Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI)

Photo (L–R): Professor Rosemary O'Connor, UCC President John O'Halloran, Dr Anne Moore and Professor Justin McCarthy.

UCC School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology achieves Athena Swan Bronze Award for commitment to gender equality

The School’s efforts to promote gender equality have been recognised with a Bronze Athena Swan Award.

The School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology has earned a departmental-level Bronze Athena Swan Award, in October 2021. This follows a submission process involving an extensive self-assessment that identified obstacles in the career progression of women. We developed specific actions to overcome these obstacles to improve working conditions for everyone in the School. Guided by our Action Plan in School of Biochemistry Cell Biology Departmental Bronze Application , we are committed to addressing these equality challenges and to promoting an environment of equal opportunities for all of our staff and students. We are excited to build on our work to ensure that our staff and students can fulfil their professional and personal goals in an equitable, inclusive and supportive environment.

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. In May 2015 the charter was expanded in the UK to recognise work undertaken in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL), and in professional and support roles, and for trans staff and students. The charter now recognises work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly, and not just barriers to progression that affect women. The Athena Swan charter launched in the Republic of Ireland in early 2015. 

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. Athena Swan at UCC.

UCC School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology was recognised for its achievement at the 2021 Athena Swan awards ceremony on Wednesday 20 October 2021, with the Minister for Higher Education, Simon Harris TD, in attendance. The School’s award is valid until April 2025. The Athena Swan assessment panel praised the School for good practice to implement and promote a professional development plan (PDP) scheme with research staff as a training and career planning opportunity.

The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion committee (EDI) will now progress the Athena Swan agenda and work collaboratively with staff and students to ensure principles of equality, diversity and inclusion are embedded in all aspects of the School’s work. 

Athena SWAN Bronze Award

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