Athena SWAN Charter
The Athena SWAN Charter was launched in the U.K. on 22nd June 2005. Managed by the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU), the Athena SWAN initiative aims to effect cultural and systemic change in higher education institutions to support gender equality and the career-progression of women in science, technology, engineering, medicine and mathematics (STEMM) disciplines. In 2016 the Athena SWAN Charter was incorporated into the ECU’s new gender equality charter mark, thereby extending the initiative to include the arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law, and to take into consideration the progression of professional, technical and support staff.
The Athena SWAN bronze, silver and gold awards testify to institutions’ and departments’ success in advancing these goals. This entails, inter alia
- working towards increasing the proportion of women employed in higher education institutions;
- improving the representation of women on committees;
- enhancing the transition from postdoctoral researcher to first academic post;
- improving working practices to support career progression;
- supporting women’s networking across higher education institutions.
In addition to the HEA’s statutory responsibility to promote the attainment of equality of opportunity in higher education, both the HEA’s Report of the Expert Group: HEA National Review of Gender Equality in Irish Higher Education Institutions (June 2016) and the Department of Education and Skills’ (DES) Gender Action Plan 2018-2020 have explicit recommendations and actions pertaining to the Charter. The Report of the DES Gender Equality Taskforce revisited the 2016 National Review, endorsing many of its recommendations and expanding on some where appropriate. In relation to the Athena SWAN Charter it recommended the following actions:
- HEIs shall apply for an institutional Bronze award by 2019.
- HEIs should retain their Bronze award until such time as they obtain a Silver award.
- IoTs working towards TU status will be required to show evidence to the HEA, annually through their institutional gender action plans, that they are working together to build gender equality into their merger process.
- Once a TU has been established, it shall be required to achieve a TU bronze award within three years.
- The HEA will have responsibility for determining the optimal timing and requirements in relation to Athena SWAN certification, and whether a HEI is deemed eligible or ineligible for research funding based on their award status.
In response to the final recommended action the HEA issued its Statement on Athena SWAN Charter in Ireland (July 2019) revising the requirements for Athena SWAN certification.
INSTITUTIONAL AWARD HOLDERS
|Name of institution||Award level|
|Cork Institute of Technology||Bronze|
|Dublin City University||Bronze|
|Institute of Technology, Carlow||Bronze|
|National University of Ireland Galway||Bronze|
|Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland||Bronze|
|Technological University Dublin*||Legacy award|
|Trinity College Dublin||Bronze|
|University College Cork||Bronze|
|University College Dublin||Bronze|
|University of Limerick||Bronze|
DEPARTMENTAL AWARD HOLDERS
|Name of institution||Name of department||Award level|
|Maynooth University||Department of Biology||Bronze|
|Maynooth University||Department of Geography||Bronze|
|National University of Ireland Galway||School of Medicine||Bronze|
|Trinity College Dublin||School of Chemistry||Bronze|
|Trinity College Dublin||School of Natural Sciences||Bronze|
|Trinity College Dublin||School of Physics||Bronze|
|University College Cork||Department of Business Information Systems||Bronze|
|University College Cork||School of Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences||Bronze|
|University College Cork||School of Chemistry||Bronze|
|University College Cork||School of Food and Nutritional Sciences||Bronze|
|University College Cork||School of Pharmacy||Bronze|
|University College Dublin||College of Engineering and Architecture||Bronze|
|University College Dublin||School of Agriculture & Food Science||Bronze|
|University College Dublin||School of Archaeology||Bronze|
|University College Dublin||School of Biology and Environmental Science||Bronze|
|University College Dublin||School of Biomolecular & Biomedical Science||Bronze|
|University College Dublin||School of Medicine||Bronze|
|University College Dublin||School of Veterinary Medicine||Bronze|
|University of Limerick||Department of Life Sciences||Bronze|
|University of Limerick||Department of Mathematics and Statistics||Bronze|
|University of Limerick||Department of Physical Education and Sports Sciences||Bronze|
|University of Limerick||Department of Physics||Bronze|
|University of Limerick||Graduate Entry Medical School||Bronze|
|University of Limerick||Kemmy Business School||Bronze|
|University of Limerick||School of Allied Health||Bronze|
|University of Limerick||School of Education||Bronze|
Further to an HEA review of the 3-year pilot of the Athena SWAN Charter in Ireland, a new grant-agreement between the HEA and the ECU has been signed to support the continuation of Athena SWAN in Ireland for the period 1st May 2017–30th April 2020.
*TU Dublin was formed on 1 January 2019. Its largest legacy partner, Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), received an Athena SWAN Bronze award in April 2017. TU Dublin is progressing the legacy action plan of DIT in the new TU. Through the TU Legacy Award process, Advance HE have conferred use of a legacy logo (September 2019) to recognise the ongoing gender equality work in the new TU.