Micheline's Three Conditions
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Dr Micheline Sheehy Skeffington, a botanist for 34 years at NUI Galway, last month won a case against the University who were found to have discriminated against her because of her gender when they failed to promote her to Senior Lecturer. However, five other eligible women lecturers at NUI Galway were also denied promotion in 2009 and have a similarly strong case. Dr Sheehy Skeffington is donating her €70,000 damages to these women to help them pay legal fees to fight the University for their right to be promoted.
The fight for women's rights is as important as ever. Women are overwhelmingly under-represented in senior academic roles at third-level institutions in Ireland. Of the Irish institutions examined, NUI Galway has the lowest percentage of women holding senior academic posts with only 21% at Senior Lecturer and above.
In addition, Dr Sheehy Skeffington, granddaughter of famous suffragette Hanna Sheehy Skeffington, has been asked by the University to join a task force designed to review gender equality practices. This is part of the aim to win an Athena SWAN award. She will agree to join the task force ONLY if the University meets three conditions, which she also feels are essential for the award.
Please sign this petition and demand that NUI Galway meet Micheline's three conditions. When signing the petition, please indicate if you are NUI Galway staff, student, past staff or past student in the Commentary box.
These are Dr Sheehy Skeffington's three conditions:
1. That NUI Galway promotes the five other women who, along with Dr. Sheehy Skeffington, were interviewed but not promoted in 2009 when only one woman was promoted out of 15 applying but 16 men were promoted out of 32 applying. The women want their promotion back-dated to 2009 but are willing to forgo any damages because it is the recognition of their worth which means most to them.
2. That NUI Galway admits that the subsequent round of promotions in 2014, for which there have been at least 20 appeals, was also flawed. That NUI Galway immediately puts this right in a way which at least ensures gender balance among the successful candidates. The only fair way to do this is to promote all the shortlisted candidates, all of whom were deemed eligible, as half of them were female.
3. That the aim of any attempt by NUI Galway to address the issue of gender imbalance in senior posts be to have an equal number of women as men in such posts and that NUI Galway starts to achieve this aim by promoting the same percentage of women from each level as the percentage of women at that level. According to recent government statistics, in NUI Galway, there are 53% women lecturers (lowest level), but only 30% senior lecturers and 14% professors. For non-academic posts, it is a similar pattern.
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