN school champions at the Global Room on 25th February. Prof McCloskey, Director of Queen's Gender Initiative, QUB, and former Chair of the QUB SWAN Champions Network, spoke about building a forum to support Athena SWAN activities, sharing advice from her experience of the structures in Queen's University.

Prof Karen McCloskey, QUB

SAGE Bordeaux

The SAGE partners met in Sciences Po Bordeaux on 18/19 February, as the project enters its final six months. The SAGE Charter will be launched in Dublin on 15th May - details to follow soon!

Sciences Po

LERU Gender Thematic Group meeting

Utrecht, 6 December 2018

A meeting of the LERU Gender Thematic Group was held in Utrecht in December. The Gender Thematic Group gathers Vice-Rectors and senior management responsible for gender equality (and diversity) policies to discuss trends and developments at LERU universities and at the EU policy level, working on topics such as gender balance at universities, women’s careers in research, implicit bias, gender/sex factors in the research process, and relevant EU policies.

Government Launches Gender Equality Action Plan for Higher Education

12 November, 2018

A two-year plan action plan for gender equality in higher education was launched by Minister for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in the National Gallery today.

Under the Initiative new and additional female-specific senior academic positions will be created in the Higher Education sector. This ground-breaking positive action measure directly responds to the significant underrepresentation of women at professorial level and has a central role to play in evidencing the depth and breadth of female excellence in the Higher Education sector.

Download the Gender Equality Taskforce Action Plan for Higher Education 2018-2020

Vietnamese Symposium on Leadership and Public Policy

The Association of Vietnamese Scientists and Experts (AVSE Global) and the Vietnam Institute of Leadership and Public Policy of Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics(ViLEAP-HCMA) held the 1st Vietnam Symposium on Leadership and Public Policy(VSLP-2018), on 30th - 31st October 2018 in Hanoi, Vietnam, with a focus on “Policy Innovation and Leadership in the Digital Age”.

Prof Eileen Drew of TCGEL delivered her paper "Mitigating the Fallout of Women from Corporate Leadership: What Employers Can Do".

10th European Conference on Gender Equality in Higher Education, Trinity College, Dublin 20 - 22 August, 2018

Gallery 1: Conference

Photography by Sasko Lazarov, Photocall Ireland

Gallery 2: Reception

Photography by Sasko Lazarov, Photocall Ireland

Trinity College hosted the 10th European Conference on Gender Equality in Higher Education, opened by the Minister of State for Higher Education on 20th August 2018. Bringing together hundreds of gender equality practitioners, researchers, policy makers and administrators from Europe and beyond, the conference provided an established international forum to discuss and exchange information and experiences on the challenges related to gender in academia, gender equality promotion.

Trinity Centre for Gender Equality and Leadership, in its role as SAGE team member, took this opportunity to launch the SAGE Charter of Principles for Gender Equality. Read more about the Charter here:

Second LERU Gender Conference, 14 - 15 June 2018

UZH and the other 22 members of the League of European Research Universities (LERU) examined implicit gender bias as one significant explanation of the loss of female talent in academia.

photography: Frank Brüderli

'Train the Trainer' - Unconscious Bias Workshops

From 15-17 May TCGEL hosted an Unconscious Bias ‘Train the Trainers’ programme for HEIs, run by a UK best practice commercial provider, for a three-day intensive programme that can then be rolled out in all Irish Universities and Institutes of Technology.

Addressing unconscious bias is a key step in changing culture to advance gender equality in institutions and providing ‘in house’ good practice support will be important in future applications for AS awards by Irish HEIs.

'Your Best Media Self' Workshop, Saturday 26th May, Science Gallery

Women in Research Ireland, with support from TCGEL , presented their first workshop on communicating effectively your research to the media. Ms. Anglea Mezetti was MC for the event, with the main focus on carefully selected panels of media experts. They discussed the best ways to convey your work through print, the internet, TV and radio.

In a world where TV is dominated by ‘manels’ and 72% of news and current affairs broadcasting time is taken by male voices, women and other underrepresented groups need to be seen and heard to equalise the balance of gender voices in media. The goal of this month’s event is to empower and inspire attendees to help achieve this balance.

SAGE Lisbon

The latest SAGE project consortium meeting took place in Lisbon on 3/4 May, and was addressed by the Vice Rector at ISCTE Prof Elizabeth Reis.

Gender Equality Conference, GenoaGenoa 2018

The conference took place on 4 May 2018, organised by the national network of CUG-Comitato Unico di Garanzia(Central Advocacy and Control Committee) dedicated to gender equality, which promotes equality culture, vigilance on procedures and regulations on work-life balance and equality plans for all professional roles in the university, including students.

Zero tolerance for sexual harassment

EU Agencies commit to zero tolerance towards sexual harassment in the work place. In a joint statement, they promise to provide their staff with a safe and trusted place to work. They will make sure that every staff member knows that harassment is never acceptable and will not be tolerated. Read the statement here.

