Pictured (l-r) at University College Dublin are; Katie Hannon, Political Correspondent, RTÉ; Professor Orla Feely, UCD Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact; Associate Professor Emmeline Hill, UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science and Chief Scientific Officer, Plusvital; and Róisín Duffy, News Editor, RTÉ and Chair of Women on Air. (Nick Bradshaw, Fotonic).
As part of its celebration of International Women’s Day University College Dublin (UCD) hosted a ‘fire-side’ chat event with a panel of national journalists and UCD academic leaders to encourage more female experts at the University to share their expertise with the media.
The ‘Women in the Media’ event featured Katie Hannon, Political Correspondent, RTÉ; Róisín Duffy, News Editor, RTÉ and Chair of Women on Air; Associate Professor Emmeline Hill, a leading equine genomics scientist and entrepreneur and Professor Orla Feely, Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact.
During the event the panel outlined their views on how women are shaping the media landscape while navigating the challenges of the industry and advocating for gender equality.
During the event Katie Hannon said, “Women have made great strides towards equality and inclusion. Yet, the pace of change has been slow for women in most industries including, politics and the knowledge industry. It is crucial that we give a platform to diverse voices, reflecting the diversity of knowledge, expertise, and solutions to pressing issues that affect all of us.”
At the event Róisín Duffy said, “There is no question but that there are not enough women's voices being heard on mainstream media. The reasons are complex, what is clear is that women need to be given the skills and confidence to break through, to understand that they are good enough and to develop the kind of networking that has served men so well.”
To complement this event UCD also held a workshop led by Women on Air to support women at UCD learn more about how they can best engage with the media and share their professional expertise and research.
Professor Orla Feely, UCD Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact, said, “We in UCD can help to tackle the under-representation of women’s voices in the media. We want to work with producers and researchers to alert them to the diverse range of experts on our campus, and likewise to encourage more women at UCD to bring their knowledge to the public through the media.”
Associate Professor Emmeline Hill, UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science and Chief Scientific Officer, Plusvital said, “The acceptance and understanding of science by the public is critical for the continued support of research funding and to stimulate cultural and societal change. I believe we have a responsibility as scientists, men and women, to engage with the media to promote our research to diverse audiences beyond academia and to communicate science in a manner that is attractive to journalists and engaging for the public.”
“Considering stakeholder interest in my research I have made efforts to engage with national and international media to promote UCD research and innovation activities particularly to the horse racing and breeding industry, so that they have access to the knowledge that is being generated in the university environment.”
“Media exposure also provides an opportunity to engage with prospective students, particularly young women, who may be considering a career in STEM, since it is well established that role models contribute significantly to encouraging young women in the science and technology fields. I hope that by engaging with the media I am playing a part in that.”
In 2017 UCD received an Athena SWAN Bronze Award, and the University is currently implementing an ambitious gender equality action plan. One element of this relates to academic promotions, stating that the percentage of women promoted at any career stage should be at least as great as the percentage of women eligible for the promotion. In 2017, UCD exceeded this target in promotions to Associate Professor, Professor and Full Professor.
“UCD is making significant organisational changes to support a fairer and more inclusive workplace for everyone. International Women’s Day is an opportunity for us to demonstrate and celebrate our commitment to gender equality,” added Professor Feely.
Other events held today at UCD include campus-wide coffee mornings hosted by UCD senior leaders; the launch of a new network, Women@CompSci, to address gender equality and inclusion in the UCD School of Computer Science; seminars on women in Architecture, Art, Business, History, Literature and Science; and a series of workshops on engaging men in gender equality and career development for female staff.