Both Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and the University of Limerick (UL) have become the first Irish third-level institutions to be awarded Athena Swan awards for their efforts to improve gender equality for women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM).
In its 10th year, the Athena Swan awards, for the first time, admitted eight entries from Irish institutions that have visibly helped women to achieve greater parity in typically male-dominated fields, with TCD and UL being awarded a bronze institutional Athena Swan award each.
The opening of the event to Irish institutions was announced back in February by Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan, with plans in place to run the pilot programme over the next three years through the awards’ parent organisation, Equality Challenge Unit (ECU).
Also, the pair of universities have been awarded a further total of six separate bronze awards covering different fields of research, including chemistry, physics and natural sciences at TCD, and life sciences and statistics at UL.
The awards were presented to the winners by Silicon Republic’s CEO and editor-at-large Ann O’Dea at the event held at the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland in Dublin.
In total, 60 delegates took part in the Athena Swan Charter pilot awards, which opened it up outside of the UK to Ireland, which also included the participation of University College Dublin (UCD), Dublin City University (DCU), Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), Maynooth University (MU), University College Cork (UCC) and the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG).
“We are delighted for TCD and UL that their efforts have resulted in a successful outcome at institution and department level,” said manager of the Athena Swan programme, Ruth Gilligan. “Athena Swan is being picked up all over the world, including Australia and New Zealand, and it is good to see Ireland embracing the charter and recognising the benefits if can have in driving forward gender equality.”
Women Invent is Silicon Republic’s campaign to champion the role of women in science, technology, engineering and maths. It has been running since March 2013, and is kindly supported by Intel, Open Eir (formerly Eircom Wholesale), Fidelity Investments, Accenture and CoderDojo.