Galway Bay fm newsroom – NUI Galway has moved to dismiss claims that an unsuccessful bid for a gender equality award is linked to ongoing legal action involving four female lecturers.
It follows the issuing of an open letter by Micheline Sheehy Skeffington, who won a discrimination case against the university in November 2014.
The Equality Tribunal found that NUI Galway had discriminated against the botanist for promotion because of her gender.
Athena SWAN, or the Scientific Women’s Academic Network, was established to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering and maths.
Members who sign up to the charter are expected to apply for an Athena SWAN award, at bronze, silver or gold level.
In an open letter penned to NUI Galway, Dr. Micheline Sheehy Skeffington says the university has now been turned down for a bronze award for the second time.
She believes preparation for the next application must include the correction of ongoing gender discrimination caused by what she describes as the ‘corrupt round of promotions to senior lecturer’ in 2008 and 2009.
Dr. Sheehy Skeffington argues that NUI Galway should not receive an Athena SWAN award until it addresses the ongoing injustice – even if it means losing out on funding.
In a statement, NUI Galway says there is ‘no connection whatsoever’ between the unsuccessful application and the legal cases of four colleagues.
It says it did not meet the criteria for the award because further analysis of data and more specific planning action is needed.
It further says the university was commended for its honest approach to the challenges facing the institution.
NUI Galway adds it has complied in full with the decision relating to Dr Sheehy Skeffington, but it does not provide a basis to promote any other individual.