Athena SWAN

Equality Challenge Unit

Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) is a UK based organisation that works to support equality and diversity for staff and students in higher education institutions.  They support universities and colleges to build an inclusive culture that values the benefits of diversity, to remove barriers to progression and success for all staff and students, and to challenge and change unfair practices that disadvantage individuals or groups. 

Athena SWAN Charter

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. The charter has since 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.

University College Dublin was awarded the Athena SWAN Bronze Institutional Award on 15th March 2017. The Athena SWAN Award was established to promote the advancement of women’s careers in higher education and research. Receiving this Award is a welcome recognition of UCD’s commitment to our community to enhance gender equality in the university and is a significant milestone for UCD.

School of Computer Science is committed to supporting gender diversity, equality and inclusion. 

Athena SWAN in action in our School

Diversity is highlighted in the university’s strategic plan as one of the core values of UCD, and one of our strategic objectives is the attraction and retention of an excellent and diverse cohort of students, faculty and staff. The Athena SWAN Gender Equality Action Plan will be central to our ability to deliver on this objective. In our school,  Athena SWAN and gender inclusion benefits staff and students of all genders by improving the culture and practices.

We have already put in place a number of actions including:

  • The appointment of a Self-Assessment Team (SAT) to collect and analyse data representing our School and to put actions in place to address key issues and carry our school forward
  • Follow the new HR Strategy and faculty development processes integrating gender equality
  • Gender balance targets for committee membership
  • Roll-out of unconscious bias training
  • Introduction to Women@CompSci
  • Implemented core meeting hours 10.00 - 16.00
  • Mainstreaming gender equality across all school processes, including data collection.
  • Planned application date for Athena Swan School level Bronze Award: April 2019

Work in Progress

The current Self-Assessment Team is co-chaired by Professor Padraig Cunningham and Assoc. Prof. Eleni Mangina. It includes 24 staff and students from all parts of the school. To find out how our School is making strides in gender equality and how you can support us contribute to positive change for everyone please contact the Chairs of Athena SWAN SAT.


Prof. Padraig Cunnigham

Assoc. Prof. Eleni Mangina