DCU Launches Ireland’s First Centre of Excellence For Diversity & Inclusion
Ireland’s first Centre of Excellence for Diversity and Inclusion has been launched at Dublin City University. The DCU Centre of Excellence for Diversity and Inclusion will focus on diversity and inclusion research and practice in Ireland for industry, higher education and Government.
The first of its kind in Ireland, the Centre will help organisations to build cultures of inclusion by providing access to the very latest in academic research, insights and tools for diversity and inclusion.
Announcing the launch of the Centre, President of DCU, Prof. Brian MacCraith, said: “DCU’s long-standing primary aim has been to enable our students to prepare for the 21st Century. By establishing Ireland’s first Centre of Excellence for Diversity and Inclusion, we are transcending that and reaching out to the public and private sectors, from sole traders to multinationals; individual academics and policy officers to higher education institutions, and government departments to state agencies. Diversity and Inclusion is the right thing to do – it needs to be at the top of everyone’s agenda, and we are proud to help position it there.”
Prof. MacCraith added: “DCU’s Centre of Excellence will serve as a one-stop-shop, providing invaluable thought leadership and international best practice in the diversity and inclusion arena. Critically, this resource will be accessible and affordable, building of the principles of integrity, research excellence and shared learning. With our annual Alumni ‘Outstanding Achievement Award for Diversity and Inclusion’ Award and, as a university that has led the way in Ireland on access, autism, age-friendly, environmental and other societal issues, today’s Centre of Excellence announcement bolsters DCU’s reputation as a bona fide university of enterprise and transformation.”
Director of the new Centre of Excellence, Sandra Healy, said: “There are many types of ‘hidden’ issues and personal ‘speed bumps’ that employees encounter in their lives. There is often significant effort in transforming work environments to where they need to be from a diversity and inclusion perspective. Whilst good intentions on diversity and inclusion are there in abundance among management and staff, the required focus, structure and means to responsibly engineer that cultural transformation can be lacking. The new Centre at DCU will create a formal engagement for industry and others to directly access expertise on diversity and inclusion, and assist that journey.”
To coincide with the Centre of Excellence launch, a celebrated champion of diversity and inclusion in the Arab world, H.E. Dr Amal Al Qubaisi, Chairperson and Speaker of the Federal National Council (FNC – the United Arab Emirates Parliament), received an Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy from DCU. In 2015, Dr Amal made history when she was elected Speaker of the FNC, becoming the first woman in the Arab world to hold such office.
Pictured at the launch of Ireland’s first Centre of Excellence for Diversity & Inclusion were (left-right): Employer Disability Information HR & Disability Project Manager, Seonaid O’Murchadha; H.E. Dr Amal Al Qubaisi, Chairperson and Speaker, Federal National Council, UAE; Founder of Empower The Family, Deborah Somorin; and Director of the Centre of Excellence, Sandra Healy.