The application was co-chaired by Dr. James Brown and Dr. Audrey O’Grady, and made possible by the hard work and helping hands of many staff and students in the department over several months. This award recognizes the department's commitment to creating a workplace that is inclusive, welcoming, and where everyone is treated equally, and with dignity and respect. This culture is important to us, to inspire and support all our students and staff, and we follow the motto “if you can see it, you can be it”, both as educators and as leaders in our communities.
The Athena SWAN charter is a framework that is used internationally to support and transform gender equality in higher education and research. The charter launched in Ireland in 2015 with a specific remit to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women STEMM employment. The charter has since been expanded to include arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL) and staff working in professional, managerial and support roles (PMSS). Notably, the department of Biological Sciences is the first department in UL to have a PMSS champion- Jackie Kennedy. We look forward to implementing our plan over the next 4 years, further building our department into a place where everyone is truly treated equally, and is a beacon of diversity and inclusiveness.