Gender Equality in Academia and Research
GEAR action toolbox
In working towards institutional change in research organisations and higher education institutions, different areas and themes can be addressed in the Gender Equality Plan through specific initiatives. Depending on the needs of the organisation, it makes sense to focus on a combination of areas.
For each thematic area, a range of activities and instruments can be mobilised. Reference is made to existing examples and resources whenever possible for each thematic area. In choosing for certain approaches, it is important to take into account the specific organisational context and features. What works well in one organisation, might not be the best choice in another organisation.
The thematic areas that are addressed in this section are not mutually exclusive. Rather, they overlap. For example, competence development efforts can focus on how the gender dimension can be addressed in scientific research or in teaching.
For definitions of specific methods and tools, have a look at EIGE’s glossary.
Structures to support gender equality work
Structures to support gender equality work are dedicated organisational arrangements (unit, office, network, service, etc.) which are mandated to support structural change towards gender equality through their work.
Such structures can take a variety of forms: from Gender Equality Offices, over ombud services, to networks of gender equality ‘antennas’ in different organisational departments, and others. The examples provided below reflect the different forms and roles support structures can take.
Useful to know
- Whatever structure is established, it is important that its mandate is endorsed by the top of the organisation.
- The closer structures are situated to the top of the organisation (e.g. reporting directly to the Dean or Rector), the more authority the structure can have and the more effectively it can work.
- Structures need adequate resources (human and financial) to work effectively.
Existing tools and resources
- The guidelines produced within the framework of the EU-funded structural change STAGES project provide practical insights on establishing and supporting networks for gender equality in universities and research organisations. For example, it is recommended to bridge top-down and bottom-up approaches by creating spaces for dialogue and negotiation within networks that can span the institution. Moreover, networks can be involved in planning, empowerment and negotiation activities. They can support, connect and empower internal actors. Check pages 46-48.
- The webinar “Introduction to Gender Equality Plans” (2020) is part of the capacity building program developed by the EU-funded Gender Equality Academy project. It aims at exploring the concept of institutional change for Gender Equality in research performing and research funding organisations, and how Gender Equality Plans (GEPs) can be a mean for implementing it in view of achieving the three main ERA objectives.
- The Guidelines for the implementation of gender equality plans proposed by the EU-funded SAGE project (2016) provide support to GEP implementing organisations to plan and manage their GEP process and lower organisational resistances to change, placing the emphasis on stakeholders’ engagement and building alliances.
- The Guidelines for incorporating sexual and gender diversity in the universities of Catalonia, developped by the regional government of Catalonia (2018) reflect one of the most progressive legal and policy framework for advancing sexual and gender diversity through fighting harassment and discrimination but also through integrating this perspective in research and teaching. It articulates both a diagnosis and a prognosis, formulating recommendations and is available in Spanish and Catalan.
- The Gender Platform toolkit made available in German by Genderplattform.at, compiles all relevant provisions and initiatives led by Austrian universities and RPOs in advancing gender equality work on a) organisational culture; b) career development; c) management and decision-making; d) work-life balance; e) Integrating gender dimension in research and teaching. For each area, good practices are listed and contents available.
- The Best practices in advancing gender equality in German universities, provided by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF, 2017), compiles best practices adopted by beneficiary higher education institution of the Professorinnen Programm led since 2008 by the Federal ministry for Education and Research. This program, aimed at funding female full professors, requires applying universities to adopt comprehensive gender equality policies. Best practices were identified for phase I and II of the program (2008-2017).
The Network of gender equality focal persons of the Complutense University of Madrid (ES)
This network was established in 2018 at one of the largest universities in Spain, as an initiative of the EU-funded SUPERA project. Its primary objective is to bring contents and activities related to the gender equality policy of the university to the whole academic community, and to effectively support GEP design and implementation. It also aims at accessing relevant data at the faculty level so as to support GEP design and further diagnoses regarding gender equality. For each faculty node, a responsible person was appointed by the dean, in charge of building working groups comprising of research, teaching, administrative and technical personal. Members of the network are regularly engaged in joint capacity-building activities and co-designing action proposals to be communicated to the Gender Equality Unit of the University, thus bringing a bottom-up dimension and finer-grained picture to university policies to advance gender equality, and contributing to mainstream gender equality work across the institution.
The Gender Equality Commission of the Swiss National Science Foundation (CH)
It is an independent advisory body with a highly international membership. Its members possess a high level of expertise in the field of gender equality and beyond. The commission comments on gender-relevant issues and decisions within the scope of SNSF research funding and submits proposals and recommendations to the National Research Council and the administrative offices of the SNS. It was established in 2014 and meets twice a year. Before that (2001-2014), it was an internal body consisting of employees and members of the research council, which is also responsible for the evaluation of applications. A member of the commission is invited to participate in the monthly meeting of the praesidium of the SNSF and extraordinary meetings take place occasionally to discuss strategic issues. The commission has thus endorsed a key role in mainstreaming gender across SNSF missions and funding schemes.
