TCD and University of Limerick win gender equality awards

Four third-level colleges unsuccessful in first round of Athena SWAN accreditation scheme

Trinity College Dublin:  TCD  received a bronze award for the institution as a whole and   bronze awards at departmental level for the schools of chemistry,  physics and natural sciences. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Trinity College Dublin: TCD received a bronze award for the institution as a whole and bronze awards at departmental level for the schools of chemistry, physics and natural sciences. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

 

Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and the University of Limerick (UL) have become the first Irish higher education institutions to receive awards for gender equality under a new accreditation scheme.

Four other Irish institutions which applied for the Athena SWAN award failed to make the grade in the first round of applications, although the organisation said they may be successful in future applications.

Both TCD and UL received bronze awards for their institutions as a whole, while Trinity also attained bronze awards at departmental level for the school of chemistry, the school of physics and the school of natural sciences.

Unsuccessful

The UK-based gender equality organisation has been operating the awards in the UK for the past 10 years and it was invited to extend its programme to Ireland amid rising concern here about the under-representation of women in leadership roles in Irish universities. The organisation said the average success rate for first-year applicants for a bronze award in the UK had been 50-55 per cent over the past five rounds.

Trinity said it had adopted a number of policies “to level the gender playing field”, including training and awareness sessions in unconscious bias for decision-makers, and leave arrangements post-maternity (or equivalent caring/sickness) leave to help academic staff.

It has also partnered with the Institutional Transformation for Effecting Gender Equality in Research programme as part of an EU-wide project.