Minister Mitchell O’Connor launches a European Charter to promote gender equality in the University sector (15th May 2019)

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Mary Mitchell O'Connor T.D. Minister of State for Higher Education today (15th May 2019) formally launched a Charter to promote gender equality in the University sector. 

SAGE – Systemic Action for Gender Equality – is an EU-Horizon 2020 funded project designed to seek stronger action on gender equality in higher education and research. SAGE devises and implements interventions to advance gender equality in European countries, and is being led by Trinity College Dublin. 

Minister Mitchell O'Connor said: "I am delighted to launch the SAGE Charter of Principles for Gender Equality, which is devising and implementing interventions to advance gender equality in higher education. The Charter needs to be adopted by all research and higher education institutions. We cannot afford to lose the talent that we have invested in women. Building greater diversity contributes to greater creativity and innovation. Role models are vital, and the global experience shows the value to our students in seeing the range of opportunities and experiences available to them." 

The SAGE Charter contains 12 Principles which aim to remove barriers to the recruitment, retention and career progression of female researchers, correct gender imbalances in decision-making processes, and strengthen the gender dimension in research programmes. 

Principles of the SAGE Charter – 

1. Improving gender balance at all levels of academic careers, in institutional governance and decision making positions, and among public and highly visible roles and functions; 

2. Implementing human resources practices that attract and promote the best talents in all their diversity that do not discriminate on the basis of gender or other grounds; 

3. Eliminating the gender pay gap; 

4. Seeking diversity and gender equality in research opportunities and funding; 

5. Achieving gender balance and fairness in evaluation panels for grants, institutional and research projects; 

6. Mainstreaming gender equality awareness and best practice in the daily operations of our institutions; 

7. Embedding gender equality and diversity in the strategy statements of our institutions; 

8. Promoting family-friendly policies and work-life balance; 

9. Advancing gender studies across the disciplines to produce knowledge that fosters cultural, social and political change in gender norms; 

10. Sharing knowledge about gender equality and diversity across our institutions and embedding gender equality and diversity in the training of academic and professional staff; 

11. Incorporating gender-sensitive practices, processes and procedures in research, while addressing barriers to equal participation of all genders in research and decision making; 

12. Eradicating bullying, sexual and moral harassment from our institutions. 

A panel discussion will feature contributions by Head of Policy and Strategic Planning at the Higher Education Authority Dr Gemma Irvine; Director General of the Irish Universities Association Jim Miley; Dr Annie Doona, President Institute of Art Design and Technology Dun Laoghaire; and incoming President of the Graduate Students' Union at Trinity Shaz Oye. 

The seven participating institutions in the SAGE project are Trinity College Dublin; Queen's University Belfast; Università degli Studi di Brescia, Italy; Kadir Has University, Turkey; Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, Portugal; Sciences Po Bordeaux, France; International University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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