SAT members from the Department of Humanities pictured with Prof Veronica Campbell, President SETU. Pictured L to R, back row: David Denieffe, Vice President for Academic Affairs, SETU Carlow, Dr Carmel Maher, Maebh Maher, Head of Faculty of Business and Humanities, SETU Carlow. Middle row: Dr Brian Casey, Dr Dean McDonnell, Sadhb Reddy. Front row: Prof Veronica Campbell, President SETU, Dr. Maeve Doyle, Athena SWAN Project Manager for Dept. of Humanities, Dr. Eileen Doyle-Walsh, Head of Department of Humanities, SETU Carlow. SAT members not present in photo are Sharon Boyd, John Tully, Dr. Morgan O’ Brien, Alex Donovan O’Rourke and Emma Holden.

The Department of Humanities at SETU’s Carlow campus has been awarded the Bronze Athena SWAN Award in recognition of their work in advancing gender equality in academia, and in promoting diversity and inclusion for staff and students in higher education. It is the first department of humanities in the technological university sector in Ireland to be recognised in this way.

The award was achieved through a rigorous self-evaluation process by a Self-Assessment Team (SAT) made up of nine staff members and two students within the department across the disciplines of early childhood education and practice, design, law, professional social care practice, professional management services staff and management. The team was led by Dr Maeve Doyle. Due to the restrictions of COVID-19, the SAT met online throughout the pandemic. The application for the Athena SWAN award included a 31 item Action Plan which will be implemented over the next four years.

Dr Maeve Doyle, Athena SWAN project manager for Department of Humanities, commented: “This is a wonderful achievement for the Department of Humanities, SETU Carlow. Through a very difficult two years with COVID-19, the SAT team met continuously to discuss and address issues pertaining to gender equality and EDI. This is an award we can all be truly proud of from the rigorous work of the SAT to the input from staff and students through focus groups and surveys. This award is the beginning, the application and action plan have shown us what is working well and where we need to improve and what areas we need to address. We are ready and excited to further our gender equality and EDI work in the department.”

Dr Eileen Doyle-Walsh, Head of Department of Humanities, SETU Carlow commented “Our success builds on the previous successes of SETU following the achievement of a Bronze Athena SWAN Award for the institution in 2019 and the subsequent bronze awards for the Department of Computing and Faculty of Engineering at SETU Carlow in 2022. This process has been a great opportunity to highlight our specific challenges and commitments to gender equality along with an exploration of our existing culture within the department. It has afforded us the opportunity to hold a mirror up to ourselves and evaluate, not only our successes in terms of gender equality, diversity, and inclusion, but also develop an ambitious action plan to address these challenges and promote a culture within the department that is inclusive and supportive. We look forward to the challenges and future successes that lie ahead.”