In recognition of its significant strides towards inclusive gender equality, South East Technological University (SETU) was presented with Europe’s first Inclusive Gender Equality Champion award in Brussels yesterday (8 March) at a special event to mark International Women’s Day.
This important award recognises organisations that have developed the most innovative inclusive Gender Equality Plan addressing intersections with other social categories such as ethnicity, social origin, sexual orientation and gender identity (LGBTI+) or disability.
Dr Allison Kenneally, Vice President for Equality, Diversity & Inclusion at SETU said “I am delighted to accept this award on behalf of the staff and students at South East Technological University. There are many across our university community who have contributed to our success here today, and I would like to thank each and every one of them for their efforts to embed inclusive gender equality across our university campuses.
“Gender equality is everybody’s business at SETU and we strive continuously to create a welcoming, inclusive culture at our university. We have developed and are actively implementing a comprehensive gender equality action plan which has already made significant positive impact, and we will continue to make strides forward.
“To receive this award is an incredible achievement for our new university and we look forward to championing inclusive gender equality across the Irish and European Higher Education sector.”
The award ceremony was chaired by Commissioner Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth and Peter Dröll, Director in the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation and it was organised in the framework of the first EU Female Founders Forum Summit.
Speaking at the event, Mariya Gabriel said: “Promoting and ensuring gender-equal and safe working environments are a priority for the European Research Area. Today, we are rewarding EU Gender Equality champions, and thanking them to be an inspiration to other organisations to close the gender gap. Congratulations to our winners!”
Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris said, "From the moment this department was established, we made it clear inclusion and equality was a critical priority. But it is incredibly gratifying to see that our universities are leading the way on this. I hope these awards will act as an inspiration to society as a whole that we must keep working hard to create a truly just and equitable Ireland for all."
In 2022 the European Commission launched the EU Award for Gender Equality Champions which is the Commission's initiative to recognise and celebrate the outstanding results achieved in the implementation of gender equality plans by academic and research organisations.
The award aims to raise public awareness of the importance of addressing gender equality through institutional change, but also the necessity of a high degree of commitment to inclusive Gender Equality Plan implementation. It is also intended to create a community of champions that can inspire other academic and research organisations to become gender equality champions themselves.