Athena Swan Silver Seminar 21st of June 2023

A seminar on Silver Athena Swan Silver accreditation, organised by the OVPEDI, will take place on Wednesday the 21st of June, the Aula, 10.00-12.00.

Please register here.

In 2025, University of Galway will be applying for a Silver Athena Swan award in 2025. A number of Schools will also be submitting Silver applications over the coming years, and so this is a good point at which to host such an event.

This seminar will be an important opportunity for us to celebrate where we are in terms of Athena Swan at present, with our School of Engineering speaking about their Silver Athena Swan award, while also learning what is needed to achieve institutional and school Silver Athena Swan accreditation in the future. The seminar provides a context for us to collectively consider how we can utilise the Athena Swan process to further our efforts in terms of EDI and gender equality going forward.

Schedule of Events:

10.00: Opening from University of Galway President, Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh.

10.10: Sarah Fink, Athena Swan Ireland (The new Athena Swan framework vs the previous iteration, and the criteria that need to be addressed to achieve a Silver Athena Swan award).


10.30: Dr Maeve Duffy, School of Engineering, University of Galway. ( The actions and impact that led to University of Galway’s School of Engineering’s Silver Athena Swan accreditation).

10.50: Dr Caroline Murphy, Kemmy Business School, UL (Achieving Silver Athena Swan accreditation and the transition from Bronze to Silver).

11.10: Q & A


11.30-12.00: Tea/Coffee and light refreshments


For further information please contact: Dr Laura Loftus

Addressing Sexual Violence in Higher Education Policy and Practice Seminar, 16th June 2023

On the 16th June a seminar will Addressing Sexual Violence in Higher Education Policy and Practice Seminar   with Clarissa J. DiSantis Humphreys. 

This half-day seminar will present practical guidance on how to address sexual violence and related forms of gender-based violence in a higher education setting, utilising a comprehensive institution-wide approach. This ethical method is trauma-informed and survivor-centred whilst being intersectional and requiring perpetrator accountability. The seminar will be delivered by one of the co-authors of Addressing Student Sexual Violence in Higher Education: A Good Practice Guide, Clarissa J. DiSantis Humphreys, who will provide opportunities for delegates to ask questions. Signposting to additional resources will be provided. 

Location:  Institute for Lifecourse and Society (ILAS) Upper Newcastle H91 C7DK Galway

Please register to attend this seminar here

For more information, please contact


Athena Swan Culture Survey 2023

The Athena Swan Survey which is run every two years is now open: April 19th to 17th May 2023

The survey responses that are collected will form the basis of both the University and our School’s and Unit’s next Bronze and Silver Athena Swan action plans and applications, so it is imperative that there is a high response rate for us to get a clear picture of the major issues.  

Read more here

April 2023, Two new Athena Swan Bronze Awards

University of Galway has secured two additional Athena SWAN Bronze Awards in recognition of the University’s commitment to advancing gender equality for staff and students. 

The University’s School of Law and a joint award between the School of Computer Science and the Data Science Institute have received the accolade which acknowledges efforts to create cultural change within higher education institutions.

This latest accreditation sees a total of ten Bronze Awards and one Silver Award in the University, along with an Institutional Bronze Award which was renewed in 2021. Eleven out of the University’s 18 schools now hold Athena SWAN Awards. 

The School of Biological and Chemical Sciences and the School of Natural Sciences were also successful in their application to transfer their Bronze Athena Swan Awards following the restructuring of their Schools. Read more

Wear Red Day March 31st, 2023

To highlight our commitment against racism, staff and students participated in the Immigrant Council of Ireland #WearRedDay to Show Racism the Red Card #WRD2023  

Wear Red Day 2023

20th Anniversary-Nelson Mandela Anti-Racism Week 2023

Remembering Nelson Mandela’s conferring ceremony at the University of Galway

South African Ambassador

 The Intersection between Racism and Public Spaces

 Intersection between Racism and Public Spaces

L:R Ikenna Anyabuike, Rosemarie Maughan,  Emer O’Neill,  Dr Amanullah De Sondy, Aoife Cooke & Owen Ward

‌Racism is still prevalent, from the big bright stages out in public to the dark corners of the internet. Emer O’Neill, Rosemarie Maughan and Dr Amanullah De Sondy called out racism and experienced the backlash. Emer O’Neill delivered the keynote address on her experiences and her ongoing struggle to fight against racism in Ireland, followed by a panel discussion with Emer O’Neill, Rosemarie Maughan, Dr Amanullah De Sondy and Ikenna Anyabuike, chaired by Aoife Cooke.

Experience Africa Day-Nelson Mandela Anti-Racism Week 2023

Attending the experience Africa day in Áras na Mac Léinn, 22nd March 2023

Master Students attending Race Equality event

HEA Race Equality (First Annual event)

The first HEA National Race Equality Conference was hosted by the University of Galway (Institute for Lifecourse and Society building, ILAS building) on Monday 20th March 2023. Over 100 attendees from institutions in Ireland and abroad attended the event.

