Fórsa wants education employers to prepare for mandatory gender pay gap reporting and develop action plans to address inequality across the sector. Delegates at the union’s recent education conference also backed calls to develop specific proposals to address gender inequality experienced by clerical, administrative and library staff in educational institutions.
Speaking at the conference, Gina O’Brien said the union had welcomed the launch of a new gender equality action plan for higher education institutions, which was published earlier this year. But she said there was disappointment that media coverage of the plan focused almost exclusively on senior academic grades.
“We fully agree that there should be more women in senior academic positions, to reflect the gender balance in our universities and colleges and, indeed, throughout our education service, and our society. But, once again, Fórsa found itself a lone voice in stressing that gender-based discrimination happens to women in all grades and occupations in the education sector,” she said.
Gina said women working in clerical, administrative, library, and support roles in higher education were equally deserving of gender equality.
“Fórsa is committed to continue to work to ensure that no women are left behind as the gender equality plan is implemented, and that includes those in the lowest-paid grades. Gender equality measures should include senior academic posts, but it should not be confined to them,” she said.