Trinity College Dublin, member of CHARM-EU, wins a silver institutional Athena Swan award for advancing gender equality

Trinity's Equality, Diversity & Inclusion team: Susan Cantwell, Sam Williams, Dr Siobán O'Brien Green, Professor Lorraine Leeson and Aliyah Sy

On Wednesday 30 August, Trinity College Dublin and two of its schools were awarded prestigious silver Athena Swan awards.

The Athena Swan Charter, a global framework for supporting and transforming gender equality within higher education and research, has recognised Trinity’s impactful and sustained efforts towards equality, diversity and inclusion.

The university has received an institutional silver award while both the School of Chemistry and School of Natural Sciences have each received individual awards. This brings to 18 the number of Trinity’s schools to have received silver Athena Swan awards and Trinity joins the University of Limerick as the only Irish universities to have done so.


Commenting on the achievement, Trinity’s Provost, Dr Linda Doyle, said:

“This Silver Athena Swan Award is a huge encouragement as we continue our efforts towards making Trinity a place where equality, diversity and inclusion are fundamental to how we work. It builds on our initial Athena Swan Bronze Awards in 2015 and 2018 and is a great acknowledgement of progress in this sphere.

I want to thank our inaugural Associate Vice Provost for Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (AVPEDI), Professor Clodagh Brook, for initiating work on Trinity’s application for the Silver Athena Swan Award and I also want to acknowledge the work of our current AVPEDI, Professor Lorraine Leeson, and her dedicated team, for their commitment to driving this work and submitting an award-winning application.

I also warmly congratulate our School of Chemistry and School of Natural Sciences on achieving their first silver awards and thank them for their dedication to equality in the University."


Professor Lorraine Leeson, Trinity’s Associate Vice Provost for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, who was the university’s Project Director for TORCH, the research arm of CHARM-EU, in 2021-2022, added:

“Securing this institutional Silver Athena Swan award is a remarkable and important milestone in our history representing a College-wide effort that demonstrates our ongoing and sustained commitment to equality over time. Getting to this point has entailed close collaboration with colleagues from across the College: I want to acknowledge the concerted effort and commitment of colleagues on the University Athena Swan Committee, the Equality Committee, and, particularly regarding implementing actions, our EDI and HR colleagues.

Working to ensure that Trinity’s mission of embedding equality in all we do is a dynamic and iterative process – we must remain innovative, responsive, evidence-informed, and ambitious as we continue to demonstrate our commitment to this work. By building on our Sustainable Gender Equality Champions Award conferred by the European Commission earlier this year [8 March 2023] and achieving the silver Athena Swan award today we signal our intent to remain leaders in the higher education sector in this crucial area.”


Dr. Nina Shiel, TORCH Research Fellow at Trinity and TORCH work package leader for WP3 and WP8, and member of the university’s Athena Swan Committee, highlighted the award’s significance as a clear indication of TORCH’s impact in promoting Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion.

"One of the three cross-cutting principles of TORCH, crucial elements of the project and areas that we have been developing across all different facets of the project, is Gendered Innovation. The Silver process for Athena Swan took place in the same timeline as when Lorraine and I co-led WP3 to map the TORCH institutions’ practices and policies relating to gender and research. We were able to use each of these processes to organically inform the other, using the latest European priorities such as gender-informed research ethics principles as well as the intersectional approach.

Athena Swan self-assessment is a comprehensive and meticulous process, which for its part has the potential to provide a great deal of learning and inspiration for future work on gender-aware research and research environments across all CHARM institutions. It will be reflected in our forthcoming major deliverable, TORCH Research Strategies, specifically in Strategy No. 2: Fostering Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity (EDI).”


This recognition aligns with current related TORCH initiatives such as a pilot “Enhanced equality data” mapping equality data practices across the member institutions and action plan “R&I section of the CHARM-EU Inclusivity Plan” to address the research aspect of the University Alliance Inclusivity Plan, both led by Trinity College under the leadership of Dr. Nina Shiel.

In June, Professor Leeson and Dr Shiel were recognised for their research in TORCH with Trinity College Research Excellence Award in the category “Positioning Research at the Heart of Trinity”.

The CHARM-EU & TORCH team extends its congratulations to Trinity College and its TORCH members for their dedication to prioritize equality and their contribution to the university's and the CHARM-EU alliance's essential strategies. This recognition goes beyond the research area from Trinity Colleague Dublin and CHARM-EU and has an impact in the entire institutions.


To read more about this award: Trinity wins prestigious Athena Swan Silver Awards

Photo: Trinity's Equality, Diversity & Inclusion team: Susan Cantwell, Sam Williams, Dr Siobán O'Brien Green, Professor Lorraine Leeson and Aliyah Sy