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Gender Equality Action Plan

South East Technological University (SETU) was formed on 1st May 2022, by the amalgamation of Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) and Institute of Technology Carlow (ITC).  Prior to the formation of SETU, both ITC and WIT had adopted Athena Swan principles and worked to embed them across their Institutions. Both had comprehensive Gender Equality Plans (GEP’s) in place within their respective institutions, which were aligned to the Athena Swan Charter along with national policy on gender equality in higher education and were actively implemented.

Both ITC and WIT had applied for Athena Swan Institutional Bronze awards, and ITC had achieved an Athena Swan Expanded Charter Bronze Award in 2019, being the first in the Technological Higher Education Sector to do so. Subsequent to this, in 2022, the Department of Computing, the School of Engineering and the Department of Humanities in the former ITC also received Departmental Athena Swan Bronze Awards, the first Departmental awards in the Technological Higher Education Sector. 

Since the adoption of the Athena Swan Charter and the publication of their GEP’s in 2018, both partners have worked to implement their respective GEPs and to embed a culture of inclusive gender equality on their campuses through the creation of new structures, offices, committees, the introduction of new policies, training, supports and networks, and data informed reporting and reviews of progress. Both partners carried out comprehensive reviews of the implementation of their GEPs in 2021, identifying key success, challenges and priorities for future action.

Both partners were also signatories to the new Athena Swan Ireland Charter, the principles of which have been formally adopted by SETU and will be embraced by the university, forming the basis for of the gender equality work in the university going forward.

Prior to the merger in May 2022, a comprehensive process to ensure that specific actions and initiatives in the legacy action plans would continue to be implemented in SETU was agreed. 

Four phase process:

(Q 3 & 4 2021) Progress Reports and Reviews of Existing GEP’s

Both partners undertook a comprehensive review of their GEPs in Q3 and Q4 of 2021. The objectives of these reviews were to:

  • Identify of the key successes and progress made to date
  • Identify of key challenges and barriers to implementation where they occurred
  • Identify key actions for inclusion in the SETU GEP 

Identification of Key Priorities and Actions by Cross Campus SETU GEP working group (Q1 2021)

Once the detailed GEP reviews were completed, a cross SETU working group was established to begin work on preparing an initial draft of SETU GEP priorities and actions. Membership was drawn from the Athena Swan SAT/EDI Committees from both partners.

After reviewing the WIT & ITC Progress Reports, and the HE Gender Equality policy framework, the working group identified key priorities and actions for the draft SETU GEP. Many of these priorities were based upon the existing Action Plans, as well as reflecting and emerging issues such as Sexual Harassment and Violence and Intersectionality, for example.

Consultation (Q2 & 3 2021)

This phase saw cross campus consultation on the draft GEP, in the form of Open Discussion Forums for all university staff, along with further consultation with the EDI Committee and Athena Swan SAT, Staff and Student Unions and the Executive Management Team.

Phase 4: Adoption of SETU GEP (Q 4 2022)

Following the incorporation of feedback from the consultation phase, the final SETU GEP was prepared. See here for a copy of the SETU Gender Equality Policy, which will remain in place until such time as SETU makes a new application for an Athena Swan Bronze Institutional Award.

Gender Equality Action Plan & Horizon Europe

In 2022, SETU also undertook a comprehensive review and mapping exercise to ensure that SETU could evidence full compliance with all of the Horizon Europe Gender Equality Plan requirements and recommendations. This report can be found  at SETU Horizon Europe GEP Mapping Dec 2022. Further to this, the President has published a signed declaration that existing SETU Waterford gender equality strategies and plans meet the eligibility criterion for Horizon Europe (Horizon Europe SETU Signed Declaration on Gender Action Plan).

Contact us

Waterford: [email protected]

Carlow: [email protected]