Award for Kinsale-based professor's UCC team

August 21st, 2016 11:55 AM

By Southern Star Team

Professor Caroline Fennell

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A KINSALE resident is leading a team that has developed an award-winning three-year action plan to combate gener inequality at UCC.

UCC has become the third university in Ireland to receive the Bronze Athena Swan award, recognising its efforts to promote gender equality in higher education.

The award aims to improve the representation of women in higher education, particularly in Stem (science, technology, engineering, medicine and mathematics).

The award to UCC recognises that the university has a solid foundation in place to remove barriers to women’s progress in STEMM disciplines. 

Led by Kinsale-based professor Caroline Fennell, senior vice-president academic and registrar, a diverse team of UCC staff developed a three-year action plan, which is now being implemented across the university. 

‘We are very pleased to have earned this award. Gender inequality in senior leadership in higher education is a challenge we face not only in UCC, but across the third-level sector, in Ireland and beyond,’ said Professor Fennell.   

‘This award recognises work underway in UCC to build the right infrastructure and supports so all members of our academic community, and indeed all our staff, can contribute to their full potential,’ she added.

Congratulating Professor Fennell and the Steering Group, UCC president Dr Michael Murphy said: ‘We strive for excellence in research and teaching by promoting values of openness and diversity. I commend Professor Fennell and our Athena SWAN Steering Group for their hard work and success.’ 

The Athena SWAN Charter was established in the United Kingdom in 2005, and is run by the London-based Equality Challenge Unit. With the support of the HEA, it was extended to Ireland in 2015. All seven Irish universities, 14 institutes of technology and the Royal College of Surgeons, have committed to the charter principles. 

The award, which will be valid until August 2019, will be presented at an event to be held in Dublin on September 20th.

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