Universities face funding cuts over gender gap

The move comes as new figures released by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) revealed that women are under-represented in senior positions

Third Level Irish institutions will be subject to mandatory gender quotas in order to combat the gender inequality at senior levels. The move comes as new figures released by the Higher Education Authority (HEA)  revealed that women are under-represented in senior positions.

According to the figures, 50 per cent of lecturers and only 21 per cent of professors in Irish Universities are women. Individually, National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) has the least amount of women in  senior positions, only 12 per cent of Professors and just under a third of Senior Lecturers are women.

The best gender equality, reported by the results was in The University of Limerick with 30 per cent of its professors being women. In Trinity College 1 in 5 professors are women.

The HEA also reported significant shortfalls in the gender distribution among management teams in Irish Third Level institutions. No University executive management team  had more than 40 percent of women and only three out of 14 Institutes of Technology were able to reach this threshold.  

Furthermore, it found that only 20 percent of those earning above 106,000 a year were women in non academic roles in Universities. The number dropped to 17 percent in Institutes of Technology.

The report did notice a slight improvement in gender representation over the course of the last year with a 2 per cent increase in the proportion of female Professors and Associate Professors.The HEA’s report was based on the average data compiled over three years between 2014 and 2016.

New measures will see State funding being linked to the institutions’ performance in tackling gender inequality and have resulted in a mandatory gender quotas based of the ‘cascade’ model  of recruitment. This model regulates gender proportions by basing the quotas off the gender proportions in the grade immediately below.

Three of the largest Irish State research funding agencies Science Foundation Ireland, the Health Research Board and the Irish Research Council are now required to to evaluate gender equality accreditation as prerequisites to receive funding.