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Gender Equality Action Plan - Progress to Date
8 May, 2017
The Gender Equality Action Plan brings together all of the recommendations from the Gender Equality Task Force Final Report, overlaid with the recommendations from the HEA National Review.
The following document gives a detailed update on the progress made on these recommendations, with notes on when they were completed, how they are progressing or whether they are awaiting progress.
20 March, 2017
International Women's Week, 6-10 March, 2017
1 March, 2017
The Office of the Vice President for Equality and Diversity is delighted to invite you to attend a series of events to celebrate International Women’s Day.
Monday 6 March
2.30-5.30pm: “Full STEAM Ahead-Engineering for all!” Exhibition – Roundtable Discussion – Naming of the Alice Perry Engineering Building. More info
Tuesday 7 March
1-4pm: University Women’s Network event “Making a Difference”: Staff presentations – Reception. More info
Wednesday 8 March
Managing Working Parents: Training workshop for line managers. More info
12.30-2pm: Inclusivity in the Workplace-Key to Success: Seminar with Margot Slattery, Country President, Sodexo. More info
Thursday 9 March
10.30-3.30pm: Wikipedia Editathon Event: Wikipedia Editing Workshop. More info
2-4pm: LGBT Networking Event – “Bring your Whole Self to Work”: Forum followed by reception. More info
Gender Equality Action Plan approved by Údarás na hOllscoile
The Vice President for Equality & Diversity has now finalised the Gender Equality Action Plan (GEAP) to ensure implementation of the Task Force recommendations. The plan was approved by UMT at its meeting on 20 September, 2016 and subsequently by Údarás na hOllscoile on 1 November, 2016.
You can read details of the Gender Equality Action Plan, and see progress made on each of the actions by clicking here: Gender Equality Action Plan, November 2016
Office of the Vice-President for Equality & Diversity
Professor Anne Scott joined NUI Galway on 16 June, 2016, as the new Vice-President for Equality and Diversity. This is the first appointment of its kind in an Irish University.
Anne is heading up the Office of the Vice President for Equality and Diversity and has been joined by Aoife Cooke as Head of Equal Opportunities.
Lorna Cormican is currently working with Anne and Aoife providing administrative support.
Gender Equality Action Plan
The Vice President for Equality & Diversity is in the final stages of work on developing the Gender Equality Action Plan to ensure implementation of the Task Force recommendations. The draft plan was approved by UMT at its meeting on September 20th. It is anticipated that this action
plan will be presented to Academic Council in October and to Údarás na hOllscoile, for approval, at its first meeting of this academic year.
Three important elements of the action plan which are now in place are as follows:
1. The University will provide enhanced maternity cover to colleges, schools and support units when a member of staff goes on maternity leave. The leave (maternity / adoptive) cover funding will enable the full replacement of teaching, administration and/or technical input of our colleagues who go on maternity leave.
The underlying principles are as follows: Professional services colleagues (administration, support and technical staff) should have 1:1 replacement for the duration required by the period of maternity/adoptive leave. Schools with academic colleagues on maternity leave should receive the same financial allowance (currently €10,000 per semester) as that allocated to cover a vacancy for a fulltime member of academic staff.
2. A grant for research active academic staff returning from carers’ leave, to a maximum of €10,000, will be allocated to research active academics returning from maternity / adoptive leave, and to any research active colleague returning from extended unpaid caring leave (20 weeks leave or more), on the basis of a short business case, supported by the Head of School and the Dean. The business case must link the grant directly with specific, time-lined, measurable research outputs. Please find further details at the following link:
3. Parental Leave support: The pay savings accruing from parental leave, currently taken centrally to help balance the University budget, will, in principle, be returned to the staff member’s school / unit, on the basis of a short business case from the Head of School. This measure is intended to encourage and support parents in caring for their children, and to avoid unreasonably increased work burden on colleagues in these schools and units. Please find further details at the following link: http://www.nuigalway.ie/media/humanresources/publicdocuments/forms/Parental-Leave-scheme.pdf
Údarás na hOllscoile Adopts Final Report of the Gender Equality Task Force
17 May, 2016
NUI Galway ‘s Governing Authority/Údarás na hOllscoile today welcomed the publication of the Final Report issued by the Task Force on Gender Equality chaired by Professor Jane Grimson.
