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.




Steering Group Members (September 2017 to date)



Dr Orla Flynn (Chair) - F

VP External Affairs

Member: AC, IEB

Aurora role model, mentor

Member Network Cork (female business network)


Ms Deirdre Casey - F

HR Manager

Chair, Career Development, Leave & Flexible Working Group


Mr Donogh Coleman - M

LCG, Department Civil, Structural & Environmental Engineering

Involved in iWish initiative


Ms Maria Cullinane - F

LCG, Department Process, Energy & Transport Engineering

Former Chair, TUI Cork Colleges Branch

Involved in iWish initiative


Dr Joe Harrington - M

SL3 Head of School Building & Civil Engineering

Member: AC


Ms Katherine Keane - F

SL2 Head of Department Architecture

Member: AC


Mr Michael Loftus - M

SL3 Head of Faculty Engineering & Science

Member: AC, IEB

Faculty sponsor – female leadership training initiatives & female CIT STEM Community Leadership Team


Dr Annemarie McCarthy - F

Researcher Department Physical Sciences 



Dr Áine Ní Shé - F

Acting Registrar & Vice President Academic Affairs

SL2 Head of Department of Mathematics

Member: National Athena SWAN Committee

Member: AC, IEB


Dr Eileen M. O’Leary - F

AL, Department Physical Sciences



Ms. Jennifer O’Leary - F

PhD Student, Department Biological Sciences



Dr Donagh O’Mahony - M

SL2, Acting Head Department Physical Sciences

Member: AC


Ms Chris O’Sullivan - F

Senior Technical Officer, IT Services



Prof. Dirk Pesch - M

SL2 Head Nimbus Research Centre

Member: AC


Dr Susan Rea - F

Senior Fellow Researcher, Group Lead Nimbus

“Train the Trainer” Unconscious Bias training May 2018.

Athena SWAN Panel Training, July 2018


Prof. Roy Sleator - M

SL1 Department Biological Sciences

Senior Scientist, BioExplore Research Centre


Dr Niall Smith - M

SL2 Head of Research at CIT, Director of Blackrock Castle Observatory

Member of AC


Dr Ramona Marfievici - F

Researcher Nimbus, maternity leave cover for Dr Annmarie McCarthy

Active member of N2Women and GradCohort


Ms Norma Welsh

Senior Administrator, Faculty Engineering & Science

Aurora graduate

Future Leaders participant

Co-founder, CIT IWISH campus week


Mr Aaron Buckley (June to November 2018) - M[*]

Students' Union President

Member: AC, GB

* Previously Mr Sam Dawson (September 2017 to June 2018)



Additional Supports for the CIT SAT


Ms Nicola Griffin – F

Administrator, External Affairs

Support for data (gathering, analysis, formatting) and documentation


Mr Niall Cremin - M


Support for costing Action Plan






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