View this email in your browser

Welcome... the first newsletter from the new Office of the Vice-President for Equality and Diversity.
As you are aware, I joined NUI Galway in June 2016. Aoife Cooke has now joined me as the Head of Equal Opportunities. Aoife, congratulations on your new post!
Aoife and I would like to welcome Brídín Nic Dhonncha who will be working with us over the coming months providing administration support for the office.
We wish also to extend a huge thank you to Lorna Cormican for all her work with us over the past four months, and to congratulate Lorna on her new post in the School of Law.
It has been a busy few months with lots of positive achievements and initiatives for gender equality to report.

Professor Anne Scott, Vice-President for Equality and Diversity

December 2016
On behalf of the team, I would like to wish all of our staff..
a very happy and peaceful holiday.
Scroll down for more on:
  • Gender Equality Action Plan
  • Athena SWAN Update
  • HEA National Review of Gender Equality
  • Aurora – Women’s Leadership Development Programme
  • Paternity Leave
  • Equality and Diversity Campus Committee
  • Blackstone LaunchPad – Empowering Women

Gender Equality Action Plan

The Gender Equality Action plan was developed over the summer, approved by UMT in September and presented to Academic Council on October 12th. It was formally approved by Udarás na hOllscoile on November 1st 2016. Full details of the Action Plan are available by clicking on the Equality and Diversity website.
Four significant elements of the action plan are now in place as follows:
  1. The University will provide enhanced maternity cover to colleges, schools and support units when a member of staff goes on maternity leave. The leave (maternity / adoptive) cover funding will enable the full replacement of teaching, administration and/or technical input of our colleagues who go on maternity leave.
The underlying principles are as follows: Professional services colleagues (administration, support and technical staff) should have 1:1 replacement for the duration required by the period of maternity/adoptive leave. Schools with academic colleagues on maternity leave should receive the same financial allowance (currently €10,000 per semester) as that allocated to cover a vacancy for a fulltime member of academic staff.
  1. A grant for research active academic staff returning from carers’ leave, to a maximum of €10,000, will be allocated to research active academics returning from maternity / adoptive leave, and to any research active colleague returning from extended unpaid caring leave (20 weeks leave or more), on the basis of a short business case, supported by the Head of School and the Dean. The business case must link the grant directly with specific, time-lined, measurable research outputs.
  2. Parental Leave support: The pay savings accruing from parental leave, currently taken centrally to help balance the University budget, will, in principle, be returned to the staff member’s school / unit, on the basis of a short business case from the Head of School. This measure is intended to encourage and support parents in caring for their children, and to avoid unreasonably increased work burden on colleagues in these schools and units. Please find further details here.
  3. Meetings During Core Hours Policy: Schools and units within the university are strongly encouraged to operate a ‘core business in core hours’ model for meetings. In particular, all committee meetings should be held during the core hours of 10.00 to 16.00. This will ensure that the maximum number of people can attend these meetings, particularly those with parental responsibilities, ensuring widespread dissemination of critical information and avoiding unintended exclusion of some staff. The policy can be found here.

Athena SWAN

A new university-wide Athena SWAN self-assessment team (SAT) has been established in preparation for a resubmission for an institutional bronze award in April 2017. Expressions of interest were sought from staff and the SAT was selected against a number of criteria to ensure both a gender balance and a requirement for diversity and experience in terms of staff category, grade, working arrangements and leadership.
SAT members
  • Dr Miriam Byrne, Physics
  • Dr Gavin Collins, Microbiology
  • Aoife Cooke, Office of the VP Equality & Diversity
  • Dr Claudia Costache, Electrical & Electronic Engineering
  • Dr Róisín Doohan, Chemistry
  • Dr Catherine Emerson, French
  • Dr Yvonne Finn, Medicine
  • Dermot Flaherty, HR
  • John Gill, Chief Operating Officer
  • Professor Willie Golden, Business Information Systems
  • Dr Sorcha Gunne, English
  • Dr Magdalena Hajdukiewicz, Civil Engineering
  • Dr Victoria Hogan, Health Promotion
  • Dr Sinéad Hynes, Occupational Health
  • Adrienne Keane, ISS
  • Dr Valerie Ledwith, Geography
  • Professor Donal Leech, Dean of the College of Science
  • Dr Niall Madden, Maths
  • Anne Marie McDonagh, HR
  • Aoife Mc Nena, HR
  • Nicola Mc Nicholas, Financial Accounts
  • Dr Pat Morgan, VP Student Experience
  • Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh, Registrar & Deputy President
  • Claire O’Connor, Institution Planning & Research Office
  • Dr Nathan Quinlan, Mechanical Engineering
  • Dr Shivaun Quinlivan, School of Law
  • Dr Ann Ryan, Research Office
  • Professor Anne Scott, VP Equality & Diversity (Chair)
  • Professor Andrew Shearer, Physics
  • Professor Terry Smith, NCBES
  • Clare Walsh, President’s Office
  • Dr Chaosheng Zhang, Geography
The role of the SAT is to critically evaluate where the university is regarding gender equality in quantitative (staff and student data) and qualitative terms (policies, practices, systems and arrangements) and create a SMART action plan that builds on this assessment and which embeds the principles of the Athena SWAN Charter in the organisational structure. The team is chaired by the Vice President for Equality & Diversity, Professor Anne Scott.
An Athena SWAN information and awareness event for all staff was held on 10th November with guest speaker Denise Price from Queen’s University Belfast talking about the impact and benefits of Athena SWAN in QUB. Prof. Andy Shearer, Head of School of Physics, NUIG spoke about their experience of Project Juno and the good practice intitatives that have been embedded in the School of Physics as a result of their engagement with Project Juno. The School of Physics, led by Dr. Miriam Byrne has recentlty submitted an application for a ’Champion’ award which is equivalent to an Athena SWAN silver award. 
Regular updates on the Athena SWAN assessment will be communicated to all staff and there will be an opportunity for staff to comment on the developing draft application during the drafting process.
Further information on Athena SWAN
Members of the HEA National Review Group

