Gender inequality a barrier in academia

Sir – How are we ever going to implement "five to 10 high-level recommendations" supporting and advancing gender equality when the recommendations of the most recent gender equality reviews have not been yet implemented? ("Gender inequality remains a serious barrier to female progression in academia", March 15th)

In 2016, the Higher Education Authority (HEA) undertook a review of gender balance across the Irish higher education institutions (HEIs), stemming from this the gender equality taskforce was set up which produced a gender action plan (2018-2020) focused on accelerating gender equality in HEIs.

Part of this plan was the HEA Senior Academic Leadership Initiative (SALI) where the Government committed 45 professorial-level posts across the university, technological university and institute of technology (IoT) sector. To date the Government has committed funding for 30 of these posts with only half of these posts (15 HEA SALIs) resulting in actual appointments to the institutions.

The article failed to recognise the HEA senior academic leadership initiative, nor did it reflect on the previous HEA gender equality review, its measures, recommendations, implementation and impact on advancing gender inequality across HEIs.


Is the HEA undertaking another review to delay progress on the current one or is it committed to real meaningful engagement on this critically important issue?

– Yours, etc,


Chair of Cybersecurity,

Munster Technological

University, Cork.