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Athena SWAN

Recognising advancement of gender equality: representation, progression and success for all.


Background to the Athena SWAN Charter

The Athena SWAN Charter is a recognition and award scheme for positive gender practice in Higher Education, administered by the UK’s Equality Challenge Unit (ECU).
ECU’s Athena SWAN 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 in higher education and research. The Charter evolved from work between the Athena Project and the Scientific Women’s Academic Network (SWAN), to advance the representation of women in science, technology, engineering, medicine and mathematics (STEMM).
In May 2015 the scope of ECU’s Athena SWAN Charter was expanded to cover gender equality in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law disciplines. staff in professional and support roles, and for trans* staff and students. The Charter now recognises work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly, not just the barriers to progression that affect women.

Athena SWAN in Ireland

In June 2013, the Centre forWomen in Science and Engineering Research (WiSER), Trinity College established a network of HEIs in Ireland and Northern Ireland along with key stakeholders, the Higher Education Authority (HEA); Science Foundation Ireland (SFI); Irish Research Council (IRC); Irish University Association (IUA) to explore the feasibility of pursuing the Athena SWAN process. The seven Irish Universities and stakeholders met first in October 2013 and now collaborate as the Athena SWAN Ireland Committee that made a joint proposal to the ECU for an extension of AS to the Irish HEI sector. This proposal led to the launch of the Athena SWAN Charter in Ireland in February 2015 by the Minister for Education and Skills, Ms. Jan o 'Sullivan TD.

Athena SWAN and Trinity College

Following the launch of Athena SWAN in Ireland, Trinity College was among the first tranche of Irish applicants as part of the April 2015 call for applications.
Under the scheme a University may apply for awards at academic unit level, in addition to applying at institutional level. Building upon the gender transformational work already undertaken in three pilot schools (Physics, Chemistry, and Natural Sciences) for the INTEGER Project, Trinity College applied for an institutional award, and the pilot schools applied for Athena SWAN departmental awards.

In July 2015 the results of the April call were announced and Trinity were successful in achieving an institutional Athena SWAN Bronze awards as well as three Bronze school awards.


The Trinity College submissions can be accessed through the links below.


Celebration of Athena SWAN awards August 2015

Trinity College Dublin Wins Landmark Athena SWAN Awards for Advancing Gender Equality in Higher Education and Research 30th July 2015


Last updated 16 November 2015 Diversity & Inclusion (Email).