Technological University of the Shannon awarded European Gender Equality Champion Prize

Maura O'Shea

By Maura O'Shea

Posted: 16 May, 2024

Technological University of the Shannon were announced as the Newcomer Gender Equality Champion for 2023. The awards were announced on 15 May 2024 at a ceremony in Brussels, by Iliana Ivanova, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth and Marc Lemaître, Director General for Research and Innovation, European Commission.

In 2022 the European Commission launched an EU Award for Gender Equality Champions to recognise and celebrate significant achievements in the implementation of gender equality plans by academic and research organisations.

Head of International, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and Communication of the Higher Education Authority, Sheena Duffy said:

This award for Technological University of the Shannon demonstrates the continued commitment of Irish universities to tackling gender inequality in higher education. Congratulations to TUS on this recognition of the collective work undertaken to implement the institution’s Gender Equality Plan.”

Ireland’s success in the EU Gender Equality Champions awards acknowledges the work being undertaken in Irish higher education institutions to tackle inequality.

The award for Technological University of the Shannon follows previous winners from Irish higher education institutions in the 2022 edition of the awards: Trinity College Dublin, Maynooth University and South East Technological University.

Minister O’Donovan said “I wish to congratulate TUS on their achievement which once again signifies that our universities are leading the way at EU level on gender equality.  I am delighted to see TUS getting the recognition they deserve for the incredible work they are doing to create more equitable university campuses”.

The HEA’s Second National Review of Gender Equality in Irish Higher Education Institutions, published in 2022, reflects on the progress made by Irish higher education sector in tackling gender inequality and the perception of gender equality among higher education staff. The Review sets out recommendations for the sector to ensure the continued advancement of gender equality in the higher education sector.


Background Information on the EU Award for Gender Equality Champions Awards

First edition in 2022

This award introduced in 2022 is the European Commission’s initiative to recognise and celebrate the outstanding results achieved in the implementation of gender equality plans by academic and research organisations.

The 2022 winners were announced by Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, in an Award Ceremony facilitated by Peter Dröll, Director for Prosperity in DG Research and Innovation. Three of the four prizes were awarded to Irish higher education institutions.

Trinity College Dublin were named Sustainable Gender Equality Champions, an award that recognises organisations that can demonstrate a significant and sustained record of activity and a high level of achievement through the implementation of their Gender Equality Plan.

Maynooth University were winners in the Newcomer Gender Equality Champions category, which recognises organisations that have recently started implementing a Gender Equality Plan and can demonstrate the most progress in its implementation and achieved results.

Finally, South East Technological University were named as Inclusive Gender Equality Champions, an award that recognises organisations that have developed the most innovative inclusive Gender Equality Plan addressing intersections with other social categories such as ethnicity, social origin, sexual orientation and gender identity (LGBTI+) or disability.

Why there is a prize

The EU Award for (Academic) Gender Equality Champions aims to:

The prize also intends to raise public awareness of the importance of addressing gender equality in academic and research organisations through institutional change and incentivise a high degree of commitment to implementing inclusive gender equality plans.

The prize will create a community of champions which can inspire other academic and research organisations to become gender equality champions themselves.

The European Research Executive Agency (REA) manages the prize and its winners are selected by an independent expert jury for each prize category.



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