Athena SWAN Award for DCU School of Communications

DCU receives first departmental-level Athena SWAN award

The School of Communications has received an Athena SWAN Bronze Award - which recognises commitment to gender equality and inclusion in higher education - in the latest assessment round for Athena SWAN Ireland.

The award is the first departmental award to be received by a School or Faculty in DCU. 

Some 19 universities and institutions from across Ireland celebrated their achievements in advancing gender equality in the sector at the Athena SWAN Ireland Award ceremony this week. Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris was in attendance.  

The School of Communications was commended in particular for its commitment to diversify all module content delivered at undergraduate and postgraduate level, ensuring inclusivity along lines of gender, ethnicity, global north/south inequity, sexuality, ability and Traveller perspectives.

DCU was also commended for its launch of a Trans awareness initiative, which will include TENI Trans 101 training, for staff and students on supporting Trans people in the DCU community.

The Bronze departmental application, which was first led by Dr Debbie Ging and subsequently by Dr Aileen O’Driscoll and Dr Dónal Mulligan, was a collaborative effort across the School of Communications, involving a large self-assessment team of committed colleagues. Key to receiving a Bronze Award is a 4-year Action Plan which addresses challenges that are specific to the School.

'The Action-Plan is a very serious commitment to change. It is not a box-ticking exercise or something that one or two people alone can champion,' said Dr Ging. 

'Athena SWAN requires fundamental, whole-School change in all areas. Our Action Plan is underpinned by intersectional gender equality, and operates in
close synergy with DCU’s Institutional Gender Equality Action Plan.’

'DCU's Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Unit team looks forward to engaging many more of DCU's faculties and schools on the Athena SWAN journey in the near future,' said Joanne Mulligan, co-ordinator with the Unit.

First awarded the Athena SWAN institutional bronze award in 2017, DCU retained it's bronze award in 2020 and is committed to progressing gender equality across the university over the next three years through the implementation of our gender action plan.

The DCU School of Communications is an internationally-focused centre for excellence in teaching and research in the areas of media, communications and journalism. It is currently ranked number one in Ireland and in the top 150 globally among communications and media studies departments.