Thursday, September 04, 2008

Women are moving at a snail's pace . . .

A report out today from the Equality and Human Rights Commission in the UK reveals that the the number of women holding top jobs is declining in some areas and is stalled in other areas. The report authors have estimated that a snail could crawl:
- nine times round the M25 in the 55 years it will take women to achieve equality in the senior judiciary.
- from Land's End to John O'Groats and halfway back again in the 73 years it will take for equal numbers of women to become directors of FTSE 100 companies.
- the entire length of the Great Wall of China in 212 years, only slightly longer than the 200 years it will take for women to be equally represented in Parliament.

Yet it seems one area in which women have done slightly better is in appointments to Vice Chancellorships. I had a quick look, and it seems as though there are now 18 women Vice Chancellors of UK higher education institutions (several of these are in Scotland). Considering there are about 130 higher education institutions in the UK, these figures are not hugely exciting.

Now I am asking myself: how long will that snail be crawling along the M50 in Dublin before women achieve parity amongst University Presidents in Ireland? Any guesses?

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