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Gender Equality in the School of Natural Sciences


Positive Changes

Obviously we have long way to go to achieve gender balance across our School (see here) and TCD more generally. However, rather than getting depressed by the enormity of our task, we on the INTEGER team like to focus on the positives! Below are listed some positive changes we've already made across the School, along with some changes we're hoping to implement soon. A full list of intended changes can be found in the reports here. Check back regularly for updates on our progress!

Recent changes

  • The Athena SWAN Charter, a recognition scheme for UK universities and their science, engineering and technology (SET) departments, is being expanded to Ireland in 2015! The INTEGER team is currently working on our School's application for a Silver award. Yes that's right Silver not Bronze! We're very excited about the progress we've made so have decided to go straight for Silver.
  • The College recently announced the exciting new INTEGER Returner’s Scheme. This will supports academic staff returning to active research after a prolonged absence. The scheme provides a one semester release from teaching and/or administrative duties to enable returning staff to concentrate fully on their research. The scheme will operate on a pilot basis initially, and will then be reviewed to determine continued future implementation.
  • The mid project GESIS evaluation of the INTEGER project was released. We are doing well in some areas but there's still a lot to work on.
  • Members of the committee organised SoapBox Science Ireland, a science outreach event specially for women scientists in April 2014. The link has pictures of the event and some videos of the speakers.
  • We were very excited to welcome our first ever female Chair of Zoology Yvonne Buckley to the School in February 2014.
  • Female scientists are often less visible than their male counterparts for a range of reasons. To change this in our School, the INTEGER team arranged for female faculty, postdocs and PhD students to record short video research profiles. These look amazing and show the breadth of research done across the School. by both genders.
  • We facilitated a postdoc consultation which led to the postdocs re-organising and re-energising the School postdoc committee. So far the committee (under the leadership of INTEGER team postdoc representatives Laura and Laragh) have organised a regular postdoc writing group and a postdoc lunchtime seminar series. This has also brought the postdoc community together and has given them a voice. in School and College matters.
  • A huge gender imbalance was noted in the School seminar series so this year the Evolutionary Biology and Ecology Seminar series consisted of 50% female speakers and the Earth and the Environment Seminar series attracted 40% female speakers. We hope this will inspire female undergraduate and postgraduate students who attend these seminars, even if it (sadly) isn't a true representation. of the number of women in these research areas.
  • We have developed a handbook for new staff (including all types of staff and grades) to help them find their way around the School.
  • Members of the team (notably Clare Marshall from WiSER and Frances) have worked hard to sift through various data sources to get up-to-date and historical data on gender balance across the School.
  • Awareness of gender issues has increased across the School. It is not uncommon now for people to think about gender balance when looking for external examiners, referees, seminar speakers etc. Even the undergraduate students are becoming involved and organising a "Women in Science" event for International Women's Day.

Last updated 28 February 2014 Natural Sciences (Email).