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DkIT Embracing Equity for Women

10 March 2023

Dundalk Institute of Technology celebrated International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month through a series of events in the Institute that included sessions for staff, students, and the community. This International Women's Day theme was Embrace Equity, and DkIT took this opportunity to shine a light on the people within the Institution, region, and society who either represent or advocate for equity. The events aimed to support the importance for us all to talk about our shared journey to equality, because everyone has a part to play in creating a fair and equitable place to work, study and live.

The celebrations kicked off on March 1st with a phenomenal Women in Business Symposium which was orchestrated so professionally by the Event Management Year 3 students with the support of their lecturer Karen Commins. This event facilitated three female entrepreneurs who started their own companies after seeing a gap in their markets, discuss their inspirational journeys to a packed-out Whitaker Theatre.

On the 6th Of March Fiona Hackett and the team from Health and Science hosted Ex-HER-cise @ DkIT. This fun filled event was aimed at TY students was to promote and celebrate the involvement of girls in sport and exercise, not only through active participation but through careers in coaching, leadership, officiating and governance which is in line with Sport Irelands' vision for Women in Sport.  

On 8th March, International Women’s Day, DkIT held an Embracing Equity networking breakfast, where staff and some students of the Institute, who either represent or advocate for equity, spoke about their journey to equality within the academic setting. DkIT prides itself in creating a safe place for all its students to thrive, after the speakers delivered their presentations the topic was opened to the floor for an impactful conversation and debate.

Also, on 8th March, the School of Engineering in conjunction with Engineer’s Ireland Northeast held an event for Women in Engineering. Currently only 12% of those employed in Engineering are female. So, DkIT were thrilled to invite almost 100 female secondary school students, from TY, 5th and 6th year who have selected engineering-compatible subjects. This event included presentations from female professional engineers, academics, and recent graduates. On the day an exhibition of engineering projects was on display and the event also hosted discussion groups with female engineers from different fields of engineering.

DkIT has had so many positive Embracing Equity stories in the last few months, from having their very first female Head of School of Engineering in their 50-year history, Dr Breda Brennan.  Dr Brennan’s appointment takes the Institute’s female Heads of School quota up to 75%, with 54% of the Institutes entire staff being female. DkIT were also recently delighted in reporting their increase in female apprenticeship enrolments. The Institute has also been busy rolling out a female in STEM project to 2nd level students in the region as only 25% of current employees in STEM are female and DkIT want to help break down the barriers in this much in demand industry.

DkIT is a proud supporter of equality in all industries and fields of education and the Institute is the recipient of the prestigious international Athena SWAN Bronze Award by AdvanceHE in recognition of its commitment to advancing gender equality in academia, and in promoting diversity and inclusion for staff and students in higher education, so breaking gender barriers and Embracing Equity is something the Institute constantly strives towards.

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