The Final Report contains 24 evidence-based recommendations which are aimed at promoting gender equality at NUI Galway.
Údaras na hOllscoile unanimously adopted the Final Report at the meeting and mandated the newly appointed Vice-President for Equality & Diversity to develop an Implementation Plan to be brought to Údaras in Autumn of this year.
The Final Report will be published in the next week.
NUI Galway appoints Vice-President for Equality and Diversity
Following a meeting of Údarás na hOllscoile/the Governing Authority on Friday (February 26th), the University announced that Professor Anne Scott has been appointed as Vice-President for Equality and Diversity. This is the first appointment of its kind in an Irish University.
Professor Scott is currently Executive Dean of the Faculty of Education, Health and Community in Liverpool John Moores University. She has worked as an academic and academic leader in the Scottish, Irish and currently the English Higher Education Systems. She held the post of Head of the School of Nursing and Human Sciences, Dublin City University (2000-2006) where she led the development of BSc, MSc and PhD programmes in the school, in addition to founding and developing a vibrant culture of research and scholarship.
In February 2006 Professor Scott was appointed Deputy President and Registrar of DCU, a post which she held until late 2012. During this time she led many initiatives across DCU including a review of the academic promotions process; the development of the e-learning roadmap; and the graduate attributes project for the university. She has a proven track record of transformational leadership in academic environments in both Ireland and the UK, working at senior levels, to bring balance to strategic decision making and insight into the organisational culture and concerns of colleagues.
Professor Scott is an active mentor for the Aurora women only leadership development programme in the UK; she was recognised by the Women’s Executive Network (WXN) through the Ireland’s Most Powerful Women: Top 25 Awards for her leadership in public service; she has also mentored emerging women leaders and high potentials via the WXN.
In welcoming the appointment, Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, said: “I am delighted to announce this appointment today at NUI Galway and I very much look forward to welcoming Professor Scott to this new role which will lead on addressing issues of equality and diversity across the University.”
The position of VP for Equality & Diversity has been established by the University following the establishment of a Task Force on Gender Equality by the University’s Governing Body in February 2015 with the remit ‘To consider the University’s present gender mix among staff, including academic and support staff, and advise the University what measures it should take and over what timescale to develop effective gender equality’.
This new post reflects the University’s commitment to transformational change. The Vice President will lead this change to ensure that equality of opportunity is provided to every member of staff as well as developing and implementing a strategy that establishes the University as an exemplar of best practice in the area.
In its first report of June 2015 the Task Force, led by Trinity College Dublin’s former Vice Provost, Professor Jane Grimson, submitted four major recommendations to the University’s Governing Authority.
With the appointment of Professor Anne Scott all of the four recommendations made in June 2015 have now been implemented:
- The establishment of a new position of Vice President of Equality and Diversity. Professor Anne Scott has been appointed to this role.
- All major influential committees should be comprised of a minimum of 40% women and 40% men by the end of 2016, including the University Management Team (UMT), Academic Management Team (AMT) and all promotions committees and interview boards. Gender quotas were applied to recent elections to the Governing Authority, and the new Governing Authority will re-constitute its committees to see this cascade to all committees.
- Ensure mandatory unconscious bias training for all senior staff. Since September over 160 members of the university leadership have completed this training, including President, Registrar and Deputy President, Vice-Presidents, Deans, Heads of School, Chairs of Committees and interview boards and all other senior decision-makers.
- External review of all promotion and progression policies and procedures within the University for all grades of staff by external expert in respect of gender equality. This review is now complete and its findings will be published shortly.
