Message from the President
We recognize that it is in the strategic interests of the University to ensure that all our people are enabled to achieve their full potential. We continue to strive to make certain that there is equality of opportunity for all by providing an inclusive environment that values and protects our staff and students - one free from any form of discrimination or harassment - an environment in which diversity is embraced, supported and welcomed. And so I am genuinely pleased that UL is now working towards formally recognising these efforts through the Athena SWAN Charter.
Launched in 2005, the Athena SWAN Charter is an academically-led initiative that aims to effect cultural and systemic change in higher education institutions to support gender equality and the progression of women in STEMM disciplines. The Charter recognises those institutions that put in place initiatives to address gender inequality, including those aimed at changing culture and attitudes. Following the extension of the Athena SWAN Charter to Ireland, a national steering committee was established, of which UL is a key member. The Committee has been actively supporting higher education institutions to prepare their submissions for Athena SWAN Awards.
The values of the Athena SWAN Charter are not new to UL. The University of Limerick consistently retains the highest percentage of women at professorial level in the country. 31% of professors at UL are female, compared to a national average of only 19%. So while I know that we have made progress, there is a lot yet to be achieved, particularly in the areas of Science and Engineering. The Athena SWAN process will provide us with a clear framework through which gender equality can be measured and improved upon within STEMM departments initially, and then implemented across other departments and faculties within the institution.
I express my sincere thanks to every staff member, who through their professionalism and commitment to equality, bring us closer to our goals every day.
Professor Don Barry
University of Limerick
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