Archive for gender equality

Student drinking almost equal by gender

Posted in Life with tags , on 29 September 2010 by Steve

“Female college students appear to be binge-drinking at least as often as their male counterparts and sometimes match them drink for drink, according to research published in the latest edition of the Irish Medical Journal …” (more)

[Alison Healy, Irish Times, 29 September]


Engineering the last male bastion

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 1 November 2009 by Steve

Ireland“The majority of Irish lawyers, pharmacists, dentists, doctors, and physiotherapists in the future will be women. Nursing and primary-school teaching have long been dominated by women; now other professions are heading the same way. The latest figures show that females now outnumber males 59% to 41% in the country’s seven universities. In the entire tertiary sector, including institutes of technology, the figure is 55% to 45% …” (more)

[John Walshe, University World News, 25 October]

Educated women ‘aid long life’

Posted in Life with tags , on 6 October 2009 by Steve

Sweden“A well-educated woman positively influences both her own and her partner’s chances of a long life, Swedish research suggests. A man whose partner had only a school education has a 25% greater risk of dying early than if she had had a university education, it suggests …” (more)

[BBC News, 5 October]

Gender balance in medicine

Posted in Fees and access with tags , , on 29 August 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Madam, – Brian Mooney (HEALTHplus, August 25th) suggests the ‘establishment’ may be supporting the change in admissions to redress the ‘feminisation’ of medicine. The issue of females in medicine, their career progression and possible obstacles has received considerable attention in other jurisdictions, but perhaps less so in Ireland. This has been the subject of research involving the author, Dr Kate Meghen and Dr Geraldine Boylan in UCC which will shortly be published. We quantitatively document the gender balance in all areas of medicine in Ireland accurate to the end of 2008 and also present qualitative data obtained from interviewing a cohort of female hospital consultants and female clinical academic staff …” (more)

[Siún O’Flynn, Irish Times, 29 August]

Gender balance in medicine

Posted in Fees and access with tags , , on 28 August 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Madam, – We are extremely concerned over a number of inaccuracies which are currently distorting the debate on the mechanisms of admission to medical schools in Ireland. The change in the medical school entry process arose from the recommendation in the Government-commissioned Fottrell report on medical education in 2006, stating that the ‘Leaving Certificate results should no longer be the sole selection mechanism for undergraduate student’ …” (more)

[Dermot Kelleher, Irish Times, 28 August]

Gender balance in medicine

Posted in Fees and access with tags , , on 27 August 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Madam, – Correspondents to your paper calling for a 50:50 ratio of male and female students in medical schools may have information I have not been able to find. What is the ratio of males to females applying for places? The CAO would not tell me for reasons of confidentiality when I asked years ago, but anecdotal evidence I gathered suggested more girls than boys applied. The HPat test was devised apparently, to increase the number of boys getting places. I regret that any form of gender discrimination was brought in by a Minister for Education, particularly a female one, Mary Hanafin …” (more)

[Mary Henry, Irish Times, 27 August]

Gender balance in medicine

Posted in Fees and access with tags , , on 26 August 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Madam, – Siobhan Wilson (August 24th) makes the point that criteria other than ‘hardworking’, ‘bright’ and ‘brilliant’ need to apply for entry to medical school. As a past Chair of the Education Committee of the Medical Council and member of the Fottrell Committee that led to the professionalisation of medical education, the same point was often made to me. Patients were of the opinion that those with high points tended to lack communication skills, empathy and patience. I saw this as part of a more general disillusionment with the medical profession, male and female, that has led to significant changes in the teaching of medicine and now in entry requirements …” (more)

[Tom O’Dowd, Irish Times, 26 August]

Girls suffer for sake of more male GPs

Posted in Fees and access with tags , , on 25 August 2009 by Steve

Ireland“The system for entry to medicine was changed not because there was a problem with the quality of Irish doctors, as there wasn’t. The only problem with Irish doctors, as some people saw it, was that those entering general practice were predominantly female – so also are the other caring professions such as nursing, radiography, physiotherapy, dietetics, care assistant and, indeed, primary school teaching. An aptitude test on one single day in February, on 17 and 18-year-olds who are in the throes of preparing for their Leaving Cert and already stressed preparing for exams, could not possibly test them for how they will be six years later when qualified …” (more)

