The Athena SWAN Charter recognises and celebrates good practice in recruiting, retaining and promoting women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) in higher education. The Charter aims to address gender imbalances in STEMM disciplines, based on the belief that endeavours in these fields will be enriched when they can benefit from the talent of the whole population, and when barriers to progress in academic careers are removed.
UCC has been committed to the Athena SWAN Charter and received a bronze award in 2016, resulting in multiple positive actions that drive for equal representation and commit to organisational change.
As part of our commitment to creating a productive, inclusive environment, the School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology is performing a self-assessment and preparing an application for an Athena Swan Bronze award in early 2021.
The Athena Swan self-assessment process will provide the School with a structured framework to identify areas of action and implementation. This framework will allow us to work collaboratively as a School to influence change and to remove obstacles at major points of career development and progression. A School team, comprised of academic, professional and research staff are currently performing our first self-reflection of how we work in order to identify obstacles in the career progression of women and develop specific actions how these obstacles can be overcome and how working conditions can be improved for everyone in the School.
Obtaining an Athena SWAN Bronze award and being part of the internationally-recognised gender equality initiative will signify the quality of our action plan and will help us to further our commitment to promoting good employment practices for women in science in higher education. It will act as a catalyst for organisational and cultural change and support staff to reach their maximum potential.