Keara Barret, IT Carlow Computing Department
Working together to #BreakTheBias by striving to understand and acting to abolish deliberate and unconscious bias within and beyond our higher education community.
Keara Barret led the Athena Swan application for IT Carlow Computing Department and was the first Institutute of Technology to be granted a Bronze award for the computing department. ICT-driven innovations across a multitude of disciplines are having positive environmental, social, and economic impacts. But with men accounting for 81.5% of the ICT sector workforce in the EU, unintentional biases in these innovations and everyday IT systems are inevitable. Rebalancing the demographics of the ICT workforce should aid in breaking stereotypes, advancing women’s empowerment, and lead to an awareness of diverse gender needs and preferences. The Department of Computing at IT Carlow seek to contribute to this rebalancing by addressing barriers to the recruitment and retention of female students and by striving to create a culture that prioritises inclusivity and equality for the benefit of all.
Having successfully applied for an Athena SWAN Bronze Award the department is now working towards the realisation of its comprehensive 4-year gender equality action plan. This plan includes initiatives to assist the development of IT Carlow’s Women in Tech society by supporting events that promote networking, mentoring and the sense of belonging among underrepresented female students. It also includes a commitment to promote diversity of role models and to incorporate teachings on bias into undergraduate programmes.