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GenderSMART | A European partnership on gender equality in agricultural and life sciences research and teaching fields


What is GenderSMART?

The GenderSMART project was a €2.9 million EU Horizon 2020 funded project, which commenced on 1st January 2019 and concluded on the 31st December 2022.  The aim of the project was to achieve gender equality in research performing and research funding organisations operating in the agriculture and life science research and teaching fields.

As part of the project, Teagasc collaborated with other European research partners, as set out below, to develop and implement a Gender Equality Plan. Altogether, there were 9 partners from 8 EU countries involved in the project:

  1. ANR, France
  2. CIRAD, France (Project Co-Ordinator)
  3. CICYTEX, Spain
  4. CHIEAM, Italy
  5. CUT, Cyprus
  6. Teagasc, Ireland
  7. Wageningen University & Research, Netherlands

The above named institutions were supported in developing their Gender Equality Plans by two technical partners specialising in institutional change and mainstreaming a gender-balanced culture:

  1. ISAS, Czech Republic (Technical Partner)
  2. Yellow Window, Belgium (Technical Partner)


The role of Teagasc within GenderSMART

The Gender Equality Plan of every institution has four key objectives, which were also the overarching themes of the project:

  • Building a gender equality culture
  • Developing equal career support measures
  • Reshaping decision-making and governance
  • Integrating gender in funding, research and teaching

The project addressed these four objectives through dedicated thematic work packages (WP). Although it was a collaborative approach, each organisation spearheaded their own thematic work package. Teagasc took the lead on delivering Work Package 3, which centred around building a Gender Equality Culture.

In building a culture of gender equality, Teagasc focussed on:

  • Auditing and defining our core gender values (as set out and described below)
  • Incorporating these core values into daily practices and developing a recognisable logo (see below)
  • Enhancing top management accountability and ensuring middle management involvement
  • Ensuring adherence to our core gender values

For more information on the individual GenderSMART work packages, visit the GenderSMART EU website

'Sister Projects'

In addition to collaboration between partner institutions, the GenderSMART project also aimed to collaborate with ‘sister projects' and share knowledge.  These are other EU funded projects focusing on addressing gender equality in research and include such projects as ACT, BALTIC GENDER and CALIPER

The final dissemination event for the GenderSMART project took place in Brussels, Belgium on the 18th and 19th October 2022.  This featured a very successful joint event with Gearing Roles, a sister project with the objective of challenging and transforming gender roles and identities linked to professional careers.

Core Gender and Diversity Values.

Teagasc developed its core gender and diversity values using a participatory learning and action approach to brainstorm ideas on the meaning of gender equality in Teagasc.  To ensure that all voices were heard and reflected, internal workshops with staff were held across the organisation.

Gender values logo

Teagasc's core gender and diversity values, which were identified as being integral to the organisation, emerged as follows:

  • Active inclusion: We will actively ensure that all voices in the organisation are heard and that staff are empowered to share their views and ideas.
  • No barriers: We will ensure that there are no barriers to achieving gender equality in the organisation.
  • Equal opportunities: We will ensure that everyone in Teagasc will have equal opportunities to achieve their potential.

The development of a suitable logo was very important in communicating our core gender and diversity values, both internally within Teagasc and outside the organisation.  The final logo, which is now included on all corporate documents, is displayed to the right.

The GenderSMART Project Team

The members of the core Teagasc GenderSMART project team were:

Jane Kavanagh
GenderSMART Project Manager

Emma Fogarty
GenderSMART Project Co-ordinator

Valerie Farrell
HR Manager

GenderSMART Taskforce

A GenderSMART Taskforce was established in Teagasc to oversee the development, implementation and monitoring of the Gender Equality Plan (GEP).




Chairperson: Prof. Frank O’Mara

Director of Teagasc and
Chair of GenderSMART Taskforce


The other members of the Teagasc GenderSMART Taskforce are:

Stan Lalor Director of Knowledge Transfer
Frank Murphy Head of Curriculum Development Unit
Tim Ashmore College Principal, Kildalton College
Majella Moloney Regional Manager, Kerry/Limerick
Deirdre Glynn Specialist ASSAP Advisor
John Spink Head of CELUP
Deirdre Hennessy Researcher AGRIP
Sinead McCarthy Researcher REDP
Erin O’Rourke Walsh Scholar Development Officer
Kealan O'Toole Campus Administrator
Alan Phelan Chief Operations Officer
Sheila Gibbons Senior Corporate Services Officer
Susan Kearney Head of Finance Department
Jennifer Wilson ICT Security
Linda Giblin Food Researcher