Women now account for 40% of senior lecturers at NUI Galway

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OVER half of lecturers promoted at NUI Galway in the latest promotion scheme were women, according to a new NUI Galway report published today.

The report released today includes data on its latest senior lecturer promotion scheme, through which 33 lecturers advanced.

Fifty-eight percent of those promoted were women.

This has had a positive effect on academic staff profile bringing NUI Galway to 40% female Senior Lecturers.

For years, the university has been criticised for gender imbalance. Just this month, Dr Elizabeth Tilly, who was not promoted by the university despite exceeding the necessary requirements for the position, was finally promoted after a Labour Court hearing.

The overwhelming majority of the university governing body remains male.

However, the figure of senior female lecturers is now above the national average of 36% in the most recent data published by the Higher Education Authority.

The University has met its own target to increase the percentage of women in the university at senior lecturer grade to 40% by April 2020 and remains committed to increasing the percentage of women in senior academic grades.

It has a target to increase the percentage of female professors to 30% by 2020, meaning there is still a way to go.

Commenting on the quarterly data, NUI Galway’s Head of Equal Opportunities, Aoife Cooke, said: “There has been a campus wide focus on gender equality and I’m pleased that following this range of initiatives, we have seen greater numbers of women achieve promotion to senior lecturer posts.

“We have an ambitious programme of activities planned for this year and I look forward to working with colleagues to support our staff to achieve their potential in an environment where the value of diversity is recognised.”

The University has also announced the awarding of 11 Research Capacity Building Grants to academic women from across all five colleges who have had an extended period of leave connected with caring.

The grants were established to support women in building their independent research careers and provide support to help mitigate the impact of an extended leave period on research activities.

Professor Anne Scott, Vice President for Equality and Diversity at NUI Galway, said: “A key priority over the coming years will be to advance an agenda of achieving gender equality in NUI Galway.

“We, the NUI Galway community, are moving ahead to ensure that not only matters of gender equality but also other forms of equality, diversity and inclusion are a live and active part of our agenda right across our institution.”

The Office of the Vice President for Equality and Diversity supports and oversees a comprehensive programme to support family friendly working with ‘Back to Work’ workshops for new mothers returning from maternity leave, Managing Inclusively workshops for line managers, the introduction of a ‘Meetings during Core Hours Policy’ and monthly Breast Feeding Support meetings providing peer-to-peer support for breastfeeding mothers.

The University has also announced the establishment of a staff LGBT+ network and is in the process of developing a new Gender Identity/Gender Expression policy.