The Trinity Centre for Gender Equality and Leadership (TCGEL) was officially launched this week by the chancellor of the college, Dr. Mary Robinson. The new centre expands on its predecessor organisation, Women in Science and Engineering Research (WiSER) to include all academic disciplines and support areas in Trinity.
Speaking at TCGEL’s launch, Robinson stated that she was “delighted” to be involved. She outlined the mission of the centre, stating that it is “to develop and embed sustainable practices, advance gender equality in Trinity, and ensure a diverse, innovative and productive academic community of global significance.
“ Its Vision is of an inclusive and innovative university community in which people of all genders participate at all levels, are enabled to reach their full potential, and are recognised equally for their diverse contributions.”
The director of TCGEL, Professor Eileen Drew commented on both the work accomplished by WiSER and the goals of TCGEL. “Recognising the work done by WiSER to recruit, retain, return and advance women in academic science, engineering and technology, TCGEL will continue to drive gender equality and research excellence across all disciplines and sectors of Trinity College Dublin and act as a national leader in the Irish higher education institutions sector.”
TCGEL encourages the development of a learning and working environment that highlights both equality and good practise. This is based on the underlying principles of the Athena Swan bronze institutional award that the organisation won in 2015. The award acknowledges institutions of higher education that are taking an active role in addressing gender equality challenges.
The organisation is currently coordinating Systemic Action for gender Equality 2016-19 (SAGE) which is delivering goals for institutional transformation across all of Europe.
In Ireland, Trinity is already seeing a significant increase in the amount of women occupying senior officer positions and an increase in the number of female lectures, which has doubled from 13% of the staff in 2006 to 26% last year. 14% of the staff in the Faculty of Engineering, Mathematics and Science are women.
At the launch, Professor Drew also stressed that gender equality is not for women alone, but for the good of all.
“The underlying premise is that gender equality is not just for women – everyone benefits. TCGEL’s aims, therefore, are not driven by a desire to ‘fix the numbers’ or ‘fix the women’ but instead by a drive to change and improve the culture for everyone working or studying in higher education institutions.”