Sunday 18 February 2018

NUI Galway’s Governing Authority 'fully accepts' recommendations by Gender Equality task force

NUI Galway
NUI Galway
Caroline Crawford

Caroline Crawford

NUI Galway’s Governing Authority has said it fully accepts the recommendations presented by the Task Force for Gender Equality.

At a meeting today the new task force presented its Progress Report along with its first set of recommendations.

They include mandatory unconscious bias training for all members of the University Management Team (UMT), Academic Management Team (AMT), Heads of Schools, Chairs of Committees and interview boards along with “all other senior decision makers”.

It recommended that all major influential committees should have a minimum of 40pc women and men by the end of 2016. This includes the University Management Team, Academic Management Team and all promotions committees and interview boards.

It called for the establishment of a new position of Vice President of Equality and Diversity with an initial focus on gender equality.

The fourth and final recommendation  called for a review of all promotion progression policies and procedures within the University for all grades of staff to be carried out by an external expert  in respect of gender equality.

Speaking after the meeting, Judge Catherine McGuinness, Chair of the University’s Governing Authority, said: “NUI Galway’s Governing Authority adopted and fully committed to implementing the recommendations presented to them earlier this morning by Chair of the Task Force, Professor Jane Grimson. The Governing Authority along with the University Management Team jointly welcomed these initial recommendations from the Task Force and have in fact committed to addressing the four main recommendations as a matter of urgency”.

The Task Force has agreed to consult widely with the University community on their experiences of gender-related issues before making recommendations. The task force will continue to report to the Governing Authority in the coming months and will produce a comprehensive report of its recommendations by Spring 2016.

The Task Force, led by Prof Jane Grimson, a former Vice-Provost at Trinity, was established in response to the recent decision of the Equality Tribunal which found Dr Micheline Sheehy Skeffington had been discriminated on the grounds of gender. The university was ordered to promote the botany lecturer who has since taken early retirement.

The task force has been criticised by Ms Sheehy Skeffington and the academic section of Siptu over its lack of independence. Siptu has directed its members not to co-operate with it.

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