The Technological Higher Education Association (THEA), as the advocacy and representative body for the technological higher education sector in Ireland, has a strong commitment to equality, diversity, and inclusion. It is thus delighted to join in the celebration of International Women’s Day. This longstanding recognition was formally re-named by the UN General Assembly in 1977 as the UN Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace, the aim of which was to encourage nations to eliminate discrimination against women and to help women gain full and equal participation in global development. In that context, Ireland’s signalled intent to ratify the Istanbul Convention is welcome.
International Women’s Day celebrates the social, cultural, economic, and political achievements of women around the world - while also campaigning for greater progress towards gender equality. The Minister of State with special responsibility for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, confirmed her commitment to supporting gender equality in higher education when she announced the Senior Academic Leadership Initiative for the Higher Education sector at the launch of the Action Plan for Gender Equality in Higher Education Institutions 2018 – 2020. THEA’s ‘Gender and Diversity Statement’ published in August 2018 commits our members to undertaking 6 strategic courses of action aimed at supporting a culture of inclusion, addressing gender imbalance in staff and student bodies and establishing structures that enable equal opportunity to all to advance their careers.
While today, on ‘International Women’s Day’, we celebrate and honour the achievements of the many successful females throughout the technological higher education sector, we also reaffirm our commitment to remove barriers to progression for women in higher education.
As a sector, we have benefited enormously from the contribution of strong successful female role models, from our two sitting female Presidents, our previous female Presidents and members of senior management executive teams. We celebrate their achievement and will profile many of them on our ‘#THEAIWD’ social media messaging on Friday. Throughout the 11 institutes of technology and the technological university there are many events taking place on the ground around the country and we invite students, staff, and public to celebrate International Women’s Day with our scholarly communities.
Dr Joseph Ryan, CEO THEA
Check out @THEA_irl on Twitter on Friday for more.