Minister of Education launches diversity declaration at conference on gender equality

A Declaration on Gender and Diversity for Higher Education was started after a clear lack of representation of women in senior roles was found in an investigation.

The policy, the first of its kind in Ireland, aims to increase the number of women in high-paying jobs across the sector and to give them better access to career opportunities.

Minister Mary Mitchell O & # 39; Connor launched the statement of the Technological Higher Education Association (Thea), as part of her opening speech to the European Conference on Gender Equality in Higher Education at Trinity College in Dublin on Monday.

The report will inform the policy of 14 institutes for technology in Ireland and is the first policy statement of its kind approved by higher education institutions.

The central mission statement commits itself to guarantee equal opportunities for all people, regardless of gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation, to gain access to higher education and to promote their careers.

Other objectives of the declaration include eliminating inequalities in education, addressing imbalances between employees, setting up structures that offer equal opportunities to advance careers and support staff with care responsibilities.

Legal decision-making committees, such as the governing body and the Academic Council, now have a share of at least 40% for both sexes.

Ms. Mitchell O & # 39; Conner said during the launch that an increase of women in managerial positions would be beneficial to staff and students.

"Recent research by the HEA into the gender profiles of higher education institutions calculated the imbalance between men and women in our higher education institutions, particularly at a very high level.

"This statement is intended to stimulate diversity and representation of women across the sector.

"It represents a commitment within the technology sector to increase the number of women in managerial positions and to increase the diversity of both the student and the staff community."

This is an important milestone in the evolution of our technological higher education
Regina Moran

Enterprise director at Vodafone Ireland and the president of the Thea Board of Directors, Regina Moran, said there was still work to be done to address the diversity in the sector.

"This is an important milestone in the evolution of our technological higher education.

"Although we have current and former women in presidential roles and in leadership positions in the sector, we need to do much more to ensure diverse proportional representation at a higher level.

"We are committed to addressing the basis of career planning – at the access point to education and progress through levels of achievement – so that succession planning for senior jobs will support gender-balanced diversity."

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