 HEA Race Equality pics

Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, President, University of Galway, opened the event followed by Professor Kalpana Shankar launching of the Anti-Racism Principles for Irish Higher Education Institutions: A Panel discussion was held on race and anti-racism with panelists Siobhán Kangataran (Chair), Dr Nata Duvvury, Thomas McCann, Tonye Benson-Olatunde, Liam Thornton and Professor Kalpana Shankar.

Dr Arun Verma, Bristol University (keynote speaker), is the former Head of the Race Equality Charter at Advance HE, and a leading strategic figure in co-creating and implementing equity, diversity, inclusion, and intersectionality initiatives into meaningful applications across programme, policy, people and culture functions in the United Kingdom and internationally. 

A series of workshops took place in the afternoon:

  • Developing race equality plans (Dr Lucy Michael and Dr Niloufar Omidi)
  • Institutional Experiences of Advancing and Implementing Race Equality (Owen Ward and Oluchi Porter)
  • The Voiceless Colony (Dr Sarah Sartori and Lilian Nwanze)
  • University of Sanctuary (Professor Lorraine McIlrath, Dr Veronica Crosbie, Aidan Harte and Karina Curley)
  • Actions in the HEA Race Equality Implementation Plan (Dr Ross Woods)

International Women's Week -March 2023

International Women's Week took place throughout the week of March 6th to 10th March, 2023.  There were excellent discussions throughout the week, see the International Women's Week - March 2023 Programme of events which took place. ‌

"Fixing the Women”? Supports for Female Staff in Higher Education

Fixing the Women

L-R:  Prof Margaret Hodgins, University of Galway; Niamh O’Donoghue, Chair of 2nd HEA National Review of Gender Equality in Irish Higher Education Institutions, Dr Monica O’Mullane, UCC and Dr. Helen Maher VP for EDI University of Galway.

 Helen Maher and Fariba Foolad

L-R: D‌r. Helen Maher and Fariba Foolad



L-R: Rebecca Connolly, Dr. Laura Loftus, Aoife Cooke, Niamh Gallagher, Margaret Forde and Dr. Helen Maher

Athena Swan Champions Network- 1st December 2022

Athena Swan Champions Network

‌Left to right:  Dr. Sandra Galvin, Dr. Katarzyna Goljanek, Dr. Victoria Hogan, Dr. Deirdre Gilpin, Dr. Helen Maher, Dr. Laura Loftus and Aoife Cooke   

The first meeting of the Athena Swan Champions Network was held 1st of December, 2022, hosted by Dr. Laura Loftus (Gender Equality Programme Manager). The aim of the Athena Swan Champions Network is to facilitate knowledge exchange and support between those involved in Athena Swan activities across the University. The champions network consists of the SAT (Self-Assessment Team) Chairs, the Vice Deans for Equality Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) and the office of the Vice President for Equality Diversity and Inclusion.The meeting was then followed with an open-to-all-staff gathering to celebrate the Athena Swan/Gender Equality work to date in the University of Galway. The Chair of Queen's University Belfast's Athena Swan Champions Network, Dr Deirdre Gilpin was invited as a guest speaker.  Dr. Gilpin exchanged great knowledge and experiences about QUB's Champions Network’s journey so far and best practice in terms of Athena SWAN. 

Race Equality Town Hall - 7th November 2022

Race Equality Town Hall - 7th November 2022

Left to Right: Dr Arun Verma (Guest speaker, former Head of Race Equality Charter, UK), Dr. Helen Maher (VP for Equality Diversity and Inclusion ), Owen Ward Programme Manager for Race Equality) and  Dr. Su-ming Khoo (Lecturer in the School of Political Science and Sociology).

Dr. Su-ming Khoo (Lecturer in the School of Political Science and Sociology), opened the discussion on Race Equality in Higher Education, followed by Dr. Arun Verma, Keynote Speaker – Dr Arun Verma is the editor of Anti-Racism in Higher Education: An Action Guide for Change, 2022, Bristol University Press. Dr Verma is former Head of the Race Equality Charter at Advance HE, and a leading strategic figure in co-creating and implementing equity, diversity, inclusion, and intersectionality initiatives into meaningful applications across programme, policy, people and culture functions in the United Kingdom and internationally. 


Launch of the Annual Diversity and Inclusion Report- Nov 7th 2022

 20221107 Annual Diversity and Inclusion Report 2021_22

 Left to right: Aoife Cooke, Dr. Arun Verma, Dr. Helen Maher, Dr. Su-ming Khoo and Sinead Gibney

The launch of the 2021/22 Equality, Diversity and Inclusion report took place, on 7th Nov 2022.  The Chief Commissioner of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, Ms Sinead Gibney launched the report.  The OVPEDI is excited to use this report to showcase the important work being done by the office and colleagues across the University of Galway. The report is structured in accordance with the five overarching goals of the
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2000-2025 while recognising that many of the initiatives are relevant to several goals simultaneously, owing to their multifaceted nature.