College named EU Sustainable Gender Equality Champions on International Women’s Day

Trinity College Dublin, Maynooth University and South East Technological University won three out of the four prizes available at the inaugural EU Award for Gender Equality Champions in Brussels

Yesterday, College received the EU Sustainable Gender Equality Champion award, in recognition of its “significant and sustained record of activity and a high level of achievement through the implementation of their Gender Equality Plan”.

Some of the initiatives for which College was awarded the €100,000 prize date back over 50 years, including the establishment of its on-campus child care centre in 1969, and the Centre for Women’s Studies in 1989.

College was also recognised for its achievements under the Athena SWAN gender equality framework, which include a Bronze level institutional award in 2015, as well as 17 Bronze Athena SWAN awards across the university.

Speaking yesterday, Provost Linda Doyle said that she was “very proud” that College had won the award.

“Gender equality is a cornerstone of the deep-rooted fairness that we want Trinity to always embody. We have more to do and this wonderful award reminds us that we are on the right track,” Doyle said.

Doyle’s appointment as the first female provost of Trinity in 2021 was also noted in College’s application to the award.

She acknowledged the work of the Equality Office, in particular Associate Vice-Provost for EDI Professor Lorraine Leeson, and Acting Equality Officer Dr Siobán O’Brien Green, as well as Director of HR Antoinette Quinn.

Maynooth University and South East Technological University (SETU) were also presented with awards for Newcomer Gender Equality Champions and Inclusive Gender Equality Champions respectively.

Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris yesterday congratulated the three Irish universities on their significant achievement, saying it was “incredibly gratifying” to see universities leading the way in inclusion and equality, a “critical priority” of his department.

Harris added: “We need the opportunities that education provides to be available to all who want to pursue them, and for that reason I really want to thank and praise Trinity College, Maynooth University and South East Technological University for leading the way on gender equality.”

The Gender Equality Champion awards were established by the European Commission in 2022, with the aim of celebrating and recognising outstanding results achieved in the implementation of gender equality plans by academic and research organisations.

The winners were announced yesterday by Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, to mark International Women’s Day.

Chief Executive of the Higher Education Authority, Dr Alan Wall called the awards a “testament to the ground-breaking work of Irish universities to tackle gender inequality in Irish higher education”.

“The HEA’s recently published Review of Gender Equality in Irish higher education institutions demonstrates our commitment to continuing to advance this agenda and a signal that it is time to double down on the excellent progress made to date,” Wall added.

Conor Healy

Conor Healy is the Deputy News Editor of Trinity News and is currently in his Senior Freshman Year studying Law and Political Science