THE UNIVERSITY of Limerick had real cause to celebrate International Women’s day, as it is leading the way in the country with almost double the average number of female professors.
On average in Ireland, 18% of professors are female, whereas 34% of UL professors are women. As a result of this, UL has recently been selected as the only Irish university to participate in FESTA - Female Empowerment in Science and Technology in Academia. UL president professor, Don Barry, said UL set targets for female representation in 2007, which they have now “greatly exceeded”. The target for the proportion of women at senior lecturer or above was set at 15%, and UL has achieved 26%, while a target of 37% was set for the proportion of women at lecturer level and 48% has been achieved. International Women’s Day was marked at UL, with a conference entitled ‘Accelerating Change’ which included addresses from Kathleen O’Toole, former chief inspector, Garda Siochana Inspectorate; Olympic athlete Sonia O’Sullivan; Nicola Byrne, founder of Call 11890 and Paul McNeive, author and former CEO Hamilton Osborne King among others. The conference was chaired by Dr John Bowman and dealt with themes including ‘Women in Business – Smashing the Glass Ceiling’.