University of Galway's Athena Swan Champions Network

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 attended the first Athena Swan Champions Network- 1st December 2022 xxx

University of Galway’s Athena Swan Champions meet together every 6 weeks during term time to discuss progress and obstacles arising at School and Unit level in relation to Athena Swan. Items raised during these meetings feed into the discussions of the Athena Swan Institutional Steering Group

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 and the office of the Vice President for Equality Diversity and Inclusion.

The first meeting of the Athena Swan Champions Network was held 1st of December, 2022, hosted by Dr. Laura Loftus, Gender Equality Programme Manager, and opened by Dr Helen Maher, VP for EDI.

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. 

The Role of a Champion

Each School in the University of Galway typically has one/two Swan Co-Champions, appointed from within a School who report directly to their Head of School. Athena Swan Champions are usually the Chair of their local Athena Swan Self-Assessment Teams (SAT) and are members of their Schools’ Senior Management/Executive Boards.

The role of Athena Swan Co-Champion is a significant leadership position and Athena Swan activity is recognised under the contribution criterion for academic promotion. 


This network enables new Champions to make connections with Champions in other schools, facilitates horizontal and vertical exchange of information, enables integration of institutional and school-level actions and fosters synergising of solutions.

Current Athena Swan Champions

Edel Doherty

Cairnes School of Business and Economics

Anna Arstein-Kerslake

School of Law

Aoife Cooke

Head of Equal Opportunities, OVPEDI

Bernadine Brady

School of Political Science and Sociology

Caroline McIntosh

School of Health Sciences

Deirdre Curran

Vice Dean for EDI, CBPPL

Derek O'Keefe

School of Medicine

Eddie Jones

School of Engineering

Edward Curry

School of Computer Science

Emma Hawkins

EDI Manager, CMNHS

Florence Abram

School of Natural Sciences

Gerry Molloy

School of Psychology

Helen Maher


John McCrae

School of Computer Science

John Walsh

Vice Dean for EDI, CASSCS

Kasia Whysall

Vice Dean for EDI, CMNHS

Kate O'Connell

Shannon College of Hotel Management

Kevin Davison

School of Education

Laura Loftus

EDI Programme Manager for Gender Equality

Maeve Duffy

School of Engineering

Margaret Forde

EDI Data Manager, OVPEDI

Marie Mahon

School of Geography, Archaeology and Irish Studies

Mary Dempsey

Vice Dean for EDI, CSE

Michael Madden

School of Computer Science

Miriam Byrne

School of Physics

Niall Madden

School of Mathematics, Statistics, and Applied Mathematics

Niamh Gallagher

Administrative Assistant, OVPEDI

Paul Murphy

School of Chemistry

Sandra Galvin

School of Nursing and Midwifery

Sarah-Anne Buckley

School of English and Creative Arts

Vicky Hogan

School of Health Sciences