Equalities Rep: Gemma Carney

Dr. Gemma Carney is a Senior Lecturer in social policy based in the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work. She has previously worked as Policy Analyst at the Irish Senior Citizens Parliament, an organization of retired trade union members. Her research has addressed equality policy from gender mainstreaming to age based discrimination and intersections between race, age and gender inequality. She previously led a large Irish Research Council funded project research project on Ireland’s system of collective bargaining called social partnership with Employee Relations expert Tony Dundon, while they were both based at National University of Galway.

The role of Equality Officer with QUB UCU gives her the opportunity to put some of this work into practice.

Equalities at Queen’s:

UCU’s campaigning addresses inequality in six main areas (age, class, disabilities, gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, religion and belief) and recognises the intersectional nature of discrimination and disadvantage. An Equalities Working Group, chaired by the Equalities Rep, has been convened to dedicate additional time and expertise to these important issues. The UCU Committee, with the support of the Equalities Rep, aims to address inequality in a proactive way, not only responding to challenges faced by individual members but also campaigning more widely to raise awareness and seek positive institutional change.

In recent years, Queen’s University has made some significant steps forward in addressing long-term and entrenched inequality in a range of areas. These include, the Athena SWAN gender initiative and the establishment of the Equality and Diversity Unit (based in Human Resources). The UCU team are keen to work closely with our colleagues in these different initiatives to achieve shared goals. Our priorities at this time include:

* Ridding Queen’s University of its gender pay gap.

* Scrutinising Academic Standards (and therefore probation and promotion criteria) from an equalities perspective.

* Eradicating biased student evaluation data from personnel decision-making and replacing this inappropriate method of assessing teaching quality with approaches that can genuinely inform.

* Surveying the daily experience of disabled staff and students at Queen’s and producing recommendations for change.

* Examining the reasons why leadership at Queen’s University is so lacking in diversity.

* Looking at how women and minorities gain recognition and reward at Queen’s.

If you would like to get more involved with the UCU on any of these issues, or have an equalities concern that you would like to work on with us, please contact: Gemma Carney