Members of the PESS Athena SWAN committee were thrilled to receive the Bronze department Athena SWAN award at the Ireland awards ceremony 20th October 2021.
The Athena SWAN charter is a framework that is used to support and transform gender equality within higher education. The initiative was launched in Ireland in 2015 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM). PESS was successful in attaining its first award in 2018. Since that time the Athena SWAN charter has expanded to include all disciplines and also staff working in professional, managerial and support roles. The framework also now recognises work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly.
The PESS self-assessment team worked tirelessly over many months to develop the application for the expanded bronze charter. We collected and reviewed data from a range of areas, including staff and student numbers, career transition points, career development, flexible working, HR policies, outreach activities and department culture.
We are delighted that the review panel recognised our plan to establish an early-identification system to note students who are at risk of deferring or dropping out as a piece of innovative good practice. Over the next four years our committee will oversee the implementation of the full range of priorities in our Athena SWAN action plan. We looking forward to progressing this work in championing gender equality in the PESS department.
Self-assessment team: Antonio Calderón, Rosemary Daniel, Ursula Freyne, Rowan Fitzpatrick, Enrique Garcia Bengoechea, Maeve Gleeson, Grainne Hayes, Elaine Murtagh (Chair), Brigitte Moody, Joey Murphy, Ian Sherwin, Giles Warrington, Catherine Woods.
Dr Elaine Murtagh is a Senior Lecturer in Physical Education in the Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences (PESS), Faculty of Education and Health Sciences at the University of Limerick.