News & Events

Athena SWAN success for Chemistry and BEES

14 Jan 2022
Athena SWAN Ireland Logo

The School of Chemistry and  the School of Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences (BEES) have become the first UCC Schools to successfully renew their Athena SWAN accreditation. 

The Athena SWAN Charter framework supports work to transform gender equality in higher education (HE) and research, and is increasingly used internationally as a quality mark for equality initiatives in HE.  Charter members apply for institutional and departmental Athena Swan awards recognising their gender equality efforts.

Chemistry and BEES were among the first Schools in UCC, and nationally, to earn Athena SWAN accreditation when the Charter was introduced to Ireland in 2015.

Commenting on the news, Prof. Astrid Wingler, Head of the School of  BEES, said:

“We are thrilled to be one of the first two schools in UCC to successfully renew our Athena SWAN accreditation! This success is a result of the excellent work by our self-assessment team and wider EDIW committee under the leadership of Dr Pat Meere. We will now focus on implementing our action plan to make further improvements to gender and wider equality in the School.”

Over the past eighteen months, each School conducted self-assessment exercises and surveyed staff to evaluate the impact of a range of equality-focussed measures the Schools implemented following their initial accreditation.  The successful renewal of the Schools’ accreditation effectively endorses their revised and updated equality action plans, which the Schools are now beginning to implement.

Dr. Humphrey Moynihan, Head of the School of Chemistry, said 

"We are thrilled that the School of Chemistry has achieved renewal of its Athena SWAN Bronze award. This is the culmination of much hard work by Dr. Florence McCarthy and the School EDI Committee and also reflects the commitment and enthusiasm for Athena SWAN principles throughout the School. We are looking forward to driving forward our action plan and working towards Silver award status in the coming year.,"

Dr. Pat Meere, who led the BEES Athena SWAN team, said:

"I am delighted that the School of BEES has renewed its Athena SWAN Bronze award status which is a clear endorsement of the School’s commitment, at all levels, to gender equality and inclusivity. I want to particularly acknowledge the fantastic work, support, and collegiality of the BEES Athena SWAN self-assessment team throughout the application process as well as the leadership shown by the School management. " 

Dr. Florence McCarthy, chair of the School of Chemistry’s EDI Committee said:

“We are delighted to have successfully renewed our Athena SWAN Bronze award. This reflects the commitment of staff in the School to equality, diversity and inclusion and the principles of Athena SWAN.  The delivery of our action plan towards 2024 is now a key objective and one we look forward to implementing."

The awards will be formally announced by AdvanceHE Ireland in the forthcoming public announcement of the outcomes of the November 2021 Athena SWAN submission round.



Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Unit

Comhionannas, Éagsúlacht agus Ionchuimsitheacht

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