Awarded by Advance HE, the cornerstone of the application to achieve Athena SWAN accreditation is a 4-year action plan that addresses challenges particular to the department and discipline.
Institutions and departments in Higher Education Institutions are required to perform a critical self-reflection and analysis to identify both good practice and problem areas in relation to gender equality for staff and students.
Congratulating the departments on their achievements, President of Maynooth University, Prof Philip Nolan said: “These awards are a welcome recognition of a commitment to creating a culture of gender equality, and of Maynooth University’s commitment to embed the core values of equality, diversity and inclusion at departmental level.”
Maynooth University Vice-President for Equality and Diversity, Dr Gemma Irvine, stated: “I wish to congratulate the departments of Chemistry and Psychology whose hard work and dedication is represented in the achievement of these awards. Their action plans are advancing intersectional gender equality for their staff and students, and feed directly into Maynooth University’s Institutional Gender Equality Action Plan. Equality, diversity and inclusion are everyone's responsibility, and these Bronze awards demonstrate the commitment at departmental level to embed these core values into the way we work together as educators, researchers, administrative, professional and technical staff, along with students in our diverse scholarly community.”
Five MU departments have now achieved Athena SWAN Awards. In addition to the new awards to the departments of Chemistry and Psychology, the departments of Biology, Geography and Law each hold Bronze Department Awards.
Maynooth University’s Athena SWAN applications in Chemistry and Psychology were prepared by self-assessment teams (SATs) that are representative of each department. The departments were assisted in this work by the Office of the Vice-President for Equality and Diversity, the Institutional Research Office and Human Resources.
About Athena SWAN:
The Athena SWAN charter is a framework that is used across the globe to support and transform gender equality in higher education and research. By being part of Athena SWAN, institutions and departments are committing to a progressive charter; adopting these principles within their policies, practices, action plans and culture. The charter launched in Ireland in 2015 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment. The charter has since been expanded to include arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL) and staff working in professional, managerial and support roles. The framework also now recognises work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly, including consideration of the experience of trans staff and students, as well as the underrepresentation of men in particular disciplines. In 2017, Maynooth University was the first HEI in Ireland to apply for, and subsequently achieve, an Athena SWAN Bronze Institution Award under the expanded charter, in recognition of its commitment to progressing gender and intersectional equality for staff and students. Five MU departments have achieved Athena SWAN Awards: in addition to the new awards to the departments of Chemistry and Psychology, the departments of Biology, Geography and Law each hold Bronze Department Awards.