HEA National Review of Gender Equality in Irish Education Institutions

The HEA National Review of Gender Equality in Irish Higher Education Institutions was published in June 2016. While there is naturally significant overlap between the recommendations of the expert group and those proposed by the NUI Galway Gender Equality Task Force, the recommendations of the HEA National Review of Gender Equality go beyond Higher Education Institutions to include the HEA, Irish Research Funding agencies, the DES and other stakeholders. The recommendations which call for the prioritisation of resources and for the mobilisation of all stakeholders to address gender equality are particularly welcomed by the Office of the Vice-President for Equality & Diversity.

View the Full HEA Report

Aurora – Women’s Leadership Development Programme

to all of the participants in the 2016 Aurora women’s only leadership development programme:
  • Dr Aoife Boyd, Microbiology
  • Dr Molly Byrne, School of Psychology
  • Dr Rachel Hilliard, Management
  • Dr Michelle Millar, School of Political Science and Sociology
  • Dr Tina-Karen Pusse, German
  • Dr Anne Torres, Marketing
  • Dr Eimear Keane, Health Promotion
  • Dr Aideen O’Doherty, HRB Clinical Research Facility
  • Lorraine McIlrath, Institute for Lifecourse and Society
  • Anne Marie McDonagh, HR Office
  • Sinéad O’Brien, Bursar’s Office
  • Paula Nugent, Financial Accounting
  • Dr Ann Ryan, Research Office
  • Martha Shaughnessy, Moore Institute
  • and Treasa Uí Lorcáin, Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge
The Aurora programme was created by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education in the UK to support aspiring women leaders and runs in partnership with institutions in higher education. Participants attended 5 interlinked workshops in addition to undertaking self-directed learning. As part of the programme NUIG developed in-house mentoring to support the participants.

NUI Galway’s Aurora programme is a collaborative initiative between the Office of the VP for Equality & Diversity and the Offices of the Registrar and Deputy-President, COO and VP for Research. The 2016/17 programme will shortly commence in Dublin with up to 20 women from academic, support services and research staff categories sponsored to participate.

New and improved Paternity Leave

New legislation, the Paternity Leave and Benefit Act 2016, came into effect on 1 September 2016. This legislation has introduced statutory paternity leave of two weeks together with a new paternity benefit. This legislation allows new fathers to start the combined package of paternity leave and paternity benefit at any time within the first 6 months following the birth or adoption of a child.

Equality and Diversity Campus Committee

A new University Equality and Diversity Committee has established following a recommendation from the Task Force on Gender Equality, to ensure appropriate internal governance structure to guarantee clear, consistent leadership and accountability for equality and diversity across the university. This Committee will set the strategic framework for equality in service provision and in employment across the University.
The inaugural meeting of the committee took place on 24 November.
The committee will:
  • promote equality of opportunity and respect for diversity in all aspects of the University’s business 
  • aim to eliminate discrimination
  • advance equal opportunities and foster good relations by tackling prejudice and promoting understanding, thereby ensuring the University avoids the potential for discrimination on protected equality grounds
  • advise Údarás na hOllscoile, Academic Council and the University Management Team, on the implementation of all aspects of the University’s Equality and Diversity Strategy and Equal Opportunities Policy
Read the Committee's Terms of References
Blackstone LaunchPad Programme Manager, Natalie Walsh (left) and Executive Director, Mary Carty (right) with student entrepreneur–in-residence, Edel Browne,.

Blackstone LaunchPad– Empowering Women

Congratulations to Mary Carty, Executive Director, Natalie Walsh, Programme Manager and Edel Browne, student entrepreneur–in-residence, all from Blackstone LaunchPad at NUI Galway who were shortlisted for Women Mean Business Awards 2016. Mary Carty and Natalie Walsh launched this innovative programme in NUI Galway in February 2016. The programme is now one of the biggest communities on campus with over 2,000 students regularly using their supports and services.  The programme is unique in that it attracts a high number of female students and in response to this, early in 2017 Blackstone LaunchPad will announce an exciting female only programme called Leading Ladies. This programme is designed specifically for female students at NUI Galway and will focus on confidence building, assertiveness, building your identity and also host workshops with inspiring females both on campus and across the region. 

Mary & Natalie were shortlisted for the Boots WMB Empowering Women Award, in recognition of their work and initiatives to facilitate and encourage progression by women in their careers.

Third year Biotechnology student Edel Browne was shortlisted for the Sodexo WMB Female Newcomer Award for a new start-up where the recipient demonstrates outstanding innovation within her business.
The Blackstone LaunchPad is a campus-based experiential enterprise programme open to students, alumni, staff and faculty and offers coaching, ideation and venture creation support. It is modelled on a successful programme originated at the University of Miami and further developed by the Blackstone Charitable Foundation.
Office of the Vice-President for Equality and Diversity
A115, Quadrangle Building,
NUI Galway

(091) 49 3674

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
NUI Galway · University Rd · Galway, · Ireland