Tuesday 19 February 2019

Five female lecturers claim NUIG overlooked them for promotion

Adrienne Gorman, Sylvie Lannegrand, Roisin Healey, Micheline Sheehy Skeffington, Margaret Hodgins and Elizabeth Tilley at NUIG. Photo: Andrew Downes.
Adrienne Gorman, Sylvie Lannegrand, Roisin Healey, Micheline Sheehy Skeffington, Margaret Hodgins and Elizabeth Tilley at NUIG. Photo: Andrew Downes.

Caroline Crawford

A FORMER lecturer at NUI Galway has vowed to use the €70,000 she won from the university in an equality case to help five other women fight similar claims.

The five female lecturers at NUIG are considering taking a case against the university to have their unsuccessful attempts at promotion reviewed.

Dr Roisin Healey, Dr Elizabeth Tilley, Dr Adrienne Gorman, Dr Sylvie Lannegrand and Dr Margaret Hodgins had all been deemed eligible for promotion to Senior Lecuturer posts in 2009, but were all turned down.

The women are now seeking to have their cases reviewed by the university after the recent successful equality case taken by former lecturer Micheline Sheehy Skeffington. She won her claim in the Equality Tribunal that she had been discriminated on grounds of gender.

In its ruling, the tribunal also raised the case of other women lecturers in the university who had been overlooked.

It said there had been direct and indirect discrimination gender discrimination.

"We had all gone for promotion and were unsuccessful and we were very surprised to read then in the report that there was discrimination against women and against people with any kind of caring responsibilities, which in this case was all women," said Dr Healey.

"We're getting legal advice. We'd like for the university to make good on the pledge to promote gender equality on campus and we think this would be a very good step. The Equality Tribunal has ordered the university to report back to them on the progress that they have made in the year and we would hope that this would be a great beginning to it by addressing our situation," she added. The group will now meet university president Dr Jim Browne. The matter will also be raised at the next meeting of the governing authority later this month.

Dr Sheehy Skeffington said she would use the €70,000 awarded to her by the tribunal to help other colleagues overlooked by the university.

The five women had gone forward for the posts of Senior Lecturer in 2009 along with Dr Sheehy Skeffington but were unsuccessful. They applied again for promotion in 2014 but were unsuccessful.

In contrast, five men who had been turned down in 2009 also applied again in 2014 and of these four were promoted. Dr Sheehy Skeffington took early retirement in September.

A statement from NUI Galway President Dr Jim Browne said the university viewed the issue of gender equality very seriously. He said the university was taking immediate steps to implement the Tribunal's findings which it accepted "unreservedly".

Irish Independent

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