Saturday 25 January 2020

NUIG welcome recommendations to implement mandatory gender quotas

NUIG (Stock photo)
NUIG (Stock photo)

Caroline Crawford

NUI, Galway has welcomed recommendations that it implement mandatory gender quotas to ensure more female academics are promoted to senior posts.

A taskforce on gender equality, set up at the university last year after it lost an equality case, contains 23 recommendations aimed at promoting gender equality.

It includes the recommendation that mandatory gender quotas be put in place to increase the number of women in senior posts.

While half of all lecturer posts at the university are currently held by women, less than one third of senior lecturers are female and only 10pc are associate professor level.

The draft report was issued by chair of the Taskforce, Prof Jane Grimson, to the university community. The final report will be presented to the Governing Authority next month.

The draft findings were welcomed by NUI, Galway which reiterated its commitment to addressing gender equality across the University with “the highest priority”

The Task Force was established by the University in February 2015 after the college lost an equality case taken by Dr Micheline Sheehy Skeffington.

She has welcomed the recommendations adding: “It is great that NUI Galway have recognised they have to address the appalling situation for women in the university by implementing mandatory quotas for promotion rounds and the suggested way to do it is excellent.”

However, she urged that the policy be implemented for all staff and not just academics.

She also called for similar quotas for appointments from outside the university to ensure the recommendation does not simply result in more outside appointments and less promotions for internal staff.

A spokesperson for NUI, Galway said it has already introduced a series of recommendations from a preliminary report presented by the Task Force last June.

This includes the appointment of a dedicated Vice President for Equality and Diversity.

All major influential committees must also be comprised of a minimum 40pc women and 40pc men by the end of 2016, including the University Management Team (UMT), Academic Management Team (AMT) and all promotions committees and interview boards.

It added that since September 2015, over 160 members of university leadership have completed mandatory unconscious bias training, including the President, Registrar and Deputy President, Vice-Presidents, Deans, Heads of School, Chairs of Committees and interview boards and all other senior decision-makers.

It has also carried out an external expert review of all promotion and progression policies and procedures within the University for all grades of staff.

“This review is now complete and its findings will be published shortly,” the statement added.

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