NUI Galway School of Nursing and Midwifery Achieves Athena SWAN Bronze Award

Mar 31 2021 Posted: 14:41 IST

The award marks a commitment to the increase of both female senior leadership roles and male student intakes in Nursing and Midwifery at NUI Galway

NUI Galway’s School of Nursing and Midwifery has been awarded a departmental Athena SWAN Bronze Award in recognition of their commitment to advancing gender equality in nursing and midwifery in higher education, and in creating cultural change within the University.

The award represents the School’s strong commitment to equality and highlights the work undertaken within the School to identify gender equality issues, such as the underrepresentation of men in the discipline alongside under representation of women at senior grades. 

NUI Galway Vice President for Equality and Diversity, Professor Anne Scott, said: “I am absolutely delighted to hear of the awarding of the Athena SWAN Bronze Award for colleagues in the School of Nursing and Midwifery. To have managed to get the Athena SWAN application successfully completed and submitted was a significant achievement in a really difficult year for many. To successfully achieve Bronze accreditation is definitely ‘the icing on the cake’. Nursing and Midwifery is our first predominantly female school to apply for and achieve Athena SWAN Bronze and will serve as a very effective model as a number of our other predominantly female disciplines work towards Athena SWAN accreditation.”

Professor Tim O’Brien, Executive Dean of the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, said: “I am very proud to have the School of Nursing and Midwifery awarded the Bronze Athena SWAN award. This is a clear recognition of our College’s commitment to inclusion and diversity, and to increasing equity in both healthcare education and practice. This award, along with the existing  School of Medicine Bronze Athena SWAN award, is aligned with our College’s goal to prepare healthcare practitioners to be the best in their field, and to support our local communities. This has never been more apparent than during the pandemic. Our staff and students have shown real resilience and excellence in providing critical services to our communities.”

Following the announcement of the award, Professor Dympna Casey, Head of the School of Nursing and Midwifery, said: “I look forward to supporting the implementation of our Action Plans to generate an environment where all staff feel they have opportunities to reach their potential irrespective of gender. Nurses and midwives make up more than half the global healthcare workforce, and approximately 90% of the nursing workforce worldwide is female, providing care to individuals of all ages and in all settings.

"However, gendered issues continue to impact our professions- for example social gender norms, gender bias and stereotyping hinder women taking on leadership roles, while gender norms, biases and stereotypes also hinder the recruitment of men entering the professions. In the pursuit of gender equality in nursing and midwifery, we therefore need to address both male under-representation and female progression. This award marks the School’s engagement with both the ‘leaky pipeline’ of female senior leadership, as well as increasing male student intake into Nursing and Midwifery.”


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