May 08 2018 Posted: 09:03 IST

Advance Higher Education has announced today (Monday, 7 May) that NUI Galway has achieved an Athena SWAN award. Additionally, the School of Medicine has been conferred with a departmental level award. The awards at Bronze level recognises that the University and the School of Medicine have demonstrated a solid foundation for eliminating gender bias and developing an inclusive culture that values all staff.  

Through the implementation of an action plan containing a range of specific, measurable activities, NUI Galway has introduced a range of initiatives focused on gender equality in recent years. Work on implementing these actions and other gender equality initiatives is already underway, and will continue to be fully supported by the University’s senior management team.

These initiatives include:

  • The introduction of gender quotas for University promotion schemes where applicable
  • Inclusivity and unconscious bias training programmes and workshops for managers and staff
  • Specific leadership development programmes for female University staff
  • Targeted supports for parents returning from leave, including research grants to help mitigate the impact of an extended leave period on research activities, return to work programmes and breastfeeding support workshops

Professor Anne Scott, Vice President for Equality and Diversity at NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted to receive an Athena SWAN Bronze award for our institution. It recognises the energetic and sustained work in recent years to address equality challenges in the University. However we recognise that we are still at an early stage in this important journey.”

NUI Galway President, Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh welcomed the result and paid tribute to the work of the Athena SWAN self-assessment team and in particular the Chair, Professor Anne Scott, Vice President for Equality and Diversity and her team in supporting this important initiative. President Ó hÓgartaigh also commented that due recognition should be given to the role played by his predecessor, Dr Jim Browne and the NUI Galway management team. Re-affirming his support for the implementation of the Athena SWAN three-year action plan, he stated that: “NUI Galway embraces diversity and diverse voices as a hallmark of the University and we look forward to reflecting this as a strength of the University, and its hinterland, in NUI Galway’s strategic development.”

Athena SWAN is an internationally recognised Charter which supports the development of a better working environment for all staff and students, and helps institutions meet the requirements and expectations of research funders, align with policy priorities, and meet legislative requirements. The attainment of the Athena SWAN Bronze award has been identified as a key priority in the University’s Strategic Plan 2015-2020, and several funding agencies will make gender equality accreditation in higher education institutions a condition of funding by the end of 2019.

-Ends-

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