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Professor Karen McCloskey

Karen McCloskey
Job Title:
Director, Queen’s Gender Initiative, Queen’s University Belfast

Karen is Director of Queen’s Gender Initiative (QGI) and Academic Lead for Athena Swan. She chairs the institutional SAT and has been an advocate for gender equality in academia since 2012. She has co-led departmental (silver and gold) and institutional (silver) Athena Swan applications and has served as a panellist. 

In her experience, Athena Swan enables change, improving the participation of women in universities, particularly in senior academic and leadership roles.   

As Director of QGI, a female-focused entity that leads gender equality in Queen’s, she works with a dedicated team to advance women’s visibility, support leadership development, provide bespoke mentoring and foster an enabling culture.  She is passionate about engendering an environment where everyone has a sense of belonging with their individual and collective contributions recognized.  She is currently co-chairing the ‘Future Workforce – Future Workplace’ workstream of the University’s Strategic Plan 2030.    

As a Professor of Physiology, Karen has educational and research academic roles and has served on a range of boards and committees.  She enjoys carrying out experiments in the laboratory, when her (excellent) research group give permission and time allows.  Her group works on bladder dysfunction and urological cancers, with the aim of combatting cancer while minimizing treatment side-effects on the bladder.