Gender Equality Update November 2015
A pdf of the Gender Equality update is available to read and print:
in English > Gender Equality Update Nov 2015
and in Irish > Nuachtlitir maidir leis an gComhionannas Inscne Samh 2015
Click below on the headings for more details
The Gender Equality Task Force has met three times since it was established at the beginning of 2015 and has also held a joint meeting with the Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team. A Progress Report was presented to Údarás na hOllscoile in June, and it contained four recommendations aimed at ensuring that all staff are equally supported in their work to achieve their full potential.
The Task Force called for:
- a new position of Vice-President for Equality and Diversity
- gender quotas for major influential University committees
- compulsory unconscious bias training for senior University staff
- an external expert review of all promotion and progression policies and procedures
See below for more details on why these recommendations were made, and how they are being progressed.
In September, the University advertised the new role of Vice-President for Equality and Diversity. The new role was created following a recommendation by the Gender Equality Task Force in their Progress Report. The new Vice-President will be a member of the University Management Team (UMT) with responsibility for advancing equality-related outcomes across the institution. The position will ensure that the issue of gender equality continues to be prioritised, led and sustained at a very senior level in the University. It is hoped that the appointment of the Vice-President, as well as the establishment of a fully resourced Office of Equality and Diversity, will be a strong signal that NUI Galway is committed to bringing about the cultural change that is required.
The closing date for applications was 29 October, and interviews are planned for the 16 and 17 December.
The Gender Equality Task Force has recommended that all the major key decision-making committees in the University, as well as all promotion committees and interview boards, should be comprised of a minimum of 40% women and 40% men. They have also recommended that 50% of the chairs of University committees should be women. Though some committees already achieve this target, the majority do not, and the recommendation is made as a means to ensure that women can participate fully in decisionmaking and not just in a tokenistic fashion. The move is in keeping with appointments to state boards nationally.
Appointments to senior University committees, including their chairs, are made from within Údarás na hOllscoile (the University’s Governing Authority). Therefore, it is vital that both genders are well represented among its 40 members in order for the quotas to be achieved. With Údarás elections soon approaching, it is important that staff, students and alumni nominate and elect a diverse range of candidates.
Several studies have shown that unconscious bias is widespread throughout academia, and that its effect is to advantage men over women. In light of this, the Gender Equality Task Force has recommended that all senior management in the University – including UMT, AMT and Heads of Schools – as well as chairs of committees and interview boards, should undergo compulsory unconscious bias training. This training makes participants recognise their own biases, and helps them to make better and more rational decisions.
Following a recent procurement competition, the job of providing this training has been awarded to an external supplier of occupational psychologists called SEVEN. The company has worked with several wellknown Irish and international organisations, including RTÉ, Bank of Ireland, the European Space Agency, and several Institutes of Technology. Their training programme will initially target an estimated 300 senior staff and academics, with a workshop and online training that targets unconscious bias at critical stages in the career cycle: recruitment, performance management, pay and rewards, and promotion. Workshop training for this cohort will be completed before the end of 2015.
The issue of staff promotion and progression is a central theme in addressing gender equality in the University. Data from the University’s Athena SWAN application highlights the need for a review of policies and procedures in this area, including how individuals whose careers have been interrupted are assessed for promotion. Following a recommendation by the Gender Equality Task Force for an external expert review, Maria Hegarty has been appointed to review all promotion and progression policies and procedures in the University.
Maria Hegarty is founder and managing director of Equality Strategies, and she has worked with many high profile organisations in Ireland, including DCU, DIT, Trinity and WIT. Her work in NUI Galway will begin with an examination of the policies and procedures for promotion to personal professorship and for staff retention for both academic and support staff. Maria will produce a report, with best practice recommendations that will help to promote gender equality outcomes in promotion processes across the University.
