Professor jobs — only for women
Ms Mitchell O’Connor has not disclosed details of the numbers of female-only professorships she intends to create, or in which disciplines.
It is understood her department has had extensive consultation with the Attorney General on the issue.
Equality legislation prohibits sex discrimination in job applications. The law does allow for “positive action” to remove existing inequalities that women may face in accessing employment or training.
It is understood that the Minister’s initiative is considered to fall within “positive action” as it is aimed at redressing a long-standing imbalance.
Female-only public sector jobs are a first in Ireland. However, some academic institutions overseas have tried the measure to rectify their gender gaps.
The University of Adelaide recently advertised academic positions for women only in mathematics, engineering and computing. The University of Melbourne advertised female-only positions in its maths department. In the Netherlands, Delft University of Technology sought only women to fill 10 key research posts.
COLLEGE POSTS: Ladies only