Education news

Education minister launches diversity statement

Fine Gael TD Mary Mitchell O'Connor

A GENDER and Diversity Statement for higher education in the Republic has been launched after a study found a distinct lack of female representation in senior roles.

The policy, the first of its kind in Ireland, aims to increase the number of women in highly paid positions throughout the sector and give them better access to career opportunities.

Minister Mary Mitchell O'Connor launched the statement by the Technological Higher Education Association.

The report will inform policy across 14 Institutes of Technology in Ireland.

The central mission statement commits to ensuring equal opportunities for all people, regardless of gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation, to access higher education and advance their careers.

Its other objectives include eliminating disparities in education, addressing imbalances among staff, establishing structures which allow equal opportunities to advance careers, and supporting staff who have caring responsibilities.

Ms Mitchell O'Conner said an increase in women in leadership roles would be beneficial to staff and students.

"The recent study by the HEA into the gender profiles of higher education institutions quantified the lack of gender balance across our higher education institutions, in particular at very senior levels," she said.

"This statement is designed to encourage diversity and female representation throughout the sector.

"It represents an aspiration within the technological sector to increase the number of females in leadership roles and to enhance the diversity of both the student and staff community."

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