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UCD College of Business recognised with prestigious gender diversity award

  • Date: Wed, Sep 14, 2022

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By Beth Gormley, UCD College of Business, PR and Communications Manager

UCD College of Business has received the Athena SWAN Bronze award for commitment to driving greater gender equality amongst faculty, staff and students and the implementation of an ambitious four-year action plan. 

Athena SWAN is a gender inclusion charter and awards system used across the globe to advance the careers of women in higher education and ensure gender equality and inclusion for all. 

"We are extremely proud of this award and we are committed to working towards the ambitious goals set forth in the action plan,” said Professor Anthony Brabazon, Dean of UCD College of Business. 

“As Ireland’s leading business school, we firmly hold that inclusion, respect for diversity, and equality are fundamental building blocks of a strong society and for economic progress. Our commitment to Athena Swan activates this belief and underpins our aim of contributing to a better future for business and society in Ireland and the world, through our research and educational activities." 

The award highlights areas where the College has made strong progress, most visibly in the College leadership team of which three of the seven members are women including Director of UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate School, Director of UCD Lochlann Quinn School of Business and the Director of Smurfit Executive Development. In addition, of the College’s six academic Subject Area Heads, three are women. 

To achieve the award, the College was required to develop a four-year action plan based on a rigorous data driven 18-month audit of gender equality practices. To ensure that progress is achieved, a newly established governance structure within the College, the Gender Equality Implementation Team, will support and oversee the implementation of the action plan. Examples of steps being taken to drive gender equity over the next four years include:

Increasing the percentage of women studying Business:

Aim to increase the share of women studying BSc Economics and Finance to 40%
Launch of a new modular Executive MBA (2022) which is gender-balanced, and the creation of new female MBA scholarships which cover up to 100% of tuition fees 
Supporting women in Business academia:

Introduce targeted career development initiatives to increase the percentage of female professors to 40% in the UCD College of Business 
Review and continue to embed equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) into the curriculum to enhance and strengthen EDI themes for students in the Business discipline through the use of the deep expertise of several faculty who have research interests in this area. 

“Diversity is one of the core values in UCD’s strategy and key priorities for the College of Business include excellence in the recruitment of a diverse student body and to improve gender equality throughout our community,” said Professor Colm McLaughlin, VP of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at UCD College of Business. 

“The Athena SWAN process establishes a framework which enables us to achieve these objectives and to also inspire the next generation of business leaders to achieve their full potential.”

“I would like to congratulate the College’s Self-Assessment Team, including PR and Communications Manager Beth Gormley; VP of Research, Innovation and Impact Professor Andreas Hoepner; Dr Yanan Lin; VP of EDI Professor Colm McLaughlin; and Assistant Professor in Finance Fabiola Schneider. In addition, I would like to thank Eimear O’Reilly, UCD Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Project Officer, for her knowledge and guidance. Their work has resulted in an ambitious set of actions, which signal the College's commitment to improving gender equality and celebrating diversity amongst our students and staff,” concluded Dean Brabazon.

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