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About Athena SWAN

Athena SWAN Current Action Plan

The UCC Athena SWAN Action Plan 2019-2023 may be viewed here: Athena SWAN UCC Action Plan 2019 - 2023

What is Athena SWAN?

Athena SWAN Ireland

The objective of the Athena Swan Ireland 2021 charter framework is to support higher education institutions, academic departments, and professional units in impactful and sustainable gender equality work and to build capacity for evidence-based equality work across the equality grounds enshrined in Irish legislation. 

Please see the Athena SWAN Ireland website for further information.

UCC has committed to the 2021 Athena Swan Charter Framework Principles (pdf)

1. adopting robust, transparent, and accountable processes for Athena Swan work, including:

a. embedding equality, diversity, and inclusion in our culture, decision-making and partnerships, and holding ourselves and others in our institution/department/professional unit accountable.

b. ensuring active leadership from senior staff, with those in senior roles at the forefront of taking action, and inspiring and fostering dedication and involvement from staff at all levels.

c. collecting equality monitoring data to measure, understand and publicly report on challenges and progress, taking steps when necessary to support and encourage disclosure.

d. undertaking transparent self-assessment processes to ensure priorities, interventions and actions are evidenced-based and inform our continuous development.

e. distributing tasks appropriately, formally recognising and rewarding work and ensuring there is not a disproportionate burden on underrepresented groups.

2. making and mainstreaming sustainable structural and cultural changes to remedy the effects of structural inequalities and social injustices, which manifest as differential experiences and outcomes for staff and students.

3. tackling behaviours and cultures that detract from the creation of an institutional campus culture that is safe, respectful and supportive, including condemning sexual violence and harassment, bullying, discrimination, unfair treatment, or exploitation of staff, students or partners.

4. addressing unequal gender representation across academic disciplines and professional, managerial and support functions, including examining gendered occupational segregation, and elevating the status, voice, and career opportunities of under-valued and at-risk groups.

5. fostering collective understanding that intersectional inequalities must be accounted for in the development of effective equality analysis and actions.

6. mitigating the equality impacts of short-term and casual contracts for staff seeking sustainable careers.

7. supporting flexibility and the maintenance of a healthy ‘whole life balance’ and mitigating the equality impact of career breaks and caring responsibilities.

8. fostering collective understanding that individuals have the right to determine and affirm their gender, and to implementing inclusive and effective policies and practices that are cognisant of the lived experiences and needs of trans and non-binary people.


Athena SWAN Ireland 2021 Charter

Information pack and application forms for Institutions

Information pack and application forms for Academic Departments

Information pack and application forms for Professional Units

Athena SWAN Ireland - EDI Literacy Glossary




Athena SWAN at UCC

UCC has held a bronze Athena SWAN award since 2016, and successfully renewed our institutional accreditation in 2019 under the expanded Athena SWAN Charter.  9 Schools and Departments now hold departmental-level awards at bronze level, and UCC plans to renew our institutional accreditation in 2023 at Silver level. 

Registrar and Deputy President Professor Stephen Byrne chairs UCC's Athena SWAN Steering Group that oversees UCC's Athena SWAN work and the implementation of UCC's Action Plan.  Steering Group members represent a diverse cross section of the university community, including those in STEMM and non-STEMM disciplines, academic and administrative roles, students, and early to mid and late-career roles.

How To Get Started?

If you would like to find out more about making a School or a Professional Unit-level application, please contact Sarah Murtagh, an interim Athena Swan Project Officer at or by phone at 021-4903999.  

Ann King, the University's Athena Swan Project Officer is on leave in 2023. 

We also have more resources on TEAMS and SharePoint – please contact to arrange access.



Athena SWAN

G01 EDI Unit,South Lodge,