GMIT delighted to be awarded Athena SWAN Bronze

Wednesday, March 31, 2021 Press Office
Press Release

Award recognises work undertaken in advancing gender equality for staff and students

GMIT is delighted to announce it has been awarded an Athena SWAN Bronze Award from Advance HE. This coveted award recognises extensive work undertaken in recent years to advance gender equality for staff and students. 

The Athena SWAN Charter is a framework used across the globe to support and transform gender equality within higher education and research. Established in 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment, the Charter is now being used across the globe to address gender equality more broadly, and not just barriers to progression that affect women. Advance HE members can apply for institutional and departmental Athena SWAN awards recognising their gender equality efforts.

Engagement with the charter is a key pillar of Ireland’s national strategy for gender equality with progress linked to institutional eligibility for funding from Ireland’s major research agencies. All of Ireland’s universities and institutes of technology and several colleges participate in Athena SWAN Ireland and to date there are currently 56 Bronze award holders.

To achieve the award, institutions are required to perform a critical self-assessment and analysis to identify both good practice and problem areas and to develop a four-year action plan that addresses these challenges.  The GMIT Action Plan has 68 actions that will be implemented over the next three years spanning areas such as inclusive recruitment practices, work allocation, training and development, flexible working and infrastructure.

President of GMIT Dr Orla Flynn says: “Achieving the Athena SWAN Bronze institutional award is a big milestone for GMIT. It signals our commitment to embedding the principles of Athena SWAN across our entire organisation and to enshrining equality of opportunity in all our practices. We are now looking forward to identifying and prioritising Departmental applications and implementing our Gender Action Plan. As one of the few female Presidents in higher education in Ireland I am especially pleased to see gender equality as part of a broader value system that is inclusive and supportive of all.”

“I want to congratulate our partners in the Connacht-Ulster Alliance, IT Sligo and LYIT who, today, were also awarded Athena SWAN Bronze. We are now looking forward to harmonising our three Action Plans in to a single plan to be implemented for the new Technological University.”
Mary Nestor, Chair of the GMIT Self-Assessment Team, and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Manager, says: “I am delighted that the hard work that went into the application by our Self-Assessment Team has been rewarded.  We engaged in a rigorous self-assessment process which was key in highlighting all sorts of issues for academic and professional services staff.  We look forward to now beginning the real work of embedding gender equality in our culture, policies and practices by implementing the Gender Action Plan and to becoming a leader in this area for our staff and students.”

Commenting on the institutional awards achieved, Dr Joseph Ryan, CEO of THEA, says, “Achieving an Athena SWAN Bronze institutional award is a significant milestone, involving considerable commitment and effort across institutional teams. We are particularly happy to see that awards are going to all members of the Connacht-Ulster Technological University Alliance and we would like to extend our congratulations to those in Letterkenny, Sligo and Galway-Mayo, who are notified of their bronze awards today. We are looking forward to assisting institutions as they work towards departmental awards over the coming months and years.” Read the THEA release in full:

Dr Victoria Brownlee, Head of Athena SWAN Ireland, says: “Progress on gender equality right across higher education is essential for retaining talent and ensuring our institutions at all levels are representative of society”.  

For further information about GMIT’s Self-Assessment team, visit:  

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Issued by Regina Daly, GMIT Communications & Press Officer, GMIT, Dublin Road, Galway.

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Galway-Mayo IT, IT Sligo and Letterkenny IT working together to become a TU for the West and North-West of Ireland