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CIT Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team (SAT)

To apply for an institutional award, a higher education institution must establish a self-assessment team to drive the process of self-reflection and identification of actions. Support and commitment at the most senior level in the organisation is essential. Consultation with the wider body of staff is also important.


The Athena SWAN process commenced in CIT in January 2017 following the publication of the HEA Report on Gender Equality in Irish Higher Education Institutions (2016)[1]. CIT adopted the Athena SWAN expanded principles in 2017 and became an Athena SWAN member organisation, eligible to apply for an Athena SWAN bronze institutional award. At institutional level, a bronze award means that the Institute has identified gender-related issues and barriers to women’s progress, has put in place an action plan to address the issues, and is basing the plan on a solid foundation. The development of an inclusive culture is an essential part of the process. Once an institution achieves a bronze award, individual departments can then apply for departmental awards.


The CIT Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team (SAT) was then established by the President in August 2017, and the following factors contributed to initial membership of the SAT:



The first meeting took place in September 2017, followed by the formation of four Work Groups:

  • Data group
  • Organisational Culture Group
  • Career Development, Leave & Flexible Working Group
  • Transitions from Recruitment to Promotion


A full log of all meetings and events has been made available to all staff in CIT throughout the process through the CIT Staff Gateway document repository[1]. This log records the type of meeting/event, the main attendees, the purpose of the meeting/event, and the agreed actions.



There are 20 members of the SAT:

  • Ms Deirdre Casey Head of Human Resources
  • Mr Donogh Coleman Lecturer, Department of Civil, Structural & Environmental Engineering
  • Ms Maria Cullinane Lecturer, Department of Process, Energy & Transport Engineering
  • Dr Orla Flynn Vice President for External Affairs
  • Dr Joe Harrington Head of School of Building & Civil Engineering
  • Ms Katherine Keane Head of Department of Architecture
  • Mr Michael Loftus Head of Faculty of Engineering & Science
  • Dr Ann Marie McCarthy Researcher, CAPPA, on maternity leave
  • Dr Áine Ní Shé, Head of Department of Mathematics, Registrar & Vice President for Academic Affairs (Acting)
  • Dr Eileen M. O'Leary Lecturer, Department of Physical Sciences and Teaching & Learning Unit
  • Dr Donagh O'Mahony Head of Department of Physical Sciences
  • Ms Chris O'Sullivan Senior Technical Officer, IT Services
  • Prof. Dirk Pesch Head of Nimbus Research Centre
  • Dr Susan Rea Senior Research Fellow, Nimbus Research Centre
  • Prof. Roy Sleator Lecturer, Department of Biological Science and Senior Scientist at BioExplore Research Centre
  • Dr Niall Smith Head of Research
  • Ms Norma Welch Administrator, Faculty of Engineering & Science
  • Dr Ramona Marfievici Researcher, cover on SAT for Dr Ann Marie McCarthy
  • Mr Sam Dawson/Aaron Buckley Students' Union President
  • Ms Stephanie Kelly Students' Union Vice President for Education
  • Ms Jennifer O'Leary PhD Student, Department of Biological Sciences


Additional support is provided to the SAT from: Ms Nicola Griffin, Office of External Affairs





The SAT itself met 12 times:

  • September 2017
  • November 2017
  • January 2018
  • February 2018
  • March 2018
  • April 2018
  • May 2018
  • June 2018
  • September 2018 (x2)
  • October 2018
  • November 2018



Typical meeting agendas included:

  • Follow-up on actions from previous meetings
  • Update from National Committee
  • Update from four SAT Groups
  • Update on resourcing
  • Review of successful submissions from other HEI’s
  • Discussion on data/submission document/future of SAT
  • Discussion on emerging actions
  • Focus on SAT actions for the next meeting