NUI Galway Publishes Progress Report on Equality and Diversity

Academic Staff Profiles (all academic staff 2016) by gender with update from 2017 Senior Lecturer promotion scheme. Image: NUI Galway
Oct 31 2017 Posted: 15:48 GMT

Report highlights impact of recent senior lecturer promotions on academic staff profile to exceed national average
-58% of those promoted were female
-40% of university senior lecturers female
-36% published national average 

NUI Galway today published a progress report on its activities relating to equality and diversity/gender equality.

The report includes data on its latest senior lecturer promotion scheme, through which 33 lecturers advanced. Of the 33 promotions, there were 19 women (58%) and 14 men (42%). These figures have had a positive impact on the academic staff profile by gender at Senior Lecturer grade bringing NUI Galway to 40% female Senior Lecturers.

This figure is 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.

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.”

Equality and Diversity Highlights of the past year include:

  • Implementation of actions arising from the University’s Gender Equality Action Plan, published in November 2016, including a comprehensive programme of training and development. While all 24 of the actions are in the process of being implemented, the annual report outlines that there is “significant work to do” to bring about gender equality at all levels of the University. 
  • The formation of an LGBT+ Network, marked by the raising of the Pride flag at the University during Galway Pride week.
  • Establishment of task groups on cultural diversity, access and disability which have identified measures to further equality and inclusivity in those areas.
  • Extensive gathering of equality data, including recruitment processes and audits of staff with disabilities, throughout the year to ensure the required supports are in place. The Office of the Vice President of Equality and Diversity has a stated aim to improve monitoring on all nine protected characteristics under employment equality legislation.

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.

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