Department of Education & Skills, Marlborough Street, Dublin D01 RC96 mary.mitchelloconnor@oir.ie 01-8892199

Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D, welcomes the latest Athena Swan awards.

The Minister for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D., has welcomed the Athena Swan awards that were announced this week.

The Athena SWAN Charter is a flagship accreditation scheme which recognises action to address gender equality within our higher education institutions.

Two additional third level institutions have been successful in receiving Bronze awards. These are Cork Institute of Technology and the Institute of Technology Carlow. These bring to eleven the total institutional bronze awards made to date, including the award to the DIT in 2018.

In addition, eight new Departmental awards were also made in three institutions, bringing to twenty the total such awards made to date.

The Minister said, ‘The involvement of our third level institutions with the Athena Swan initiative has been a very positive development, indicating a commitment on the part of institutions to effecting cultural and systemic change to support gender equality in higher education.’

The Bronze Athena SWAN award serves as the initial level of award, certifying an institutions’ commitment to the 10 key principles of the Athena SWAN Charter. Institutions are required to perform a critical self-analysis to identify problem areas and indicate that a plan has been developed to address these.

Bronze awards must be renewed after 3 years, after which institutions seeking to retain their award must demonstrate real progress in meeting their objectives.