GMIT achieves Athena Swan Bronze Award for advancing gender equality

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Galway Daily news GMIT achieves Athena Swan Bronze Award for advancing gender equality

GMIT has been awarded an Athena SWAN Bronze Award for work to advance gender equality among staff and students in recent years.

GMIT was awarded the Athena SWAN Bronze Award from Advance HE this week along with its partners in the Connacht-Ulster Alliance IT Sligo and LYIT.

President of GMIT Dr Orla Flynn said that achieving this award is a “big milestone” for the IoT, which shows their commitment to “enshrining equality of opportunity” across the institute.

“We are now looking forward to identifying and prioritising Departmental applications and implementing our Gender Action Plan. As one of the few female Presidents in higher education in Ireland I am especially pleased to see gender equality as part of a broader value system that is inclusive and supportive of all.”

The Athena SWAN Charter is a framework used across the globe to support and transform gender equality within higher education and research, created in 2005 and first brought to Ireland in 2015.

The charter recognises institutes’ commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment.

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.

All of Ireland’s universities and institutes of technology and several colleges participate in Athena SWAN Ireland and to date there are currently 56 Bronze award holders.

To achieve the award, institutions are required to perform a critical self-assessment and analysis to identify both good practice and problem areas and to develop a four-year action plan that addresses these challenges.

The GMIT Action Plan has 68 actions that will be implemented over the next three years spanning areas such as inclusive recruitment practices, work allocation, training and development, flexible working and infrastructure.

Mary Nestor, Chair of the GMIT Self-Assessment Team said “I am delighted that the hard work that went into the application by our Self-Assessment Team has been rewarded.

“We engaged in a rigorous self-assessment process which was key in highlighting all sorts of issues for academic and professional services staff.”

“We look forward to now beginning the real work of embedding gender equality in our culture, policies and practices by implementing the Gender Action Plan and to becoming a leader in this area for our staff and students.”