Gender Equality in Irish Universities
Gender Equality has been a significant sectoral EDI priority, highlighted by the Report of the HEA Expert Group in 2016, and the subsequent publication of the Gender Taskforce Report in November 2018. These reports set out several key recommendations for the sector, and in order to optimise the inputs from a wide range of stakeholders across the system, it is essential that these, and other activities relating to the EDI agenda, are coordinated across universities with ideas and best practice shared by member institutions.
Our gender equality agenda is supported by a dedicated accreditation scheme, Athena SWAN, which was developed by AdvanceHE (UK), and introduced to Irish HE in 2015. Today, all eight IUA universities have attained Athena Swan Bronze status, a key indicator of progress on equality and diversity.
The IUA has formally endorsed the SAGE Charter of Principles for Gender Equality which supports structural, cultural and political change to eradicate sexism, bias and other forms of discrimination in research and higher education.
Ending Sexual Violence and Harassment
In 2019 Dept. of Education launched a Framework Policy document for Higher Education entitled: ‘Safe, Respectful, Supportive and Positive – Ending Sexual Violence and Harassment in Irish Higher Education Institutions’.
The IUA has devised a set of guidelines to support universities in developing and adapting their policies to ensure an effective response to reports of complaints of sexual misconduct, and is working with universities, the HEA, and other partners on an ongoing basis to assist universities in implementation of institutional action plans to end Sexual Violence and Harassment in Higher Education.
IUA’s Head of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion is Tony McMahon