The Technological Higher Education Association (THEA) strongly supports Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor’s stated ambitions to ‘eradicate gender inequality in higher education institutions’ and welcomes the targets outlined in the Report of the Gender Equality Taskforce Action Plan 2018-2020. THEA fully acknowledges the requirement for the initiatives contained in the action plan. THEA’s members, the fourteen institutes of technology, have already committed to putting in place action plans and work programmes to meet the targets set out in the THEA Gender and Diversity Statement, launched by the Minister in August 2018.
The technological higher education sector has a number of former and two sitting female Presidents, one of whom (Dr Patricia Mulcahy, President of IT Carlow) is a member of the Gender Taskforce Committee, and the sector is fully supportive of the change of culture that is required in higher education in order to ensure equality of progression.
Dr Joseph Ryan, CEO of THEA stated: “We note the introduction of the ‘Government of Ireland Senior Academic Talent Initiative’. While we welcome the principal, we recognize that implementation and success for this initiative makes demands of the higher education sector. We have agreed with the Department of Education and Skills that we will take an active role along with our colleagues in the Irish Universities Association, to collaborate on producing a workable implementation plan for this initiative across all higher education institutions.”