[Marion Dunne, Independent, 25 August]

Testing the gender balance

Posted in Fees and access with tags , , on 25 August 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Writing in my education column in The Irish Times last September, when the details of the new HPAT assessment was announced, I speculated that an attempt was being made to reduce the 60:40 advantage that females enjoyed in securing places in undergraduate medical degree programmes, based on the high scores achieved by them in the Leaving Certificate. In light of my observation it is interesting to note that the professor of academic medicine and director of undergraduate teaching and learning at Trinity College Dublin, Seán McCann, said following the announcement of the first set of medical place allocations under the new system, that one of the original aims in amending the entry system to medical school was to change the gender balance and that ‘from the profession’s point of view, a 50/50 mix is desirable’ …” (more)

[Brian Mooney, Irish Times, 25 August]

There is no exam that can tell us who will be a good doctor

Posted in Fees and access with tags , on 23 August 2009 by Steve

Ireland“… Is the Leaving Cert a better predictor of who will mature into a good doctor? There is no exam which can tell us this. The Leaving is however a decent test of secondary school academic achievement, itself a mix of two essential attributes in a doctor, intelligence and hard work. I have long been an advocate for graduate entry. Our medical schools are partially moving in this direction, but are still giving most places to school leavers. If we choose to have a crazy system which makes students decide at the age of 14 or 15 whether they want to be doctors (yes, this is the age at which they make the crucial subject choices for the Leaving Cert) then we should use the Leaving …” (more)

[John Crown, Independent, 23 August]

Focus on girls’ exam success masks deeper concerns

Posted in Fees and access with tags on 22 August 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Recently, while attempting to get rid of some books before the floors collapse from the weight, I came across Girls Don’t Do Honours, edited by Mary Cullen. It was published only 22 years ago. That may qualify as pre-history to anyone who actually sat the Leaving Cert this year, but it is an astonishingly short time to the rest of us, given that girls now not only do honours, but regularly outshine boys in academic results. As a 2007 Department of Education and Science report, Sé Sí – Gender in Irish Education, points out, girls have been outscoring boys in English and Irish since the 1930s …” (more)

[Breda O’Brien, Irish Times, 22 August]

Gender balance in medicine

Posted in Fees and access with tags , , , on 22 August 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Madam, – It was heartening to see Gemma Hussey’s de-mystification of the new Health Professionals Admission Test (August 20th). Given the public welcome for its ‘success’ in creating gender balance in admission to medicine, I look forward to official support for procedures to create gender balance at senior management level in the universities since 82 per cent of those in such positions are men …” (more)

[Pat O’Connor, Irish Times, 22 August]

Barred from medical school: why grade-A rejects feel sick

Posted in Fees and access with tags , , on 22 August 2009 by Steve

Ireland“They are the unlikely victims of the Leaving Cert — the students who scored perfect grades in their exams, but cannot get into medical school. They are the new grade-A rejects, and most of them are girls. A year ago, aspiring doctors such as Marie Claire McGrath would have been shoo-ins to become medical students. Marie Claire from Tipperary scored a perfect 600 points in the Leaving Cert this year, but she cannot get into medical school, because she didn’t meet the required standard in a highly controversial aptitude test …” (more)

[Kim Bielenberg, Independent, 22 August]

Aptitude test just what the doctor ordered

Posted in Fees and access with tags , , on 22 August 2009 by Steve

Ireland“In response to Elizabeth O’Dwyer (Letters, August 20) who queries whether the introduction of the HPAT is a ‘dumbing down of the Leaving Cert’, the only truly controversial issue surrounding HPAT is that it had not been introduced sooner. Since the nationwide publication of the heartbreaking tales of students, this letters page has heard mainly from overly-proud, sympathetic parents and others who are in denial about what exactly makes exceptional doctors. The Leaving Cert awards the reaming off of information from text book to paper. If it’s verbatim, it’s 600 points …” (more)

