Women in NUIG gender discrimination case pressured to settle

Ellen Fitzpatrick

The four women have been involved in the case since 2009

Four female lecturers in NUI Galway are supposedly under pressure to accept a settlement after a gender discrimination dispute.

The four women are currently facing huge amounts of pressure to accept the offer after the university’s Athena SWAN equality charter application was rejected.

Female academics in the university have stated that there’s continuous amounts of pressure being placed on them to accept a settlement by the institution itself.

NUIG failed to achieve Athena SWAN accreditation, which they must achieve by 2019 in order to be eligible for funding from the Science Foundation Ireland, Irish Research Council and the Health Research Board.

The dispute over gender discrimination at NUIG has continued since 2008 and the women are taking legal action against the institution as they were all unsuccessful in their applications to become senior lecturers.

A settlement made by the university was rejected by the women in August of this year and NUIG said they would submit the women’s current applications to an independent panel for review.

A spokesperson for the university announced that there was no correlation between the rejection of the Athena SWAN application and the settlement.

This dispute has now initiated a debate on whether universities attempts to improve gender equality should be linked to funding.

According to the Higher Education Authority, only 21 per cent of professors in the seven universities in Ireland are women, with only a third of professors in Institutes of Technologies being women also.

NUI Galway has the lowest figure of female representatives in the workplace with 12 per cent of their professors being female.

This resonates with their assistants as well with just 13 per cent of NUIG’s assistant professors being women and only a third of their senior lecturers being female.


Ellen Fitzpatrick

Image Credit: Broadsheet