NUI Galway to introduce mandatory gender quotas for senior academic posts

NUIG has already appointed a Vice-President for Equality and Diversity

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NUIG. Image: RollingNews.ie

NUI Galway is introducing gender quotas to help ensure more women are promoted to senior academic posts.

The university's Governing Authority today unanimously adopted a final report from a Taskforce on Gender Equality.

As well as urging mandatory gender quotas for senior academic posts, the report also recommends that that committees and working groups at the university should consist of a minimum of 40% of women by the end of the year.

It further recommends that 50% of the chairs of the committees should be women by late 2018.

Dr Jim Browne, President of NUIG, welcomed the news, saying: "We made a commitment a year ago to addressing gender equality across the University with the highest priority. I now want to reiterate this commitment, as our Governing Body adopts this Taskforce Report and its recommendations".

He added that the newly appointed Vice-President for Equality and Diversity, Professor Anne Scott, "will lead this change and her priorities will be to ensure that all staff are afforded equality of opportunity and to implement a range of targeted actions to address equality issues at all levels in the University."

The changes at NUIG come after Dr Micheline Sheehy Skeffington took a case to the Equality Tribunal.

She took the action after several failed attempts to be promoted to senior lecturer, and discovering that only 1 in 17 senior lecturers in NUIG were women.

The tribunal ultimately found in her favour, shortly after she retired in 2014.