Step Into Action : Tackling Inequality from the Individual to the Institution

Workshop Outline

This workshop will be divided into four short sessions which will target different topics related to diversity, equality and inclusion. Starting from the perspective of the individual and working our way up towards dealing with institutional bias, the sessions will consist of a mix of interactive discussions to provoke critical thinking, strategies on working towards equality in each setting and the unpacking of negative and damaging stereotypes. Biases towards race, gender, sexuality and disability will all be examined as we strive to work together towards a more inclusive society.

Session 1 : You

In this session we will explore the meaning of identity, and what this concept stands for as we move through the greater world. We will focus on how we see ourselves, issues such as impostor syndrome and learning how to be our own advocates when overcoming prejudice.

Session 2: Your Community

In this session we will examine our professional and personal relationships, framed in the light of support and inclusion. We will talk about unconscious bias, speaking up in the face of injustice, creating space for minority groups and learning how to be better allies for the people in our lives.

Session 3: Your Institution

This session will look at the ways in which academic establishments or companies deal with minority groups in their employ. We will discuss the strategies implemented by different institutions and consider their positive and negative factors. Discussion will take place about how these initiatives can be improved and what our role may be within it.

Session 4: Communication, Controversy and Change

The final session will consist of discussion around the topics covered in previous sessions and how they are interrelated. We will also spend some time critically examining some controversial topics such as tokenism, dealing with negative fallout from speaking up and how the way we communicate issues can impact how they are perceived.

Workshop Leaders

Aisling Scully

Aisling Scully is a PhD Researcher at University College Cork where her work is focused on Structural Geology, Renewable Energy and Mineralisation in Geothermal Reservoirs. She has a BSc (Hons) Geology from University College Cork, an MSc in Structural Geology with Geophysics from the University of Leeds and is currently an Irish Research Council Postgraduate Scholar. As the current President of the Irish Association for Women in Geosciences and a lifelong member of the LGBT community, Aisling is a passionate advocate for equality in the sciences and has an extensive record of activism work surrounding topics such as intersectional feminism, gender equality and LGBT rights in the workplace and in STEM.

Aoife Blowick

Aoife Blowick is a member of Irish Centre for Research in Applied Geosciences (iCRAG) and former post-doctoral researcher at NUI Galway after completing her undergraduate and PhD in Geology in University College Dublin. In 2017, Aoife founded the Irish Association for Women in Geosciences (IAWG), serving as President until early this year. She currently sits on the board of the Association for Women Geoscientists (AWG) and is a member of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee in iCRAG. An avid supporter of equality for all, Aoife hopes to actively engage and create change in institutions and workplaces through workshops such as this one.