Sheehy Skeffington petition demands better equality at NUIG

Botanist who won recent discrimination case to lead academics in protest over gender issues

Dr Micheline Sheehy Skeffington  has sent an open invitation to fellow NUIG staff to join her at lunchtime on Tuesday in support of three “conditions” which will be presented to the university’s governing body.

Dr Micheline Sheehy Skeffington has sent an open invitation to fellow NUIG staff to join her at lunchtime on Tuesday in support of three “conditions” which will be presented to the university’s governing body.

 

Scientist Dr Micheline Sheehy Skeffington - who recently won a discrimination case against NUI Galway (NUIG) - aims to fill the university’s quadrangle with fellow academics and students on Tuesday to petition for greater gender equality.

Dr Sheehy Skeffington has sent an open invitation to fellow staff to join her at lunchtime in support of three “conditions” which will be presented to the university’s governing body.

The “conditions” include a call on NUIG to promote five women who say they were also passed over for senior lectureships in 2009 – the period to which Dr Sheehy Skeffington’s action applied.

1990 promotion

Last week, the botanist - who was last promoted in 1990 - announced she planned to use the €70,000 award ordered by the Equality Tribunal in her case to help five other female academics.

She is also calling on NUIG to admit the subsequent promotion round in 2014 is “flawed”, and says it has already been the subject of 20 appeals.

Dr Sheehy Skeffington said she was taking the action because she was angered at a report she had agreed to join a task force on equality which NUIG president Dr Jim Browne is setting up. Her membership of a task force is conditional on the three demands being met.

A Higher Education Authority (HEA) report published last week found the gender divide is most pronounced in NUIG, where almost four in every five (79 per cent) senior academic staff members are male.

The university has “unreservedly accepted” the ruling of the Equality Tribunal and has promised several initiatives on the issue, including a task force.