For more information on Equality Strategies, visit: www.equalitystrategies.ie
In July, the results of the first round of the Athena SWAN Awards open to Irish universities were announced. After a rigorous application process, UL and Trinity both attained the award, while NUI Galway and four other institutions were unsuccessful on this occasion. Following the announcement of the winners, the UK-based Equality Challenge Unit commended the “unwavering commitment to gender equality” of all participating institutions, and each institution received detailed feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of their application. This feedback – combined with the comprehensive input from over 900 NUI Galway staff leading up to the application – will help our Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team prepare for future submissions. As part of the Athena SWAN submission, the team also developed a detailed action plan, to which the University remains strongly committed.
The Athena SWAN framework helps guide best practice in advancing the careers of women in higher education. The awards programme gives recognition to those institutions who demonstrate a solid foundation for eliminating gender bias and for developing an inclusive culture that values all staff. NUI Galway congratulates our higher education colleagues in UL and Trinity on attaining an Athena SWAN award, as it adds to the momentum for change regarding gender equality across the sector in Ireland. NUI Galway was part of the initial consortium who sought to establish an Irish Chapter of Athena SWAN via the HEA. In April 2014, the Equality Challenge Unit announced the expansion of the Athena SWAN Charter to Ireland, the first time the charter would apply outside the UK. The attainment of an Athena SWAN Bronze Award has been identified as a key priority in the University’s Strategic Plan 2015-2020, and the Self-Assessment Team will continue to work on future submissions.
For more information on Athena SWAN, including the judges’ feedback and staff survey results, visit:
The work of the Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team was greatly helped by the huge response by staff to their call for feedback. Over 900 staff responded to the team’s survey, with the quantitative results now published online at www.nuigalway.ie/genderequality. A report on the qualitative results will be published shortly. The team would like to thank everyone for sharing their views, insights and experience so freely. The feedback will continue to have a direct impact on the work of the Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team, as well as other groups working on gender equality initiatives.
Gender Equality Task Force
The Gender Equality Task Force would like to thank all of those who sent in feedback during their call for consultation in June, July and August. It is important that the Task Force gets a broad insight into the culture of equality in the University, as well as staff’s first-hand
experience of our policies and procedures. The staff feedback will be an important guide in steering their work towards transforming the culture of NUI Galway.
At an AGM in April this year the University Women’s Network elected a new committee with co-chairs Dr Rachel Hilliard and Lorraine McIlrath. The network was first launched in 2012 and seeks to support professional development and networking among its members towards achieving individual career goals and contributing to the development of vibrant research, teaching and support services communities. The network welcomes members from all staff – new members can register on http://www.nuigalway.ie/equality/womensnetwork/membership.html.
Upcoming events will be announced in the coming weeks.
The University welcomed the announcement in July of a national review of gender equality in higher education. The review panel has been set up by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) to investigate gender discrimination at third-level, amid heightened concern over the lack of women in leadership roles nationally. NUI Galway’s Governing Authority had formally called on the HEA and the Irish Universities Association back in 2014 to initiate such a review as an important step in confronting the issue across the higher education sector.
Máire Geoghegan-Quinn will chair the five-strong review panel. She has an in-depth knowledge of the Irish education system from a number of perspectives: as a teacher in the 1970s, as a TD for Galway West for 22 years, and in her more recent role as Ireland’s European Commissioner responsible for the Research, Innovation and Science portfolio.
HEA chief executive Tom Boland said: “The review will take as its starting point an analysis of the current position in higher education in Ireland in respect of gender equality, examining this across all grades of staff, including administrative staff, and it will examine the reasons for continuing gender inequality among staff across the sector.” The University will cooperate with all requests from the review panel, and is willing to support them by any means possible. We wish them every success in exploring this complex issue, and we look forward to their findings and recommendations.
In accordance with the provisions of the Universities Act, 1997, Údarás na hOllscoile (The University Governing Authority) elections will be held in January. These elections will be conducted via e-voting. As the elections approach, the Office of the Secretary will update staff, students and graduates on how to nominate and vote for candidates.
