Athena SWAN

About Athena SWAN

The Athena SWAN Charter UK evolved from work between the Athena Project and the Scientific Women’s Academic Network (SWAN), to advance the representation of women in science, technology, engineering, medicine and mathematics (STEMM).

The Athena SWAN charter launched in the Republic of Ireland in early 2015. The extension of the charter to Ireland was made possible through funding from the Higher Education Authority (HEA), which covers applications to the charter from 27 higher education institutions. 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. 

The Athena SWAN Charter process 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, in particular 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. 
  4. We commit to tackling the gender pay gap.
  5. 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.
  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.

DCU Athena SWAN Bronze Award

In March 2017, Dublin City University was awarded the Athena SWAN Bronze Award in recognition of its commitment to advancing gender equality for women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and creating cultural change within the University. This Bronze Award was renewed in 2020. You can view our 2020 submission here

Since receiving the renewed Bronze Award a structured programme management approach has been implemented to ensure that the ambitious action plan is achieved and the benefits experienced by all. A new Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team (SAT) will oversee the delivery of DCU's Athena SWAN commitments and progress towards achievement of a Silver Athena SWAN Award. You can view our four year action plan here


Contact details

Our Athena SWAN process is coordinated by our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Unit within HR. 

For further details on Athena SWAN in DCU, please contact our DCU Athena SWAN Co-ordinator:

Name: Joanne Mulligan

Email: joanne.mulligan@dcu.ie