Athena SWAN Bronze Award for the School of Chemistry
The School of Chemistry is pleased to announce that it has been accredited with an Athena SWAN Bronze Award in the latest round of applications. Chemistry, along with the Schools of Pharmacy and BEES, are the first recipients of the Departmental award in UCC, following the University’s institutional award in 2016.
The Athena SWAN Charter is the internationally recognised ‘quality mark’ for gender equality. Administered by the U.K.’s Equality Challenge Unit, accreditation indicates that an institution has demonstrated commitment to advancing gender equality across all academic disciplines. Accreditation is made at bronze, silver and gold levels.
The HEA negotiated the extension of the Athena SWAN Charter to Ireland in 2014 and in December 2016, Ireland’s research funding agencies announced that higher education institutions will be required to have attained a bronze institutional Athena SWAN award by the end of 2019 in order to be eligible for research funding.
The School of Chemistry’s Athena SWAN self-assessment team, chaired by Prof. John Wenger, spent almost one year collecting and analysing data in order to devise an Action Plan, which will now be implemented over the next 3 years. The analysis showed that while Chemistry has a very good gender balance at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, there is a notable fall off in female representation at the postdoctoral researcher stage. Key actions have been devised to address this point in the academic career pipeline
Responding to the announcement, Prof. John Wenger, Chair of the Athena SWAN Committee, commented: ‘This is great news and a fantastic achievement for the School of Chemistry. I look forward to working with all staff and students in the School as we implement our Action Plan for change.’