Gender Inequality in the Higher Education sector and the Athena Swan Charter

Figures published by the Higher Education Authority (2016) highlight gender inequality as an issue for the higher education sector.

The Gender Action Plan (2018) developed by the Gender Equality Taskforce includes a set of actions which are intended to effect significant change. 

The Athena SWAN Charter was launched in Ireland in early 2015 to help address the issue of gender inequality in Higher Education Institutions. The Charter is a tool for addressing gender challenges and ensuring that practices and policies present no disadvantage to any member of staff or student.  

By being part of Athena SWAN, institutions are committing to a progressive charter, adopting these principles within their policies, practices, action plans and culture. 

The charter supports cultural and behavioural change, not just around gender equality but around equality and diversity in all its forms. 

Atlantic Technological University has adopted these principles and seeks to embed them in all our activities. Adopting the Charter commits the University to removing the barriers that contribute to under-representation. In March 2021, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Letterkenny Institute of Technology and Institute of Technology Sligo were each successful in their applications for the Athena Swan Bronze award.  The award recognises extensive work undertaken to advance gender equality for staff and students.   

Work has been ongoing to merge the three Gender Action Plans and this plan will form a substantive part of our application for an Athena Swan Legacy award.  The merged Gender Action Plan will be published here.