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CITY TRIBUNE

Alarm at NUIG’s €700k bill to tackle ‘unconscious’ gender bias

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Alarm was expressed at a Governing Body meeting of NUI Galway about the ongoing cost of providing training that helps to stop staff giving advantage to men over women.

‘Unconscious bias training’ was one of the initiatives NUIG agreed to implement in order to eliminate gender inequality at the city campus.

The roll-out of continuous unconscious bias training was one of the tasks for the Vice President of Equality and Diversity, which was established to focus initially on “the elimination of gender inequality” at NUIG.

At the November meeting of the Governing Body, the cost of the training came under the spotlight.

The Vice-President, Professor Anne Scott, told members of the Governing Body that she had “no definitive figure in respect of overall costs” of her office.

However, the three “most expensive” items of expenditure to redress the gender balance, included €120,000 additional funding for the provision of enhanced maternity cover to colleges, schools and support units. A further €90,000 was given for research for academic staff returning from academic leave and carers leave.

The third was: “Approximately €500,000 for the cost of her office, inclusive of an identified number of initiatives and rollout and continuation of unconscious bias training costs,” according to the minutes of the meeting, which were released to the Galway City Tribune under Freedom of Information.

The minutes said that: “One member was extremely surprised at the cost of the unconscious bias training and would like to be convinced in respect of the impact of such training.”

The Vice President told members that “there is very good evidence of implicit gender bias being present in society”.

There is “well-founded evidence” within the academic environment that “male CVs tend to get preferential treatment in appointment processes as a result of unconscious bias”.

She said that women are also expected to produce more research outputs in order to maintain equality of assessment with male colleagues.

“She did acknowledge that there is no evidence on the lasting effect of unconscious bias training and noted that the current cost of unconscious bias training was one-third more expensive last year than would be anticipated this year – as all inputs were developed, from scratch, at the request of NUIG,” the minutes record.

The taskforce set up by NUIG after it became embroiled in a gender equality scandal, recommended that staff at the university including heads of schools, chairs of committees and interview boards, should engage in compulsory “unconscious bias training” with annual refresher courses.

According to the taskforce progress report: “Unconscious bias is widespread throughout academia and its effect is to advantage men over women”

The training “helps participants to recognise their own biases helping them to make better and more rational decisions.”

CITY TRIBUNE

Classy Clodagh will need to know her ABCs when she takes mayoral chains

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Councillors will resume deliberations on the City Draft Development Plan in June. And if the recently-agreed County Development Plan is anything to go by, Mayor in Waiting (MIW) Clodagh Higgins will need to have her ABCs in order to deal with the baptism of fire awaiting her.

Bradley Bytes – A sort of political column by Dara Bradley

Galway City Councillors will resume deliberations on the Draft City Development Plan in June, which means two things: long meetings and an even longer list of abbreviations.

The former is a given when rezoning of land is at play; the latter is also likely if the City Plan mirrors the recently-agreed County Development Plan which contained an alphabet soup of shortened phrases.

From ABTA (Area Based Transport Assessment) to MASP (Metropolitan Area Strategic Plan), NWSMP (National Wastewater Sludge Management Plan) to GCTPS (Galway County Transport and Planning Study), and GCMA (Galway County Metropolitan Area) to UFP (Urban Framework Plan) to name but a few, County Councillors were bombarded with shorthand as they compiled a new Development Plan.

And that’s before you mention the myriad of organisations OPR (Office of Planning Regulator), OPW (Office of Public Works), NTA (National Transport Authority), TII (Transport Infrastructure Ireland) who were making submissions about MAs (Material Alterations), WWTP (Waste Water Treatment Plants), LAPs (Local Area Plans), and LTP (Local Transport Plans) etcetera.

County Councillors needed qualifications in abbreviations and gobbledegook just to keep up with it all; many are now suffering a sort of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and the DTs (Delirium Tremens) or AWD (Alcohol Withdrawal Delirium) since they finalised the plan, but that’s all due to withdrawal from abbreviations rather than alcohol.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Legendary Andy Irvine in concert

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Andy Irvine

Legendary singer/songwriter Andy Irvine will play the Gig Room in the Kinvara Community Centre next Saturday, May 28, at 8pm.

With an impressive repertoire of Irish songs and Balkan dance tunes, he is renowned for his unique fusion of Irish and World music.

Andy’s musical career took off when he joined Sweeney’s Men in 1965, touring extensively with them before leaving in 1968 to pursue his own musical journey. That took him to Bulgaria, Romania and Yugoslavia, as he studied the music and traditions of these places.

During this time, he began playing the bouzouki professionally, as it allowed him to develop his own style while deepening his knowledge of Balkan music.

Back in Ireland Andy founded the now-legendary Planxty with Christy Moore, Donal Lunny and Liam O’ Flynn. When the group took a break in 1967, he recorded an album with Paul Brady, simply entitled Andy Irvine & Paul Brady, which became a classic.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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CITY TRIBUNE

World premiere to feature in free concert

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Dave Flynn

The world premiere of E-Bow, a work for string quartet and electric guitar by  composer Dave Flynn, will take place this Sunday, May 22, at 3pm at the O’Donoghue Theatre, NUIG. Admission is free and all are welcome.

E-Bow will be performed by Galway’s quartet in residence, ConTempo, and Dave Flynn himself. A work in three movements, it plays with the tradition of the guitar quintet, which dates back to the late 18th century, but brings it in new directions by using an electric guitar with the addition of an e-bow.

This is a hand-held electronic bow invented by Greg Heet in 1969 and patented in 1978, after which it became an essential tool for rock guitarists. Performers including Blondie, U2, Radiohead, Big Country, Genesis, Pink Floyd and R.E.M. have used them, but e-bows are less common in classical music because they don’t work on nylon-string classical guitars.

The work was co-commissioned by long-term commissioning partners Galway Music Residency (GMR) and Galway City Council and is being presented  as part of Arts in Action, by  GMR, in association with Dublin’s Contemporary Music Centre.

Sunday’s show will also include a performance of Philip Glass’ Mishima, arranged for string quartet and electric guitar, with special permission from the composer. Philip Glass composed this piece for the film Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters, about Japanese author Yukio Mishima who died in November 1970 after performing Seppuku (ritual suicide by disembowelment).

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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