Two NUI Galway Schools Awarded Athena SWAN Departmental Bronze Award

Oct 02 2020 Posted: 10:49 CDT

NUI Galway’s J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics and the School of Physics have been awarded a departmental Bronze Athena SWAN Award in recognition of their commitment to advancing gender equality in higher education and creating cultural change within the University. NUI Galway received an Institutional Bronze award in 2018 along with the University’s School of Medicine

NUI Galway President, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “I would like to congratulate the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics and the School of Physics on the Athena SWAN Bronze Award. It is a reflection on the excellent work of all those involved and is truly impressive that this work was completed as we simultaneously faced the challenges of Covid-19, and sustains our commitment to advancing equality to all staff and students consistent with our values of openness and respect.” 

Speaking upon the announcement of the award, Dr. Tom Acton, Head of School of the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, said: “Following two years of data gathering, gap analysis and self-assessment, leading to the development of a comprehensive and ambitious Action Plan, the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway is delighted to learn that it has been awarded the Athena SWAN Bronze Award. We are committed to inclusion, equality and diversity and to implementing the principles that underpin the Athena SWAN Charter and are thrilled that our hard work and commitment has been recognised with this award.”

Professor Gerard O’Connor, Head of NUI Galway’s School of Physics, said: “I wish to convey my sincere thanks to staff and students for this important public recognition of our commitment to inclusiveness, equality and diversity in the School of Physics. We see this Athena SWAN Award as a milestone rather than a destination –one which is aligned with the School’s future competitiveness in research and teaching and which is integral with all our students future employability.”

The Athena SWAN charter launched in the Republic of Ireland in early 2015. The extension of the charter to Ireland was made possible through funding from the Higher Education Authority. Engagement with the charter is a key pillar of Ireland’s national strategy for gender equality with progress linked to institutional eligibility for funding from Ireland’s major research agencies.

The Athena SWAN Gender Equality Charter was originally established to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment in higher education and research. Since 2015 the charter recognises work undertaken in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL), and in professional and support roles, and for trans staff and students. The charter now recognises work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly.

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