Congratulations to Dr Clive Earls on his recent funding success! Dr Earls successfully secured full funding of €50,000 from the Gender Equality Enhancement Fund from the Higher Education authority as the Principal Investigator on the inter-institutional “Gender Equality in Language Studies” (GELS) project, which is highly innovative and constitutes the first national study of gender inequality in Language Studies in Irish HE. It takes a vital first step in broadening the gender-equality debate and demonstrates various challenges of disciplines, lecturers and students rendered virtually invisible by the current framing of gender-equality initiatives. Specifically, the converse gender dynamic in Language Studies, where those not identifying as female are under-represented and require greater visibility and promotion, is in clear need of investigation and attention in future gender-equality initiatives.
The GELS partners Maynooth University with the University of Limerick, Dublin City University and Munster Technological University with appropriately chosen DEIS schools in each HEI’s respective catchment and employs quantitative and qualitative data-gathering via online surveys of, and follow-up interviews/focus groups with, students and staff in the HEIs and schools. The focus of the study is exploring factors (attitudinal and perceptual) impacting upon decision-making around Language Studies choices. Based on the analysed data, outreach activities will be developed that enable more diverse role models and potential career paths to be introduced, via, for example, online sessions with successful students/graduates studying and working with languages in Ireland and abroad.