GENDER EQUALITY RANKINGS LAUNCHED FOR IRISH UNIVERSITIES
Female academics are to start publishing a table ranking Irish Universities for their promotion of women to senior posts. Dr Micheline Sheehy Skeffington will present the first table at a Conference on Gender Inequality at NUI Galway this Friday 4th December. (The table is published below.) Last month was the anniversary of her historic Equality Tribunal win which proved for the first time that discrimination was responsible for how few women are promoted by Irish universities.
Following the resulting media coverage, both NUI Galway and the Higher Education Authority set up committees to look into how the gender imbalance can be corrected. However, Dr Sheehy Skeffington questions whether these alone will lead to any significant change.
“Both of the men announcing these committees insisted that it was pure coincidence they were doing this now and that it had nothing to do with my case. I do not believe them, and I also do not believe their assurances that the position for women will improve as a result of the committee’s findings. What always stops any real change is that if more women are promoted then less men can be promoted! That is why we have to keep the pressure on the men in power at the universities to act. These tables will help do that because each university cares so much about its own image. So none of them will want the bad publicity of coming last!”
In this year’s first table, it is NUI Galway which is at the bottom with only 21% of senior academics that are female. The best Irish university is Limerick with 33%, but Dr Sheehy Skeffington is not impressed with this level of female promotion either.
“Fifty percent of junior lecturers in Irish Universities are female and there is no reason why more of them should not be promoted. Every country in Europe, except for Malta, promotes more women to senior posts in their universities than Ireland and I don’t believe their women are any more capable than ours.”
The ranking tables will be produced each November on the anniversary of Dr Sheehy Skeffington’s win and will use data for staffing levels at each university provided by the HEA for the previous year. Where the percentage of women in senior posts rounded to the nearest whole number is the same for two universities, then the percentage of women who are professors will be used to differentiate between them.
Dr Sheehy Skeffington added, “This year’s figures will provide the base line. Next year we will see if their promises have amounted to any actual improvement. We will also see if NUI Galway has managed to catch up to any of the other universities. I hope so because then the others are going to start worrying they might be bottom.”
Contact and to interview Micheline; firstname.lastname@example.org 087 761 3735
Information on the Conference: email@example.com
THE FOLLOWING IS THE TABLE WITH THE RANKING FOR EACH UNIVERSITY:
Gender Equality Rankings for Irish Universities: 2015
|Rank||University||Senior Posts||Professor||Junior Lecturer|
|% Female||% Female||% Female|