Athena Swan

Charter addressing gender challenges and ensuring that practices and policies present no disadvantage to any member of staff or student.

Athena Swan at GMIT


GMIT is delighted to announce that we have achieved the Athena SWAN Bronze Award. This award recognises a solid foundation for eliminating gender bias and developing an inclusive culture that values all staff. The Athena SWAN ethos depends on assuming collective responsibility for gender equality.

To conduct the work required for the Athena SWAN application, GMIT established a Self-Assessment Team and agreed on terms of reference for this group.

The Self-Assessment Team undertook a thorough analysis of gender equality within the organisation and developed a four-year action plan which addresses the issues raised in this assessment. The plan can be downloaded below.

GMIT Athena Gender Action Plan (PDF, 1.68MB)

Athena Swan Charter


The Athena SWAN Charter was launched in Ireland in early 2015. The Charter is a tool for addressing gender challenges and ensuring that practices and policies present no disadvantage to any member of staff or student. 

The Athena SWAN Charter is based on ten key principles.

By being part of Athena SWAN, institutions are committing to a progressive charter, adopting these principles within their policies, practices, action plans and culture.

  1. We acknowledge that academia cannot reach its full potential unless it can benefit from the talents of all.

  2. We commit to advancing gender equality in academia addressing the loss of women across the career pipeline and the absence of women from senior academic, professional and support roles.

  3. We commit to addressing unequal gender representation across academic disciplines and professional and support functions. In this we recognise disciplinary differences including: the relative under-representation of women in senior roles in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL) & the particularly high loss rate of women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM)

  4. We commit to removing the obstacles faced by women, in particular, at major points of career development and progression including the transition from PhD into a sustainable academic career.

  5. We commit to tackling the gender pay gap.

  6. We commit to addressing the negative consequences of using short-term contracts for the retention and progression of staff in academia, particularly women.

  7. We commit to tackling the discriminatory treatment often experienced by trans people.

  8. We acknowledge that advancing gender equality demands commitment and action from all levels of the organisation and in particular active leadership from those in senior roles.

  9. We commit to making and mainstreaming sustainable structural and cultural changes to advance gender equality, recognising that initiatives and actions that support individuals alone will not sufficiently advance equality.

  10. All individuals have identities shaped by several different factors. We commit to considering the intersection of gender and other factors wherever possible.

The charter supports cultural and behavioural change, not just around gender equality but around equality and diversity in all its forms.

Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology has adopted these principles and seeks to embed them in all our activities. Adopting the Charter commits the Institute to removing the barriers that contribute to under-representation. 

Gender Inequality in the Higher Education Sector 


Figures published by the Higher Education Authority (2016) highlight gender inequality as an issue for the higher education sector.

The Gender Action Plan (2018) developed by the Gender Equality Taskforce includes a set of actions which are intended to effect significant change. These documents can be viewed below.