Gender, Diversity and Inclusion
Diversity and Inclusion
To remain relevant, Teagasc must continuously reflect the diversity of society and of our stakeholders at every level in our organisation. We will continue to welcome a diverse range of staff at all levels. The organisation is working to ensure that diversity is manifested across management structures in all Directorates to guarantee that as wide a variety of views as possible are brought forward and taken into account in decision-making.
Diversity and Inclusion Strategy
Teagasc launched its Diversity & Inclusion Strategy (pdf) in July 2020. The Strategy outlines the vision, strategic objectives and action plan for achieving a more diverse and inclusive work environment. Many actions, working groups, events and new policies have been developed since the launch of our Strategy. In January 2022, Teagasc carried out a diversity and inclusion culture audit, and based on the findings we have been implementing a number of positive improvement actions.
Diversity and Inclusion Principles in Teagasc
- Ensure all staff are part of the Diversity and Inclusion Strategy in Teagasc and reinforce words with solid actions for the common good of all in the organisation.
- Maintain a work environment that respects all individuals and promotes real inclusion at every opportunity throughout the organisation.
- Reinforce a just and honest culture with the Teagasc Authority and Senior Management Group setting the example, where staff members are treated fairly, promoting trust and drawing the line between acceptable and unacceptable behaviours.
While this Strategy has an internal focus on staff, Teagasc as stated in its Code of Conduct and Statement of Strategy, will review and develop new policies and good practices to avoid discrimination and provide equal opportunity for the general public andthe clients it serves. Relevant actions will also be incorporated into a plan to meet our obligations under the Irish Human Rights and Equality Act 2014
We are pleased to publish our second Gender Pay Gap report which details how the pay gap in Teagasc has reduced again for the seventh consecutive year. In 2017, our pay gap was 17% and it has been gradually closing to a gap of 11%, as at June of 2023. We still have some distance to travel to close the gap, but if we continue to invest in and improve the initiatives set out in our Gender Equality Plan, we are optimistic that the gap will continue to narrow over the coming years.
Teagasc recognises that being able to attract develop and retain female talent is crucial, and that organisations with gender-diverse management teams outperform organisations that do not have such diversity at the decision-making table. The appointment of more females to key management roles in Teagasc has positively changed the organisation structure and the leadership dynamic. It has provided important female role models for staff who have chosen to begin their careers in Teagasc. We are seeing greater participation of female staff in post graduate courses, and more females stepping forward for nominations to state boards. Teagasc is actively creating a welcoming workplace culture where staff, in particular female staff, will want to develop their careers, so that they can reach their true potential by advancing through our organisation.
Teagasc published its first Gender Pay Gap Report 2022 in December 2022. Teagasc welcomed the new requirement to report the gender pay gap within organisations as we have been implementing initiatives arising from our Gender Equality Strategy for the last four years. This has positively contributed to a reduction in the pay gap, in a sector that has traditionally been very male dominated. We have seen an increase in the number of women in senior roles and we have been making efforts to change the symbols and language used in our sector. The publication of our Gender Sensitive Communication Guidelines in 2021 is a tool to help staff, clients and all stakeholders in our sector use gender neutral language.
We are seeing the benefits of female collegues moving into more senior roles and female staff leading many national and international initiatives within our sector. Our female leaders act as important role models for new recruits and they will help to encourage a pipeline of female staff for the future.
Teasgasc launched its Gender Equality Plan in Kildalton College at an event celebrating International Women's Day in March 2022.
In developing the Gender Equality Plan (GEP), workshops were held for staff at all levels across the organisation, including middle and senior management. The GEP reflects important actions identified by staff to further gender equality in Teagasc and contains four strategic objectives, as follows:
- Creating a Gender Diverse Culture
- Reshaping Decision-Making and Governance
- Developing Equal Career Support Measures
- Integrating Gender in Research Funding and Teaching
The GEP was developed by Teagasc through its involvement and collaboration with other European research partners under the GenderSMART project, a €2.9million EU Horizon 2020 funded project which commenced on 1st January 2019 and concluded on 31st December 2022. Further information on the project is available on the GenderSmart website.
Teagasc published its Report on the Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty (pdf) in 2022. The Plan includes a number of actions that will be delivered from 2021-2023 in order to meet our public sector duty construed by the public sector equality and human rights legislation.
The Director, Prof. Frank O'Mara, announced 2022 as the Year of Diversity and Inclusion in Teagasc and a number of initiatives were spear-headed for the frist time during the year. Teagasc celebrated Pride month with a series of educational and informative webinars for staff on LGBTQ+ terminology and being an ally in the workplace. The Pride flag flew high at all Teagasc campuses and centres during the month of June.
During the year, we also celebrated with our colleagues on days such as; International Mother Language Day, World Hijab Day, Zero Discrimination Day and Sign Language Day. We put a special focus around mental health supports in the months of September and October, and we developed guidelines for understanding and dealing with sexism in the workplace.
Diversity and Inclusion training for all managers was delivered across the organisation during 2022.
The Teagasc Diversity and Inclusion logo and our Gender Equality Values are now an important feature of our corporate publications, such as the Teagasc Annual Report and the Statement of Strategy. Embedding diversity and inclusion into everything we do is an important priority for the organisation.
The GenderSMART project was a European partnership with the aim of achieving gender equality in research performing and research funding organisations operating in the agriculture and life sciences research and teaching fields.
Since the commencement of the project on 1st January 2019, seven European partners, including Teagasc, have put gender equality in the workplace to the forefront of their operations. Each organisation, supported by two technical partners specialising in institutional change and mainstreaming a gender balanced culture, committed to developing and implementing a Gender Equality Plan (GEP).
In general, a GEP is a set of commitments and actions that aim to promote gender equality in an organisation. This will ultimately be achieved through structural change, involving sustainable transformation of organisational processes and systems.
In Teagasc, our GEP has been tailored to take account of the culture and structure of the organisation. It aims to engage all staff, through awareness-building and training on gender equality and unconscious gender biases. Progress on implementation of the actions set out in our GEP is shared with staff via a dedicated GenderSMART space on our internal communications platform, Workvivo, and feedback is welcomed through Workvivo and a dedicated GenderSMART email.
The project officially concluded on the 31st December 2022, however it is essential that the progress and momentum gained over the course of the project is maintained in creating a diverse workplace of equal opportunities and active inclusion, where all staff members can achieve their full potential.