Intersectionality is the complex, cumulative way in which the effects of multiple forms of discrimination (such as racism, sexism, and classism) combine, overlap, or intersect especially in the experiences of marginalized individuals or groups.

Maynooth University has an Intersectionality Working Group as part of its Athena Swan work. This group has looked at the intersections of gender and race, and trans individuals in recent years. 

Our Equality Officer is also a member of the national Higher Education Authority/AdvanceHE Intersectionality Working Group.    

For more information, contact the Equality Officer.

Athena Swan Intersectionality Working Group

The Athena SWAN Ireland Intersectionality Working Group was established in 2019 by the National Committee for Athena SWAN in Ireland with an initial goal to develop a cross-sectoral approach to collecting data on staff and student ethnicity in the Irish higher education sector. The group is open to staff members from HEIs with academic or professional expertise in this area as well as representatives from the HEA.

As part of the HEA’s ongoing work in the area of staff equality, diversity and inclusion, and further to the collection of data on HEI staff by gender, it is envisioned that HEIs will return staff ethnicity data to the HEA. In this context, the Athena SWAN Ireland Intersectionality Working Group has produced a statement to provide staff in HEIs with information on the rationale for collecting ethnicity data and the complexities of categorisation. The statement also provides some context for race equality work in higher education as well as recommended actions for HEIs to consider. The statement has been endorsed by 25 HEIs, as well as by the IUA and THEA.

Maynooth University is represented by Dr Chandana Mathur and Sam Blanckensee on the National Athena Swan Intersectionality Working Group. The group made the following statement in relation to the Use of Ethnicity Categories. Maynooth University is committed to collecting ethnic identifier data in order to allow us to progress toward a more equitable society.