News 2018

Athena SWAN success for BEES

8 May 2018
Prof Sarah Culloty (Head of School of BEES), Prof John O'Halloran (Deputy President & Registrar) and Prof Astrid Wingler (Chair of School of BEES Athena SWAN Steering Group) Image: Tomas Tyner/UCC

Athena SWAN awards for UCC’s School of Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences (BEES), School of Chemistry and School of Pharmacy

Three UCC Schools have received Athena SWAN awards, recognising their commitment to promoting good employment practices for women in science in higher education. The Schools of Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences (BEES), Pharmacy and Chemistry are the first in UCC to earn departmental-level Athena SWAN accreditation.

“I congratulate everyone whose hard work is recognised in these awards,” said Professor John O’Halloran, Deputy President & Registrar and Chair of UCC’s Athena SWAN Steering Group.

”Athena SWAN is about creating better working environments for everyone. The application process provides a framework for Schools to reflect on how local practices, systems and policies promote gender equality.”

Prof. O’Halloran described the submission process as “both arduous and enlightening; teams in each School have met monthly for the past 18 months, analysed extensive data and consulted widely with colleagues and students.”

Pharmacy, Chemistry and BEES are now implementing equality action plans, aimed at improving workplace practices to benefit everyone. Implementation of these plans is being supported by the Athena SWAN team, who form part of UCC’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Unit. EDI Director Dr. Karl Kitching noted “the action plans are an exciting indication of how equality and diversity principles are being embedded in everyday practice at local unit level in UCC.”

All Irish HEIs are signatories to the Athena SWAN Charter principles; these are now expanding to include not just science and medicine, but also disciplines in the arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law. UCC, which has held an institutional Athena SWAN award since 2016, plans to extend Athena SWAN accreditation across the University in the coming years.

The award success was announced by the UK-based Equality Challenge Unit. The Schools’ successful applications will be published on their websites shortly.

School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences

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