Education News

Minister Harris launches National Gender Equality resource for Higher Education Institutions

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD has today marked International Women’s Day by launching the National Gender Equality Dashboard for Higher Education Institutions.

The dashboard, developed by Maynooth University, provides an invaluable resource on gender equality in Higher Education Institutions.

The figures show a healthy gender split between female (51%) and male (49%) among staff in our higher education institutions (HEIs). However, there is a significant level of under-representation of female staff at the highest decision-making levels in Irish universities (26%).

Speaking on International Women’s’ Day today, Minister Harris said:

“Much work has been done by our higher education institutions in recent years to address systemic gender inequality and we can see that progress today.

“When I became Minister, there were two female presidents. Today we have four and soon, a fifth. We, of course, have much more to do and we need effective tools like this Dashboard to ensure HEIs organisational and culture change initiatives are evidence-based.”

Commenting on the National Gender Equality Dashboard for HEIs outcomes CEO of the Higher Education Authority (HEA), Dr Alan Wall said:

“The HEA is committed to eliminating all types of discrimination in higher education to ensure that HEIs can perform to their full potential. This tool is a welcome new resource and will complement the HEA’s annual publication of national data on staff disaggregated by gender.”

Dr Gemma Irvine, Vice President for Equality and Diversity at Maynooth University, commented:

“Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) is everyone’s responsibility. This Dashboard gives people easy access to see the data for themselves, helping people to better identify where problems lie and to track progress as we implement our gender equality plan.”

The National Gender Equality Dashboard for HEIs was developed by researchers in Maynooth University AIRO – The All-Island Research Observatory using the HEA’s Higher Education Institutional Staff Profiles by Gender data.

Minister Harris added:

“Across my department, we are working to improve gender equality. As well as higher education, I am committed to increasing the participation of women and girls in science and technology. There are funding programmes that support gender initiatives to support a stronger representation of women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).”

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