Dundalk IT received gender equality award

Michelle O'Keeffe

Reporter:

Michelle O'Keeffe

Email:

michelle.okeeffe@dundalkdemocrat.ie

Dundalk IT received gender equality award

DkIT staff celebrates award

Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) has been awarded the international Athena SWAN Bronze Award by AdvanceHE in recognition of its commitment to advancing gender equality in academia, and in promoting diversity and inclusion for staff and students in higher education.

Welcoming the announcement, Mr Michael Mulvey, PhD, President of DkIT said: “We are delighted to receive confirmation of the Athena Swan Bronze Award and I applaud the immense contribution of our staff in helping us achieve this recognition.

“Equality, diversity and inclusivity are central to our strategic objectives and these values lie at the very heart of the DkIT vision to drive the educational, economic, social and cultural development in North Leinster-South Ulster.

“This accreditation represents the very best of what academic organisations can achieve when it comes to providing a more equitable environment for its whole community. This award has come at an important time in our development as we progress our plans towards the establishment of a Technological University for the region.

“Our commitment towards gender equality will remain very much part of our culture and identity as we continue to evolve.”

DkIT’s submission was developed by the Athena SWAN project co-ordinator, Ciara O’Shea and overseen by Head of Research & Graduate Studies, Dr Tim McCormac in conjunction with the Anthea SWAN Self-Assessment Team (SAT).

Dr McCormac added: “I’m delighted that the Athena SWAN review panel has unanimously agreed to award DkIT the institutional bronze award status until November 2024. It is a great testimony to the hard work of the institute’s Athena SWAN SAT who have been instrumental in driving the equality agenda within DkIT.

“We now look forward to focusing on, and implementing, our ambitious Athena SWAN action plan which sets out our commitment to the principles and promotion of equality, diversity and inclusion in all aspects of institutional activity.

“I would like to pay particular thanks to Ciara O’Shea for her dedication to compiling our successful submission and to the Athena SWAN SAT who worked tirelessly to engage colleagues in their areas to ensure that their voices were heard.”

The Athena SWAN Bronze Award application process includes in-depth analyses of qualitative and quantitative information to identify key issues with gender equality, and a four-year action plan to help address these areas.

Ciara O’Shea added: “We are delighted to receive confirmation of this award which is an important validation for our efforts to eliminate gender bias in higher education and develop an inclusive culture that values all staff.

“We have developed a comprehensive action plan focusing on equality, diversity and inclusion which we have started to implement.

“I look forward to progressing the action plan and seeing positive changes in the institute community.”

Athena SWAN is Advance HE’s Gender Charter, and acknowledges the actions undertaken by Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) with relation to gender equality issues. The Athena SWAN Charter was first launched in Ireland in 2015 in a major national initiative supported by the Higher Education Authority