University of Galway secures further recognition for progress on gender equality

Photo - Members of the School of Engineering Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team, University of Galway. Credit – Aengus McMahon
Sep 13 2022 Posted: 12:37 IST

University achieves first Athena Swan Silver Award for a School of Engineering in the Republic of Ireland

University of Galway has achieved a significant accolade in the advancement of gender equality, with its School of Engineering securing an Athena Swan Silver Award.

It is the first time a School of Engineering in the Republic of Ireland has achieved such a standard. The Athena Swan Silver award recognises the commitment to advancing gender equality for both staff and students, and in creating evidenced cultural change within the University. 

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, T.D. commended the School’s strides in gender equality noting it was a “fantastic achievement for University of Galway” as the recipient of the silver award.

University of Galway Vice-President for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Helen Maher, said: “All of us at University of Galway are sharing in the congratulations for the School of Engineering. We are greatly encouraged by the significant progress our university has made on gender equality, particularly in the College of Science and Engineering – which has secured 5 Athena SWAN awards”. 

“This latest award demonstrates that our efforts and our commitment on this ongoing journey are embedding equality, diversity and inclusion in our culture and our collective responsibilities.” 

While the Athena Swan Silver Award represents the commitment to equality in the School of Engineering, it also highlights the progress that has been made including the steady increase in the number female undergraduate students, as a result of extensive outreach activities, and increasing trends in the percentage of female academic staff, especially at Associate and Established Professor grades.

Professor Walter Gear, Dean of the College of Science and Engineering at University of Galway, said: “It is fantastic and a great recognition for Engineering to be the first school nationally to achieve Silver status, a process which also sets out our ambitions for the next four years. We are very proud of this achievement which is the first of many steps required to create an equal opportunity environment while embedding the University's values across all science and engineering subjects that is externally recognised as such, and which builds a culture for a stronger intersectional approach where all our staff and students can fulfil their potential. “ 

Professor Edward Jones, Head of the School of Engineering at University of Galway, said: “We are delighted with this achievement. This Athena SWAN Silver award is the culmination of many years of effort through the development of a range of initiatives and action plans, and a wholehearted commitment and engagement by all our staff and students. This award is a significant endorsement of our efforts to date and of our future plans towards progressing gender equality.”


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