Thursday, 15 February 2018
Department of Education and Skills
128. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the extent to which each of the recommendations of the report of the expert group, Higher Education Authority, HEA, national review of gender equality in Irish higher education institutions, has been implemented in each institution, in tabular form; the timeframe for the implementation of each recommendation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7851/18]
129. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the consideration given to a retrospective analysis of gender equality issues in third level institutions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7852/18]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 128 and 129 together.
The HEA national review of gender equality in Irish higher education institutions, which was published in June 2016, contained a list of 61 recommendations; 22 of which were for implementation by higher education institutions. None of the recommendations was mandatory. I have attached a list of these recommendations and their associated timelines for the Deputy's information.
It was envisaged that, at the end of a three year period, a full review would be undertaken and, as part of the strategic dialogue process, HEIs would be at risk of funding being withheld if they were not addressing gender inequality sufficiently.
All the Higher Education Authority funded institutions are now required to submit annual staff data disaggregated by gender, to the HEA. The first report of this data was published as part of the HEA expert group report in 2016, and a second report was published in July 2017. This data was not available prior to 2016, and there are no plans to undertake a retrospective analysis.
In light of the limited progress observed in the July 2017 data, a gender equality task force was established in November 2017 to prepare a three year prioritised action plan. The gender equality task force will also oversee a national systems review of the recruitment and promotion policies and practices currently in place in higher education institutions, with a view to identifying good practice and highlighting areas that need improvement.
As part of both the HEA expert group report and the work of the gender equality task force, a literature review has been carried out to identify areas of best practice nationally and internationally. The gender equality task force is also building on the recommendations of the expert group, and is considering the institutional implementation of the recommendations of the 2016 HEA expert group. It is envisaged that the outcome of this work will be included in the report of the gender equality task force.
Expert Group Recommendations - Higher Education Institutions
|Objective||Recommendations||Timeline in Report|
|1.1||To foster gender balance in the leadership of HEIs.||At the final selection step, in the appointment process for new presidents (or equivalent), in so far as possible, the final pool of candidates will comprise an equal number of women and men.|
If it has not been possible to achieve gender balance at the final selection step, the interview panel will account to the governing authority or equivalent for why this was not possible.
|From 2016 (including competitions already underway)|
|1.2||To ensure HEI leaders foster a culture of gender equality in their HEI.||In the appointment process for a new president, a requirement of appointment will be demonstrable experience of leadership in advancing gender equality.||Effective immediately|
|1.3||In the appointment process for a new vice-president, a requirement of appointment will be demonstrable experience of leadership in advancing gender equality.||Effective immediately|
|1.4||To lead cultural and organisational change in their area of responsibility||The deans and heads of schools/ department, divisional directors and section/ unit managers will be responsible for integrating gender equality in all processes and decisions made.|
Evidence of leadership in advancing gender equality will be taken into account in appointments to these management positions
|1.5||To achieve gender equality in each HEI.||Each HEI will, through a publicly advertised competitive process, appoint a vice-president for equality who will be a full academic member of the executive management team and who will report directly to the president.||From 2017|
|1.6||To ensure gender balance of all key decision-making bodies.||Key decision-making bodies (concerned with resource allocation, appointments and promotions) in HEIs will consist of at least 40% women and 40% men.||From 2016|
|1.7||At least 40% of the chairs of key decision-making bodies (concerned with resource allocation, appointments and promotions) across the HEI will be of each gender in any given year. It is expected that over a three year period the ratio would be 50:50 women and men chairs.||By 2018|
|1.8||To provide strategic oversight of organisational processes and policies in relation to gender equality.||A gender equality sub-committee of the governing authority/body should be established.|
The minutes of the sub-committee will be published within the HEI.
|1.9||To support the mainstreaming of gender equality across the HEIs||Each HEI will establish an independent, academically-led gender equality forum, chaired by the vice-president for equality and comprising staff members drawn from across the HEI with sufficient influence and motivation to effect change.||By 2017|
|1.10||To enhance the provision of support for staff members with caring responsibilities.||Each HEI will establish a cross-institutional working group to develop a funded structure of family leave (inclusive of maternity, paternity, parental, adoptive, and carer’s leave) and develop mandatory guidelines to underpin this.||By 2017|
|1.11||To increase gender awareness among staff.||The HEI will adopt measures aimed at actively developing gender awareness among all staff.||From 2016|
|1.12||To embed the gender dimension in teaching and learning and quality review processes.||The gender dimension will be fully integrated into undergraduate and postgraduate curricula.|
Face-to-face, unconscious bias training will be fully integrated into initial teacher training education.
At departmental level, self-assessment (departmental reviews) will include consideration of the gender dimension.
HEIs will include consideration of the gender dimension in the institutional quality assurance report.
|1.13||To embed the gender dimension in research content.||Ensure that the gender dimension is integrated into all research content and provide training and support for research staff on how to do this.||Ongoing|
|1.14||To ensure transparent distribution of work.||Ensure HEI workload allocation models are transparent and monitored for gender bias on an annual basis.|
Evidence of this will be taken into account in the performance development reviews of managers/ supervisors responsible for setting staff workloads.