Údarás na hOllscoile is the most senior authority in the University, and all senior University committees are chaired by, and comprised of, Údarás members. It is crucial, therefore, that the Governing Authority is representative of our diverse University community, and comprises a mix of gender and backgrounds. Nominations are open to all staff, and we strongly encourage everyone to get involved in nominating and voting.
More info: www.nuigalway.ie/udaraselections2015
Eight NUI Galway Female Researchers Honoured in Áras an Uachtaráin for Contribution to Science
31 January, 2015
A special celebration of Women in Science hosted by the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins and Sabina Higgins, acknowledged the contributions of eight NUI Galway academics and researchers. They are pictured, from left: Dr Róisín Dwyer, Dr Michelle Kilcoyne, Dr Adrienne Gorman, Dr Sharon Glynn, Dr Laoise McNamara, Dr Elaine Dunleavy, Professor Grace McCormack and Dr Eva Szegezdi.
Athena SWAN Award Results
30 July, 2015
In the first round open to Irish universities, TCD & UL were successful, while NUI Galway and three other Irish higher level institutions were not.
Geoghegan-Quinn to head third-level gender equality review
20 July, 2015
Former European commissioner and Fianna Fáil minister Máire Geoghegan-Quinn is to chair a national review of gender equality in higher education.
Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team release quantitative results from staff survey
26 June, 2015
The quantitative results from the Athena SWAN gender equality survey are now available here: Athena SWAN Survey - Quantitative Results.
The Self-Assessment Team wishes to thank everyone who participated in this survey. The survey received 964 responses from 653 women and 311 men. The SAT will prepare a report of the quantitative results for each category of staff, and this will be available in the coming weeks. The SAT are also committed to conducting a detailed analysis of the 2,234 qualitative responses to the survey in conjunction with an external and independent analyst, and they aim to report and disseminate the results early in the new term.
Gender Equality Task Force presents Progress Report to NUI Galway Governing Authority
23 June, 2015
In a progress report to go before the university’s council today, the group chaired by external academic Prof Jane Grimson calls for the creation of a new post of vice-president of equality and diversity.
HEA to launch "system-wide independent review" of gender equality in Irish higher education
28 May, 2015
The Higher Education Authority is to appoint a panel of Irish and international experts to review gender equality across Ireland’s third-level institutions. The review is to be published within a year.
Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team make Submission
30 April, 2015
The Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team submitted their institutional appraisal on 30 April. The 42 page document brings together information on data relating to a range of gender measures across the University, including a breakdown of staff numbers by gender across grades, and details of our training, policies and procedures. The submission is accompanied by a letter of endorsement by President Browne.
This submission is made in application for an Athena SWAN Bronze award for the University. The detailed Action Plan sets out the next steps in promoting gender equality acorss the University.
Read the submission in full here: Athena SWAN submission 2015.
Gender Equality Task Force holds First Meeting
25 March, 2015
The new Task Force on gender equality at NUI Galway held its first meeting on Wednesday, 25 March, on campus.
Athena SWAN Self-Appraisal Team launch staff survey
13 March, 2015
Staff at NUI Galway have been asked to take part in a survey on theme of gender equality co-ordinated by the Athean SWAN Self-Appraisal Team. The results of the survey, which is completely confidential and anonymous, will form part of the institution-wide assessment being made by the Team in submitting to Athena SWAN. The survey includes questions regarding work flexibility, opportunities for promotion, and work culture.
Staff can take the survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Athena_SWAN_Staff_Survey
The Irish Times: O’Sullivan satisfied with NUI Galway’s progress on gender discrimination
10 March, 2015
Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan has said she is satisfied NUI Galway is being proactive in dealing with gender discrimination. She told the Seanad the institution “was at the forefront of the universities sector in this respect”.