Gender Equality in Academia and Research
PROMOTING GENDER EQUALITY IN RESEARCH
Until October 2015, no legal framework specifically addressing gender in the context of science and research had been put in place.
The Resolution on the National Programme for Equal Opportunities for Women and Men 2005-2013 foresees certain measures to improve the position of women in science:
- Support to and implementation of programmes and projects for increasing participation of women in science and research;
- Encouragement of and support to researches and cooperation in the area of gender studies and integration of the principle of gender equality into scientific and research programmes, politics and organisations;
- Creation and monitoring of EU indicators on assuring equal opportunities of women and men in science and research;
- Analysis and elimination of obstacles for promotion encountered by female scientists.
The area of research and innovation is regulated by the National Research and Development Strategy 2011-2020. Measure 34 foresees an Action Plan for Improving Career Opportunities for Researchers in all Career Periods and for Ensuring the Gender Equality Principle. The action plan should have been put in force in 2012, but has not been implemented or drafted yet. However, the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport is also involved in GENDER-NET project and participation in the project encourages the creation of a gender action plan.
Gender balance in decision-making and the enhancement of women’s participation in research are regulated by:
- Rules on the Procedures of the (co)financing and Monitoring of Research Activities Implementation, Article 35 (in the case of absence of the researcher due to parental leave in the duration of at least six months, this should be taken into account at project applications and also prolongs the period until PhD defence);
- Rules on the Procedures of the (co)financing and Monitoring of Research Activities Implementation, Article 172i (all permanent and temporary bodies of the Slovenian Research Agency should be gender balanced. At least one third of each gender should be represented in science and at least one fifth of each gender in technical disciplines).
Other stimulatory initiatives
Since 2006 the initiative UNESCO - L’OREAL “For Women in Science” has been giving three scholarships, on an annual basis, to young female scientists.
The Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities (Equal Opportunities Department) is responsible for the area of equal opportunities. It is responsible for preparation and implementation of different activities, accordingly to the Equal Opportunities for Women and Men Act and the Implementation of Equal Treatment Act.
The Ministry of Education, Science and Sport is responsible for implementation of RISS 2011-2020, as well as for the UNESCO L’Oreal Scholarship. Under the Ministry there is also a Commission for Women in Science, which is very active in the area (research and data collection; suggestion of legal changes, including changes in order to create action plan to improve career possibilities of women; awareness-raising; dissemination of research findings; promotion of gender equality…).
The Slovenian Research Agency is responsible to carry out the Rules on the Procedures of the (co)financing and Monitoring of Research Activities Implementation. It is also responsible for different tasks in regard of research area in Slovenia (for example it selects and finances research and infrastructure programmes; it manages young researcher projects; it monitors programmes, it evaluates and analyses the implementation of research…).
INITIATIVES FOR GENDER EQUALITY BY RESEARCH PERFORMING ORGANISATIONS
Two Slovenian research organisations took part of consortia of EU-funded structural change projects: National Institute of Chemistry (NIC) (Genis Lab, 2011-2014) and the Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (GARCIA, 2014-2017). In the context of these projects, different tools, approaches and initiatives have been implemented in the research organisations.
The Genis Lab project addressed the issue of gender equality at three levels: human resources management, gender budgeting and organisational culture and stereotypes. Different activities to monitor the state of the art from a gender-sensitive perspective took place at NIC during the project’s implementation, such as surveys to tackle stereotypes in the context of organisational life; monitoring of career trends, allocation of funds; assessment of professional performance; analysis of scientific excellence; annual evaluation/assessment of researchers; investigation of professional performance; investigation on the fluctuation of employees. The Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy was included into NIC’s Policy on preventing violence, torture and harassment in the work place. All the mentioned activities were implemented in order to create different measures to combat gender inequalities at the National Institute of Chemistry. The activities were foreseen in the tailored action plan that was created at the beginning of the project. Some of these activities were continued after the project’s end.
One of the aims of GARCIA is to create specific gender action plans to be implemented at the Biotechnical Faculty, the Department of Agronomy and the Institute of Slovenian Language).
RELEVANT EXAMPLES OF PRACTICES
Monitoring system on human resources management, gender budgeting and organisational culture and stereotypes
In the context of the EU-funded structural change project Genis Lab, a monitoring system on human resources management, gender budgeting and organisational culture and stereotypes was set up. This initiative continues to be partially implemented until today. The monitoring system includes sex-disaggregated data on performance activities, project success rates, allocated funds for research projects and programmes, projects with industry and mentorships. The data are available for NIC Slovenia’s management purposes. The monitoring system also looks at the performance of different surveys that tackled gender stereotypes in the context of organisational life.