On December 3rd 2014 the Higher Education Authority revealed that women are overwhelmingly under-represented in senior academic roles in third-level institutions in Ireland. Of the percentages of these roles held by women, NUIG came a definitive last of the institutions examined. It scored lowest, with only 21 per cent of Senior Lecturer posts held by women. Other third-level institutions that the HEA examined included University College Cork, which came in next lowest, with 27 per cent of women in senior posts, followed by Maynooth University, at 28 per cent, University College Dublin, at 29 per cent, and Trinity College Dublin, at 33 per cent.
In December 2015, the HEA published the next set of figures and they showed little had changed. NUIG still has the same –and lowest– per cent senior female academics at 21% and UL still has the highest with 33%. There is still a clear gap between the second lowest (UCC: 27%) and NUIG.
On December 4th 2015, at a conference in NUIG, Micheline Sheehy Skeffington launched the ranking of the universities based on these figures. This will be an annual process and the metrics can be measured from year to year. There is little change in the values and none in the overall ranking. It will take more than some adjustments to bring about real change and NUIG has the most work to do in this case. But the higher-ranking universities need also to be mindful of being overtaken by others who might more successfully address the problem of under-representation of senior female academics.