(The following is Dr Micheline Sheehy Skeffington’s response to today’s (April 14th) Irish Times story that NUI Galway’s Gender Equality Task Force proposes mandatory gender quotas to increase the number of women in senior academic posts at the university. The article points out that women hold just over half of all of the lecturer posts at NUI Galway, but their numbers fall to 30 per cent at Senior Lecturer level and to 10 per cent at Associate Professor level. Just 14 per cent are full Professors.)
Dr Micheline Sheehy Skeffington:
‘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. The proposed cascade method was, in fact, the method our campaign proposed over a year ago. However, I have three major caveats:
- This policy should be for all staff and not simply academics.
- There should also be quotas for appointments from outside the university. If they do not do this, then I fear it will result in an increase in outside appointments, mostly men, and so fewer promotions for internal staff.
- They have to address the injustices of the past. There are five women taking court cases from the 2008 round of promotions. I know they deserve promotion as much as I did because they were shortlisted along with me and, through my Equality Tribunal case, I saw the application forms for all the shortlisted candidates.