Two NUI Galway schools given Athena SWAN award for advancing gender equality

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Two schools at NUI Galway have been awarded a departmental Bronze Athena SWAN Award, recognising their commitment to advancing gender equality.

The University’s School of Physics and the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics received the accolade which acknowledges departments’ efforts to create cultural change within Universities.

Congratulating the two schools on the award, NUI Galway President Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said that it is a reflection on the excellent work of all those involved.

“[It] 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,” he said.

The Athena SWAN Gender Equality Charter was created to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women STEMM fields.

Since 2015 the charter recognises work undertaken in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law, and in professional and support roles, and for trans staff and students. It now recognises work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly.

Speaking about the announcement, 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.”