What is Athena SWAN?
The charter was established in 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment. It has since been expanded to address gender equality more broadly, not just barriers to progression that affect women. The charter also now includes Arts, Humanities, Social Science, Business and Law (AHSSBL) departments as well as professional, managerial and support staff working in HE.
Athena SWAN awards are conferred at Bronze, Silver, and Gold to institutions and departments. Bronze award holders are recognised for their detailed self-assessments of gender equality, their commitment to targeted action plans, and their capacity to deliver these plans and bring about change. Silver and Gold awards recognise institutions and departments that have a record of activity and achievement in relation to gender equality and are leaders of good practice in the sector and wider community.
Engagement with the Athena SWAN charter is a key pillar of Ireland’s national strategy for gender equality in higher education. The Department’s Gender Action Plan 2018-2020 has explicit recommendations and actions for HEIs in relation to the attainment of Athena SWAN certification and eligibility for research funding. Institutional access to Athena SWAN Ireland is provided by the Higher Education Authority.
Athena SWAN Ireland is managed by Advance HE, a registered charity that works with governments, sector agencies, institutions and individuals to support higher education. Advance HE provides resources, training and recognition schemes—one of which is the Athena SWAN Charter.
Find out more about Athena SWAN Ireland.
Athena SWAN at IADT
IADT plans to apply for Athena SWAN bronze accreditation in 2022, under the revised charter framework for Ireland. The self-assessment process in the Institute is overseen by the self-assessment team (SAT). The SAT is reflective of the gender profile of the staff body, with representation from academic and PMASS staff, and students are represented by the IADTSU VP Welfare and Equality.
- Claire McGing (Chair) – EDI Manager
- Rachel Skelly (Secretariat) – EDI/Consent Administrator
- Anne Wright – Lecturer (FACT)
- Barry Dignam – Head of the Department of European Projects
- Conor Logan – Finance Manager
- David Quin – Lecturer (FACT)
- Denise McMorrow – Student Experiences Manager
- Dr Andrew Errity – Head of Department of Technology + Psychology
- Dr Nicola Fox-Hamilton – Lecturer (FACT)
- Dr Tina Kinsella – Head of Department of Design + Visual Arts
- Jeff Taylor – Lecturer (FEH)
- Kai Fic – IADTSU Welfare & Equality Officer
- Louise Glynn – Lecturer (FACT)
- Niamh Clifford – HR Manager
- Rebecca Roper – Head of Teaching & Learning
- Stephen Boyd – Lecturer (FEH)
The SAT’s Terms of Reference can be accessed here.
The SAT also has four working groups to support it in advancing specific aspects of the Athena SWAN framework. The working groups are:
- Data analysis
- Culture and organisation
- Care leave and flexible working
- Career development
The IADT Gender Equality Action Plan 2021-24, which was approved by Governing Body in November 2020, can be found here. The action plan will be merged with the new IADT Athena SWAN Action Plan in 2022.