MIC awarded with second Athena Swan bronze award for gender equality

Members of Mary Immaculate College's Executive Team with Professor Lorraine McIlrath, Director of Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Interculturalism (EDII) and Professor Eugene Wall, President of MIC.

A LIMERICK college has received its second award for advancing gender equality in education.

Mary Immaculate College (MIC) was awarded with the bronze Athena Swan award for the second time, having first been awarded it in 2019.

Professor Lorraine McIlrath, director of equality, diversity, inclusion and interculturalism (EDII) at MIC, said that the award is “a testament to the commitment and collegiality of a whole institutional approach that has engaged the entire staff and student community”.

“Applying for the renewal of the Athena Swan has been a process of critical self-reflection of the culture and progress at Mary Immaculate College, and it is the result of an extensive self-assessment process.

“Despite the pandemic and post-pandemic periods, our commitment to Athena SWAN and actions set in our Bronze Award in 2019 have been realised,” Prof McIlrath said.

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Some of MIC’s achievements towards a more gender equal university include the establishment of a central MIC Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Interculturalism (EDII) office, the appointment of a director of EDII, with a further three full-time employees and two newly-appointed EDII faculty leads in arts and education.

“We are very proud of what MIC has accomplished so far and the results are plain to see,” Ms McIlrath said.

“For example, governance and management committees all now have a minimum of 40 per cent female representation. The MIC executive team was restructured and female representation has increased from 13 per cent to 50 per cent”.

MIC president Professor Eugene Wall said that the college “became a member of the Athena Swan Charter in 2018 and achieved our initial Bronze Institutional Award in 2019 on the first application, which was a fantastic achievement”.

“That was only the beginning of a rewarding journey that the college is on and will continue for the foreseeable future—the journey to ensuring that MIC is a diverse, welcoming, and inclusive institution for all”.