Irish Education Institutes Commit To Gender Equality

Seven universities along with 14 institutes of technology and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland have pledged to tackle gender inequality for staff.

In a major national initiative supported by the Higher Education Authority, the Athena SWAN Charter, run by UK higher education equality body Equality Challenge Unit (ECU), has been expanded to the Republic of Ireland.

The charter commits to advancing women’s careers in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM) employment in academia. Figures published by the Higher Education Authority in December showed that, across Irish universities, only 19% of professors are women. In institutions of technology, women make up 45% of academic staff and 29% of senior academic staff. In subjects like physical science, mathematics, ICT and engineering, the imbalance is even more acutely noted.

Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan said: "It is important that our higher level education sector fairly represents the diversity and innovation that are at the heart of Irish society. In the area of STEMM women play a key role in teaching, cutting-edge research and building links with industry and the wider community.

"Ensuring the fair representation and career progression of female academics is also important in retaining Ireland’s international reputation for the quality and impact of our scientific community."


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