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Gender equality award for the University of Limerick

Thursday 30 July 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Ivelina Crowley
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University of Limerick and Trinity College Dublin have become the first Irish colleges to receive recognition from an international organisation for their efforts to increase academic gender equality.

They have received bronze Athena SWAN Awards, part of a UK programme that works to further and support equality for staff and students in higher education institutions. The Athena SWAN charter is currently limited to science and related fields, but is being expanded to other disciplines in the UK and perhaps later in Ireland.

It was extended to Ireland in the last year, with UL and Trinity among 10 colleges here that applied for awards.

The granting of bronze awards under the scheme recognises that they have a solid foundation for eliminating gender bias and developing an inclusive culture that values all staff.

Achieving this status follows assessment of numbers and policies in relation to gender equality, and the development of plans to build on the findings.

The development follows the recent announcement of former European commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn as chair of a review for the Higher Education Authority (HEA) of gender equality among staff in publicly funded colleges.

NUI Galway has been subject of criticisms of its recruitment and promotion policies, but it is not the only institution with poor female representation among senior academic staff. Only 14% of professors there and at Trinity are women, but the figure is highest in UL at 31%, according to the most recently-published HEA figures.


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