Senior Academic Leadership Initiative June 2019



On 21 June 2019 the Higher Education Authority (HEA) launched a new initiative to help address under-representation in senior leadership roles within our higher education institutions (HEIs). The Senior Academic Leadership Initiative (SALI), is aimed at supporting HEIs to take positive action to accelerate and achieve their gender equality and diversity goals and objectives.  It has been developed in collaboration with a working group of representatives from the HEIs.

According to research conducted by the HEA* in 2017 only 24% of high-level Professor posts were held by women; compared to 51% women Lecturers, which are entry level academic posts in the university sector.

And this imbalance shows no sign of changing soon. Data analysis conducted by the Gender Equality Taskforce for their 2018-2020 Action Plan suggests that the current approach to recruitment and promotion of under-represented candidates could take some 20 years to achieve gender balance at professor level in universities – a minimum of 40% female professors.

Over the next three years, the SALI will award funding for up to 45 senior academic leadership posts in HEIs across Ireland, specifically aimed at attracting outstanding female applicants both from within the sector in Ireland and internationally. The SALI will assist in increasing the number of women involved in the decision-making processes in the institutions. Read full details of the SALI call here