Sexual harassment can happen anywhere – on the sports field, on public transport and in the work place. About half of women in the EU have experienced sexual harassment since the age of 15, that’s up to 100 million women. Enough is enough. We all need to stand up and speak out about violence against women. Watch this video and find out how you can get involved in the White Ribbon campaignWhite Ribbon Campaign today.

#MeToo - Then and Now - Wednesday 7 March 2018, Davis Theatre, TCD

Equal in Name: The Limits of Law, Then and Now at  #MeToo – Then and Now. Professor Deirdre Ahern discussed the disconnect between the recognised values of gender equality in the law and the reality of the impact of continuing gendered decision-making in our world. A century after women gained the vote we take for granted that the law provides guarantees of equal treatment and equal pay. Less certain is the honouring of equality guarantees in practice, as evidenced by continuing debate on the merits of gender quotas in boardrooms and headline revelations of pay gaps for female film and media stars. The equality and fairness debate stemming from the #MeToo dialogue therefore allows a timely reality check in relation to the lived experiences of women as divorced from protections offered by the law.

Historic Irish woman scientist shortlisted for new supercomputer name

As some of you may recall a highly successful exhibition on Ellen Hutchins, Ireland’s First Female Botanist, ran throughout the Spring last year in the entrance foyer of the Anatomy Building. It featured letters and specimens of Ellen’s drawn from the Department’s Herbarium. Now, not only has Ellen been honoured by having an ESB box painted after her [See here], but much more significantly she has also been put forward as one of the people after whom Ireland’s next supercomputer might be named.

1st Mutual Learning Workshop of GENDERACTION

On 7 and 8 February, the First Mutual Learning Workshop of GENDERACTION took place in the premises of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research in Vienna with participants from 17 countries. For more information see

ECU announces new name for merged single sector agency

The new agency to be created by the impending merger of the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU), the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education (LFHE) has announced its new name as Advance HE.

Advance HE will continue ECU’s work on equality and diversity across all four nations of the UK, including colleges in Scotland, as well as its international partnerships. The Athena SWAN and Race Equality Charters will remain a key focus of these efforts.

LERU Launch Event: "Implicit bias in academia" - 18 January

On 18 January 2018, the League of European Research Universities (LERU) presented its new advice paper, entitled "Implicit bias in academia: a challenge to the meritocratic principle and to women’s careers– and what to do about it”.

Gender in Horizon 2020: The Case of Gender Equality Plans

The Round Table has been published in the AboutGender – International Journal of Gender Studies website:

About Gender is a peer-reviewed international journal. Access to contents is free but subject to compulsory registration.

The registration aims both to monitor the accesses and to provide information to registered users.

Link to the Round Table on the Journal website: (after registering to the journal).

2018 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science UK & Ireland Fellowship Awards Programme

The 2018 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science UK & Ireland Fellowship Awards Programme opened on Monday 4th December 2017 for applications. Five outstanding female early-career scientists will be awarded a bursary of £15,000.

The fellowship awards are open to female early-career researchers working in the field of life and physical sciences, engineering, mathematics and computer sciences.

Your help is requested to encourage as many applicants as possible to apply online at

This unique award is designed to provide practical help to aid female researchers in continuing their cutting-edge research. The fellowship can be spent as the fellow wishes; it could buy a piece of scientific equipment, help to cover child care costs or be used to fund conference travel.

Follow the latest updates on Twitter @loreal_uki

TCGEL expertise to guide 10th European Conference on Gender Equality in Higher Education

Mary Mitchell O’Connor, Minister of State with special responsibility for Higher Education today, has announced that Ireland will host the 10th European Conference on Gender Equality in Higher Education, with the newly launched Trinity Centre for Gender Equality and Leadership (TCGEL) set to play a leading role in its organisation.

This is the first occasion that this major biennial conference will be held in Ireland. It will bring together hundreds of gender equality practitioners, researchers and administrators from Europe and beyond. The conference provides an international forum to discuss and exchange information and experiences on the challenges related to gender in academia, gender equality promotion and interventions in higher education and research institutions.

Professor Eileen Drew, Director of TCGEL, said: “Themes covered in previous conferences have reflected contemporary European and host country concerns with a view to identifying new developments and innovative solutions to persistent shared problems of inequalities in higher education and research.”
“Many currently timely topics have been addressed. For example, in the first conference held in 1998, topics like sexual harassment and bullying in universities, and LGTB issues, were key topics. Sadly these topics bear revisiting in 2018.”

With gender equality so actively on the Irish agenda in the HEI landscape, through the entry of Athena SWAN into Irish HEIs and the HEA Review and monitoring, Ireland is well placed to showcase advances toward gender equality at third level and highlight the sector in Ireland as a 'good place to work' and to study.

Read press release in full here