Women-only professorial posts

Sir, – Congratulations to The Irish Times for commissioning Prof Yvonne Galligan to pen her article welcoming the radical proposals from Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O'Connor proposing to address the shortage of women at senior levels in Irish third-level colleges ("Women-only professorial posts will work", Opinion & Analysis, November 16th). Believing that gender inequality is not serving our educational institutions or their students well, a sum of €6 million will create 45 new senior academic posts for women in the Stem areas (science, technology, engineering and maths), areas where there is a notable shortage of women in senior positions.

Why the brouhaha from letter writers when no changes are being proposed that would interfere with the normal opportunities for academic progression?

There are areas where the low success rate for women’s promotion must affect the subject choices of our young educated girls. If we are to harness the creativity necessary to create excellence across the Stem faculties, radical steps must be taken. This investment in more professorships has the potential to create sufficient gender diversity within all our third-level institutions, an aspiration shared in all those institutions’ own mission statements. – Yours, etc,




Co Dublin.