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Report 2011
Queen’s named Northern Ireland’s ‘top employer for women’

Queen’s University has emerged as Northern Ireland’s top employer for women, and one of only two universities to feature in the UK’s top 50 workplaces for female staff.

Welcoming the University’s listing in the definitive Times Top 50 Employers for Women, Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Gregson said the accolade is further recognition of Queen’s role as a UK pioneer in promoting gender equality.

Professor Gregson said: “This accolade reflects the very positive work being undertaken across the University to attract, recruit and retain the most creative, talented, and capable women in higher education.

“We are committed to ensuring that women can develop their full personal and professional potential. The Times listing, coupled with our recent promotions exercise, which saw seven women among our 14 new professors, shows that we are well along the way to achieving this aim, and I congratulate all involved.”

The Times listing was managed by the workplace gender equality organisation Opportunity Now, whose Director Helen Wells, paid tribute to the University.

She said: “I firmly believe that creating workplaces which tap into the talents of all is an imperative. At Queen’s University Belfast this is clearly seen as a strategic issue, not purely a women’s issue.

“Queen’s should be congratulated for its commitment and tenacity in creating a work culture which is inclusive and diverse. Being one of The Times Top 50 Employers for Women is testament to how seriously the University has worked to address the recruitment, retention and progression of women through its organisational structure.”

Director of Queen’s Gender Initiative Professor Yvonne Galligan said that the University has worked hard over the past decade to become a role model for equal opportunities practice.

She added: “I believe that our success in winning this award comes from our efforts to make the workplace a woman-friendly environment. We developed a mentoring scheme, paid particular attention to women’s recruitment and retention in the Science subjects, introduced a wide range of policies supporting women’s careers, and sought to change the culture. We are very proud to be recognised in this way.”

Since it was founded in 2000, Queen's Gender Initiative has also produced a stream of tangible results in relation to flexible working, enhanced childcare provision and the establishment of a central maternity fund.

Queen’s News Release April 2011

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Queen's Gender Initiative was formed in 2000 and works to support women's career opportunities across the University, with particular focus on women in science and medicine. The strategy, solution and the successes of QGI endeavours are presented. The policy to achieve a more representative proportion of female staff in senior positions is embedded in the University’s corporate plan.  Over the past five years, the proportion of females in the professoriate has risen from 11% to 22%.  Activities underpinning this success include an in-house mentoring scheme open to all female staff, seminars on promotion procedures for academic staff and on career planning for postgraduate students and postdoctoral staff, and events to showcase role models and leadership.  A recent initiative is introduction of the research-only semester for women returning to work after maternity leave. Queen's was named this year in The Times Top 50 Employers of Women list.


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