Training: awareness-raising and capacity building

In order to initiate a structural change process towards better gender equality in an organisation, awareness of gender inequality and knowledge about gender issues in management, but also in the workforce, is of central importance (see success factors). Awareness-raising efforts aim to generate and stimulate sensitivity to issues related to gender (in)equality, while (gender) capacity building aims to strengthen 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.

To highlight the importance of gender knowledge and gender awareness, the Horizon Europe eligibility criterion requires that a gender equality plan (GEP) includes awareness-raising and training measures on gender equality and unconscious gender biases for staff and decision-makers. All staff, leaders and decision-makers have a role to play in identifying practices, cultures and unconscious gender biases that disadvantage women, and in implementing more inclusive approaches. The European Commission funds a centre of excellence for inclusive gender equality in research and innovation (R & I), which will also be responsible for capacity-building activities.

Awareness-raising and capacity-building training on gender equality can be delivered in different ways: campaigns over short introductory sessions for specific target groups, seminars and training, lectures, and dedicated courses or summer schools. If you are looking for trainers to conduct training in your organisation, please consult the trainer database of the Gender Equality Academy. The Gender Equality Academy also provides an overview of all training sessions conducted during the project, categorised by topics and target groups. In addition to training materials, video recordings are also often made available on YouTube. Moreover, communication and engagement activities involving all staff are important to raise awareness of gender equality issues and organisational approaches to addressing them.

The Horizon Europe eligibility criterion particularly emphasises unconscious bias training (see also ‘Tools and resources’ in tab 3 ) as important for helping people to examine their own behaviours and views and to identify how institutional processes may cause disadvantage to women in areas such as decision-making, careers and leadership. Unconscious or implicit bias unintentionally influences judgements and opinions about others based on stereotypes and can result in discrimination. Read more about unconscious bias in the section ‘Why change must be structural’.

In this section, you can find videos and webinars that focus on training and/or awareness-raising activities. If you would like to use videos and webinars in your awareness-raising activities, have a look at the other chapters of the GEAR tool, as these videos are listed under the relevant topics. For example, you can find videos on the sex/gender dimension in research in tab 2 of the chapter on the sex/gender dimension in research.

  • The Gender Equality Academy follows a holistic approach to developing and implementing a high-quality capacity-building programme on gender equality in R & I and higher education based on state-of-the-art knowledge and composed of six different training formats. Most of the training sessions are available online.
  • Webinar on gender-sensitive communication:

The webinar is about ‘gender-sensitive communication’ and presentations on ‘gender, language, empowerment’ by Giuliana Giusti, Professor of Linguistics at the University Ca’ Foscari of Venice, and the ‘available tools for promoting gender-sensitive communication’ by Maria Sangiuliano, Research Fellow at Università Ca’ Foscari of Venice, Department of Computer Sciences.

In this section, you can find tools and resources that focus on training and/or awareness-raising activities. If you would like to use additional resources in your awareness-raising activities, have a look at the other chapters of the GEAR tool, as these videos are listed under the relevant topics. For example, you can find resources on the sex/gender dimension in research in tab 2 of the chapter on the sex/gender dimension in research (Section 4 of the action toolbox), or resources on gender-based violence, including sexual harassment, in the chapter on gender-based violence including sexual harassment (Section 5 of the action toolbox).

If you need to find a gender trainer to organise training at your organisation, browse through EuroGender’s gender trainer directory.

If you need to find experts from a specific scientific field in a particular country, use GenPORT’s people database.

The GE Academy is an EU-funded capacity-building programme based on state-of-the-art knowledge about gender in research organisations and academia. It is composed of a series of tailor-made training materials and different training formats including in-person training, summer schools, workshops, webinars, distributive open collaborative courses and train-the-trainer sessions.

The Gender Equality Academy compiled a quality standards booklet based on an analysis of existing quality standards for gender training to be applied within the Gender Equality Academy training activity, focused on gender equality in research organisations.

The Gender Equality Academy’s inventory of key resourcesis a practical tool to support the design, implementation and evaluation of gender training initiatives, allowing quick access to relevant information and data pertaining to gender equality in science. It provides resources in 13 thematic areas.

Check out EIGE’s online tool on gender training.

The checklist and instructions for gender training needs assessment produced by the ‘Gender equality actions in research institutions to transform gender roles’ (GEARING ROLES) project show how to effectively identify your organisation’s needs in terms of training and capacity building based on a self-assessment instrument (checklist). In the consolidated training needs assessment document, you can see how the GEARING ROLES partners used the checklist to identify their needs.

A workshop report has been published by the European Commission entitled Implicit Gender Biases during Evaluations: How to raise awareness and change attitudes?

Project Implicit provides implicit association tests on several possible topics. These tests can support awareness-raising.

The toolkit for organising workshops on ‘precarious positions’ for early-career researchersby the project ‘Gendering the academy and research: combating career instability and asymmetries’ (GARCIA) raises awareness about the gendered construction of academic excellence and gender practices in recruitment and selection processes, and discusses with early-career researchers how they can take the next step in building their academic career. Here, you can read about experiences in implementing these workshops.

The Hypatia toolkitwas designed under the eponymous EU-funded project in 2018 to provide an accessible, practical and ready-to-use digital collection of innovative activities aimed at teenagers. It contains workshops, speed dating, card games, debate scenarios and plays drawn from good practices across Europe. Each module has a central focus on gender-inclusive ways of communicating science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM); empowering teenagers; and exploring the range of skills that are needed for a great variety of STEM studies and careers open to young people. It targets research-performing organisations, schools and science museums.

Participatory methods and workshop designs for developing your own training

The co-creation toolkit from the ACT project explores a variety of participatory methods and tools.

Information on participatory techniques is provided by the GEARING ROLES project. Explore the GenderWave, personas and structured democratic dialogue techniques. You can read about experiences with implementing the GenderWave technique here.

The ‘Co-producing knowledge online: workshopping ideas’ working paper by the Interdisciplinary Research Centre for Technology, Work and Culture in Austria provides information on creating a good atmosphere and fostering informal communication.

Information on participatory techniques is provided by the ‘Supporting the promotion of equality in research and academia’ (SUPERA) project.