[Adam Ruxton, Independent, 22 August]

Controversial aptitude test for our future Doctors

Posted in Fees and access with tags , , on 22 August 2009 by Steve

Ireland“This week saw the first casualty of the of the new HPAT aptitude test when a Galway student Gabrielle Dunne, with 580 points from her Leaving Cert, failed to get accepted for a place in Medicine while other college students on 535 points were accepted. The controversial new aptitude test also came in for some criticism on the airways with one GP on the George Hook show claiming that it would discriminate against women, who don’t perform well in these tests. Dr Sean McDonagh former director of Dundalk Institute of Technology was also a strong critic suggesting the test was not balanced or fair and suspected a court challenge may be likely …” (more)

[Terry Connors, Irish Press Releases, 21 August]

Why is it so difficult for women to become professors?

Posted in research with tags , on 6 August 2009 by Steve

Ireland“My attention was recently caught by a publication from the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO), A Persistent Problem – Traditional Gender Roles hold back Female Scientists, by Anna Ledin, Lutz Bornmann, Frank Gannon and Gerlind Wallon (Embo Reports, Vol. 8, No 11, 2007). Frank Gannon is director general of Science Foundation Ireland. Men significantly outperform women in climbing the scientific career ladder and this study analyses some of the factors that explain this discrepancy. More than half the European student population is female, but women hold only 15 per cent of full professorships …” (more)

[William Reville, Irish Times, 6 August]

Female Students Just as Persistent as Men in Engineering, Database Shows

Posted in teaching with tags , , on 6 August 2009 by Steve

USA“It may be hard to attract women into engineering, but keeping them there doesn’t seem to be a problem. That’s the latest finding from a database of 70,000 engineering students at nine institutions in the southeastern United States tracked over a 17-year period ending in 2005 …” (more)

[Paul Basken, Chronicle of Higher Education, 4 August]

Equity Within Education

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 10 June 2009 by Steve

Canada“… Two recent books, both of which acknowledge a myriad of entry points into a critical analysis, enter the debate through the lens of gender. Linda Sax’s The Gender Gap in College: Maximizing the Developmental Potential of Women and Men contributes to the field through a large-scale analysis of the significance of gender at the undergraduate level. Most College Students are Women: Implications for Teaching, Learning, and Policy, edited by Jeanie K Allen, Diane R Dean, and Susan D Bracken, as well, challenges the conceptualization of students as a homogenous consumer group and highlights the need to remain cognizant of various forms of difference when we carry out academic duties. A fundamental thrust of these works is the theoretical and practical exploration of the salience of gender to higher education …” (more)

[Academic Matters, June issue]

New Study Ponders the Effect of Professors’ Gender on Students’ Success in Science

Posted in teaching with tags , , on 19 May 2009 by Steve

USA“Female students — or, more specifically, female Air Force cadets — are more likely to succeed in introductory-level science courses if those courses are taught by female professors, according to a study by a trio of economists. The researchers examined the academic records of every student who graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy from 2000 to 2008 — more than 9,000 students in all. They found that women, and especially those with high mathematics-SAT scores, performed significantly better in introductory science courses if the courses were taught by women …” (more)

[David Glenn, Chronicle of Higher Education, 18 May]

‘Standing Still’ as Associate Profs

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , , on 27 April 2009 by Steve

USA“English and foreign language departments promote male associate professors to full professors on average at least a year – and in some cases, depending on type of institutions, several years – more speedily than they promote women, according to a study being released today by the Modern Language Association. Over all, the average time for women as associate professor prior to promotion is 8.2 years, compared to 6.6 years for men. The study follows years of complaints by academic women that they are left ‘standing still’ – the title of the report – after they earn tenure, while male colleagues advance. While the finding may not surprise women, some of the survey results may. For example, many women in academe say that departments are insufficiently supportive of those who must balance career and family obligations – and tend to reward those without child care duties. But the MLA found that the time gap on promotion (while varying somewhat in size) was evident for women who are single or married, those with children and without …” (more)

[Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, 27 April]