Our campaign to pressurise the university into implementing radical changes to the promotion system has resulted in them adopting all the recommendations of Jane Grimson’s task force report and thus fulfilling the third of Micheline’s three conditions. We don’t think this would have happened if we had not embarrassed both management and male academics by so successfully highlighting the awful situation for female academics in NUI Galway. Part of that was all the letters written by supporters to those responsible for maintaining the structures that allowed for such discrimination.
There is still more to do – ensuring that non academic women benefit equally from the change and that management does not try to get round the new rules, for instance. But for the campaign our focus must now be on the past injustices that have still to be addressed and specifically the five women taking the court cases. You can help us with this by writing about this.
Take the time to write a personal email describing why this issue is important to you or if you are a student or member of staff explain why you feel it is essential to address the past injustices for the sake of the university or your place in it.
The most important people to write to:
The University President, Jim Browne. The President’s Office, NUI Galway, University Rd, Galway, firstname.lastname@example.org
The University Registrar, Pól O’Dochartaigh. The Registrar’s Office, NUI Galway, University Rd, Galway, email@example.com
Please cc the campaign address so we can see how many letters the president is receiving firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are at NUI Galway you could also write to the dean of your discipline. Or if you are writing concerning the individual case of one of the women suffering discrimination you could write to the dean of their discipline.
Bite Size Facts to Question the University on:
- Of the 16 men promoted in 2008/9, ten are now Professors, one a Dean, and only five are still Senior Lecturers. Of the 7 men shortlisted but not promoted in 2008/9, two are now Professors, five are now Senior Lecturers and only two are still College Lecturers. Of the 6 women shortlisted in 2008/9, the one promoted to Senior Lecturer is still just a Senior Lecturer, Micheline Sheehy Skeffington was only promoted to Senior Lecturer because of winning her case and the five others are still just College Lecturer. Is that fair?
- It will cost the university less to promote the five women than creating their new post of Vice President for Equality and Diversity. Even if they are then also forced to promote the two men who have yet to be promoted to Senior Lecturer
- The President and the university’s governing body has the power to promote who ever they wish.
- At the second last round of promotions for senior lecturer only 1 woman was promoted from 17 applicants while 16 men were promoted from 32 applicants. NUI Galway reviewed its promotion system because of this but did not promote any of the women. When one of them, Dr Micheline Sheehy Skeffington, took her case to the Equality Tribunal she won. The President accepted the verdict unreservedly but has still done nothing about the other five women shortlisted but not promoted, some of whom were ranked above Dr Sheehy Skeffington.
- At the last promotion round for senior lecturer 54% of college lecturers were women, 49% of those who applied were women and 51% of those who were shortlisted and deemed eligible were women, but only 32% of those actually promoted were women. Is that fair?
- According to recent HEA figures NUI Galway has the lowest percentage of women in senior posts of any Irish university. While an EU report showed only one European country worse than Ireland: Malta, which only has one university.
- At NUI Galway the President is a man, the Registrar is a man, the Deans of Science, Arts, Business, Engineering and Medicine are men. The Directors of all five principal research institutes are men. There is only one senior academic role held by a woman, considered by some to be the least important: Dean of Postgraduate Studies.
It’s time to stand up and put an end to these stone age practices. Have your say, Contact the President and demand change