Trinity to hold European conference on gender equality in higher education

The conference will be opened by Mary Mitchell O’Connor next week

Photo by Joe McCallion for Trinity News

Trinity will hold a major conference on gender equality in higher education next week. The theme of the conference is “Gender in academia and research: Countering persistent and emerging challenges to equality”. The conference has been organised by Professor Eileen Drew, Director of the Trinity Centre for Gender Equality and Leadership, and will be opened by Minister for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor.

The conference will host hundreds of gender equality experts from academia, research, public policy, and administration. The conference will be an international meeting to discuss solutions to challenges relating to gender in academia, promoting gender equality, and outlining interventions that can be taken by higher education and research institutions.

Professor Drew will join the international conference coordinator, Liisa Husu of Orebo University in Sweden, and the Minister Mitchell O’Connor at the opening. The keynote address will be delivered by Professor Anna Wahl, Vice President of KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden. She will deliver a speech on “gender mainstreaming in practice, organising for change and raising gender awareness”.  

In a statement, Professor Drew recognised the importance of the conference and its goal of “identifying new developments and innovative solutions to persistent shared problems of inequalities in higher education and research”.

While noting its success in previous years, Professor Drew addressed current social issues, saying: “Many currently timely topics have been addressed. For example, in the first conference held in 1998, topics like sexual harassment and bullying in universities, and LGBT issues, were key topics. Sadly these topics bear revisiting in 2018.”

The conference comes almost a year after the establishment of a gender equality taskforce within higher education institutions. The taskforce was established to oversee a national systems review of the recruitment, and promotion policies and practices currently in place in higher education institutions.

Peter Kelly

Peter Kelly is the current Assistant Editor of Trinity News. He is a Junior Sophister Law student, and a former Deputy News Editor.