Awareness-raising and competence development

Awareness-raising efforts aim at generating and stimulating sensitivity to issues related to gender (in-)equality, while (gender) competence development aims at strengthening people’s knowledge and skills to engage with gender equality issues. In practice, the two types of efforts often overlap, as learning starts with awareness, but is a continuous process.
Awareness-raising and competence development can take many forms: from campaigns, over short introductory sessions for specific target groups, seminars, training, to lectures and dedicated courses or summer schools.

Useful to know

  • Make sure you choose the most effective form of awareness-raising or competence development initiative taking into account the needs of the target audience(s). For example, while a 3,5 hours introductory lecture for undergraduate students might be an adequate choice, people in leadership positions are likely to benefit more from participatory and interactive workshops in smaller groups.
  • Carefully consider who the target audience is and whether the focus of your effort is to be on awareness-raising or on competence development. Tailor your approach accordingly.
  • Think about the effects that you want to trigger through these awareness-raising and competence development efforts. How can these effects be monitored? Try to find indicators and ways to track the impacts of the efforts. Evidence of impact will provide you with strong advocacy arguments.

Existing tools and resources

  • Do you need to find a Gender Trainer to organise a training at your organisation? Search on Eurogender’s Gender Trainer Directory
  • EIGE’s online tool on Gender Training
  • Toolkit – Gender in EU-funded research. This toolkit clearly explains and provides guidance on how to integrate gender in research. It addresses both the gender dimension of research content (with case examples from nine different scientific fields) and women’s participation in research activities. One-day training sessions, based on the toolkit, can be organised. 
  • EGERA leaflet: a concise presentation of this EU-structural change project, aiming at raising awareness for the project and its goals among a broad public. It includes an overview of the main thematic areas to be addressed (work packages) and events. 
  • Training materials on Improving Meeting Cultures can be consulted in a report published by the FESTA consortium. The aim is to facilitate open and constructive communication, and to raise awareness of the subtle ways of giving and taking away voice, power and visibility.  
  • Gendered Innovations: Harnessing the Creative Power of Gender Analysis for Discovery and Design: a short video course (4’:19’’) given by Londa Schiebinger from Stanford University about the potential of sex and gender analysis for bringing forward innovations.
  • Short video case studies about gendered innovations in particular fields of research, along with other instructional and informative videos, can be found at the Gendered Innovations website 
  • The Intervention Initiative toolkit” (2015), developed by UWE (University of the West of England) for the prevention of sexual coercion and domestic abuse in university settings.
  • E-learning package on Gender Competent Leadership in Academia developed by the EU-funded structural change project GENOVATE. This tool, which contains 4 sections, encourages (prospective) leaders to reflect on possible solutions according to their institutional needs. 
  • Are women a problem, do women have a problem or do women point out a problem?” This presentation was prepared the coordinator of the EU-funded structural change project FESTA. It aims at raising awareness about the role of women in science.
  • Women and technologies” towards EXPO 2015. Women and Technologies: a winning pair?. Gianna Martinengo (from the association “Women and Technology”, Milan, Italy) presented these slides at a public event organised by a partner organisation of the EU-funded structural change project FESTA in October 2012. The presentation was intended to give visibility and raise awareness of the great potential, creativity and participation of women in the world of technology. 

Examples of measures