|1.15||To enable gender disaggregated data-driven decision-making.||A comprehensive gender-disaggregated data collection system will be in place in every HEI.||From 2016|
|1.16||To gender-proof recruitment, selection and promotion procedures and practices.||The recruitment, selection, and promotion procedures currently used, will be reviewed to ensure that they are gender-sensitive.||From 2016|
|1.17||To drive change through the use of positive action interventions for academic staff.||Each HEI will introduce mandatory quotas for academic promotion, based on the flexible cascade model where the proportion of women and men to be promoted/recruited is based on the proportion of each gender at the grade immediately below.||From 2016|
|1.18||To drive change at professor level through the use of positive action interventions.||A minimum of 40% women and 40% men to be full professors, at the appropriate pay scale.||Achieved by 2024|
|1.19||To drive change through the use of positive action interventions for non-academic staff.||At the final selection step in the appointment process for non-academic positions where the salary-scale reaches or exceeds €76,000, in so far as is possible, the final pool of candidates must comprise an equal number of women and men.|
If it has not been possible to achieve gender balance at the final selection step, the interview panel must account to the Governing Authority or equivalent for why this was not possible.
|From 2016 (including competitions already underway)|
|1.20||Combat stereotyping of ‘female’ and ‘male’ roles and horizontal segregation among non-academic staff.||Overtime, achieve greater gender-balance at all career levels (pay grades) within the institution.||From 2016|
|1.21||To ensure a roadmap for attainment of gender equality is developed in each institution.||Each HEI will develop and implement a gender action plan (including goals, actions and targets), which will be integrated into the institution’s strategic plan and into the HEI’s compacts with the HEA.||From 2016|
|1.22||To support and recognise the embedding of gender equality across all aspects of the work of HEIs.||HEIs will apply for and achieve an Athena SWAN institutional award within three years.|
TUs will apply for and achieve an Athena Swan award within three years of being formally established.
Expert Group Recommendations - Higher Education Authority
|2.1||To enhance the performance management of HEI’s strategic development in addressing gender inequality.||A theme on ‘promoting excellence though gender equality’ will be integrated into the HEI compacts.|
This will encompass two sections, ‘organisational culture and structures’ and ‘supporting and advancing careers’, and HEIs will be required to identify measures under both.
|To be started in 2016|
|2.2||To provide a comprehensive evidence base upon which to monitor the progress of HEIs in addressing gender inequality.||The HEA will establish a comprehensive database of staff in HEIs.||Ongoing|
|2.3||To enhance the visibility of HEIs’ progress in addressing gender inequality.||Gender will be introduced into the multi-dimensional profiles of HEIs, published annually by the HEA.||Annually|
|2.4||To improve data collection on the composition of HEI governance and management structures.||Explicit reference will be included in the Annual Statement of Governance and Internal Control template, with regard to the composition of HEIs’ governance and management structures disaggregated by gender.||From 2016|
|2.5||To include gender equality in the rolling review process conducted by the HEA.||As a part of the existing rolling review process, the HEA will initiate a review of compliance in respect of equality (inclusive of gender equality). ||From 2017|
|2.6||To support a coordinated national approach to advancing gender equality in higher education.||A national committee to support gender equality in Irish higher education will be established.||From 2017|
|2.7||To galvanise HEIs to address gender inequality.||A targeted funding stream will be established to which HEIs will be able to apply on a competitive basis to support new initiatives to foster gender equality.||From 2017|
|2.8||To provide oversight for the implementation of the recommendations of the Expert Group.||The progress made by the HEIs in addressing gender inequality via implementation of the recommendations of the Expert Group, will be reviewed tri-annually and a report published.||From 2019|
|2.9||To extend the power of visitors.||When the HEA has powers to appoint a visitor to HEIs, it should include gender equality in the visitor’s brief. ||As appropriate|
|2.10||To incentivise and recognise HEIs’ progress in advancing gender equality.||The HEA will establish the Athena SWAN Charter in Ireland on a permanent basis and extend it to cover the AHSS and all staff, under the extended charter.||From 2017|
|2.11||To support Irish HEIs to engage with and achieve Athena SWAN certification.||The HEA will continue to fund the national Athena SWAN Committee.||Ongoing|
|2.12||To internationally benchmark the ‘system of promotion’ in Irish HEIs.||The HEA will work with the ECU to extend the ‘system of promotion’ review to Irish HEIs.||In 2018|
Expert Group Recommendations - Irish Research Funding Agencies
|3.1||To ensure scientific excellence, the stimulation of new knowledge leading to technological innovations, by integrating gender analysis into all phases of basic and applied research.||As a pre-requisite for funding, research funding agencies will require applicants to demonstrate that they have given full consideration to any potential gender dimension in their proposed research.||From 2017|
|3.2||To foster gender balance within research teams and PIs across the HEI.||Gender balance will be fostered within research teams, with the aim of ensuring that, at an institutional level, research teams and PIs are comprised of at least 40% women and 40% men.||From 2017|
|3.3||To minimise the effect of bias on research funding outcomes, and to ensure that women and men have similar success rates in funding calls.||All assessment panels, advisory groups, management boards, key committees, workshops, and focus-groups will comprise at least 40% of each gender.||By 2017|
|3.4||All agencies will provide face-to-face unconscious-bias training for assessment panel members.||By 2017|
|3.5||Targeted gender initiatives will be developed, informed by annual gender-disaggregated statistics and the monitoring and analysis of the gender-balance of applicants and awardees.||From 2016|
|3.6||To foster gender equality in the research arena.||Research funding agencies will develop and implement gender strategies and action plans.||By 2017|
|3.7||To improve the gender-base for addressing gender inequality.||Funding streams will be established to support research on gender equality.||From 2017|
|3.8||To support HEIs to mainstream gender equality, improving the environment within which research is undertaken.||Within three years research-funding agencies will require HEIs to have attained an Athena SWAN Bronze Institutional award to be eligible for funding.|
Within seven years research-funding agencies will require HEIs to have attained an Athena SWAN Silver institutional award to be eligible for funding.