Advance HE’s Athena SWAN Charter was established in 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment in higher education and research. In 2015 the charter was expanded to recognise work undertaken in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL), and in professional and support roles, and for trans staff and students. The charter now recognises work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly, and not just barriers to progression that affect women. Advance HE’s Athena SWAN (AS) Charter covers women and men in:

• academic roles in STEMM and AHSSBL
• professional and support staff
• trans staff and students

In relation to their:

• representation
• progression of students into academia
• journey through career milestones
• working environment for all staff

University of Limerick (UL) has held an AS bronze institutional award since 2015. The Department of Nursing and Midwifery (DNM) is currently preparing an application for an AS bronze departmental award. This involves a self-assessment report, which is currently underway, with plans to submit in November 2018. The DNM AS self-assessment team (SAT) formed in June 2017 following a call from the head of department for expressions of interest. The SAT reports directly to the department head and then to the whole department through departmental meetings (4-6/year). The head of department reports team progress to the Dean of the Faculty through the Education and Health Sciences (EHS) Management Committee. The team also reports to the EHS Equality and Diversity Committee and onwards through the University’s management structures.
The ten AS principles, which the DNM supports are:

1. Recognise talents of
2. Advance gender equality
3. Recognise disciplinary differences
4. Tackle the gender pay gap
5. Remove obstacles
6. Address short-term contracts
7. Tackle discrimination against trans people
8. Demonstrate senior commitment
9. Make structural and cultural changes
10. Consider intersectionality


Department of Nursing & Midwifery Athena SWAN Team

Left to right: Breda Touhy, Dr Kevin Johnson, Mairead Moloney, Dr Sylvia Murphy-Tighe, Dr Liz Kingston, Rosemary Lyons. Dr Claire O’Donnell

Missing from photo: Prof Alice Coffey, Dr Christine Deasy, Dr Owen Doody, Daniel Newman