Integrating the mandate for a GEP in a (regional) policy document (IT)
The autonomous region of Sardinia is one of the few Italian regions granted with extensive competencies in the field of research and innovation, including its own research funding policy. As part of the EU-funded SUPERA, a broad mandate for designing and implementing a GEP in the area of regional research policies and funding, has been included to the Regional Development Program (Programma Regionale di Sviluppo, PRS), adopted for the period 2020-2024 on March, 5th 2020 by the Sardinian Regional Council. Specifically referring to the commitments of the EU-funded SUPERA project, the section of the PRS devoted to research and innovation affirms the full “recognition and dissemination throughout the regional administration, of the gender principles in the field of research and innovation” and the implementation of positive actions aimed at ensuring gender parity in the regional research and innovation policies. “Reinforcing gender awareness in a perspective of structural change”, as well as “supporting participation to projects and programmes from a gender perspective” are also stated as one of the four pillars of the regional research and innovation policy. This policy program applies to the Regional administration, including the regional research agency. It is to be followed-up by the fully-fledged Gender Equality Plan developed by the Autonomous Region of Sardinia as part of the SUPERA project, with application to the research projects calls falling under the scope of the regional law 7 (2007). By embedding the mandate for a GEP into a strategic policy document, the Autonomous Region of Sardinia contributes to its sustainability and to durably mainstreaming gender in regional research policies.
GenderNet Freie Universität Berlin (DE)
GenderNet Freie Universität Berlin (Germany) is a network structure aimed at facilitating and boosting communication and cooperation between actors in the areas of gender research and gender equality practice at different levels. This innovative, flexible structure brings together researchers, gender equality officers, actors in management and administration and members of committees and other relevant bodies. They jointly address current challenges and drive forward excellent gender research, inclusive gender equality practice, international dialogue and transnational cooperation.
The work within GenderNet Freie Universität Berlin is coordinated by a steering team (“Leitungsteam”) consisting of key actors in university management, gender equality work and gender research of Freie Universität Berlin. Five project teams have been set up to each address one of the following current challenges through joint efforts: gender in research; internationalisation; gender in MINT subjects (mathematics, information sciences, natural sciences, and technology); diversity; and the institutional strategy.
The Gender Balance Committee of the Genomic Regulation Centre (ES)
The Gender Balance Committee of the Genomic Regulation Centre (CRG), a Spanish biomedical research institute of excellence, was established in 2013. Its mission is to promote equal opportunities for men and women at the CRG, alongside women's advancement in academia. The Committee aims at eliminating gender bias from the CRG recruitment process, attracting female scientists, and improving the work-family life balance for its employees. It is composed of members representing all areas of the institute and has regular meetings every two months. The practice is included in the previous CRG policy regarding gender equality and HR management excellence. The centre, for instance, received the "HR Excellence in Research" honour from the European Commission in 2013 – a recognition which entails the development of a Gender Equality Plan. Among other activities, in 2014, the Committee launched a mentoring programme geared towards young postdoctoral researchers, and, in 2015, a support grant providing extra financial support to CRG women scientists with family responsibilities. Altogether, the Gender Balance Committee contributes to strengthening gender institutional change at a leading research performing organisation.
Goethe University Frankfurt (DE)
The approach to ‘Gender & Diversity Controlling’ that has been implemented at Goethe University Frankfurt (Germany) since 2010 features a standardised procedure steered at central level that grants the rather autonomous, diverse faculties (“Fachbereiche”) freedom to design tailor-made initiatives. Its introduction traces back to the university’s gender action plan (“Frauenförderplan 2009-2013”).
The Gender & Diversity Controlling coordinator is in charge of steering the controlling procedures and of managing the compilation of gender and diversity statistics within the university.
Every two years, the faculties are obliged to report on the status quo related to gender (in)equalities and on their Gender and Diversity Action Plan (GEDAP). The process is steered by the Gender & Diversity Controlling coordinator who provides the faculties with data, tools and advice. Based on their own assessment and on the advice received from the coordinator, the faculties set up the action plan for the next two years. The Gender & Diversity Controlling coordinator and, subsequently, the University Senate’s commission on gender equality and diversity assess the new action plan. Subsequently, the faculties are supposed to adjust the plan based on this feedback.
Gender & Diversity Controlling has become well-established and widely accepted across the university. Notably, the scope and quality of the Gender and Diversity Action Plans at faculty level have enhanced since Gender & Diversity Controlling was first set up.
- Gender & Diversity Controlling at Goethe University Frankfurt (in German and in English)
- Equality-Monitor 2013 - Facts and Figures on Equal Opportunities at Goethe University (in German)
- Flyer about Equality at Goethe University Frankfurt
- Women’s Representative and the Equal Opportunities Office
- Full description on EIGE's compendium of good practices
- Contact details: Annemarie Mlakar (firstname.lastname@example.org)
University College Dublin (IE)
The role of Gender Project Manager is situated in the University College Dublin (UCD) (Ireland) at the Research and Innovation department. It is sponsored by the Vice President for Research, Innovation and Impact within the university. The role places a staff member into a university research department in order to drive forward gender equality within its research processes, activities and outputs. The role seeks to engage the research community at all levels in UCD on gender equality and to support their needs and the integration of a gender dimension in relation to research projects and funding applications. The role began in the framework of Horizon 2020 research funding requiring an emphasis on the gender dimension in research content, as well as the Irish Research Council specifying that all research applications must consider the sex/gender dimension of the project proposed. The role complements the diversity and equality objectives of the university as outlined in the UCD Strategy 2015-2020. This practice has a high replicability possibility into other universities and research institutions and appears unique in Ireland. This role is part-time at three days per week which began in June 2014 and will run for a minimum of three years.
Centre for Women in Science and Engineering Research (IE)
WiSER (Centre for Women in Science and Engineering Research) at Trinity College Dublin (TCD) (Ireland) was established following a funding call from Science Foundation Ireland in 2005 aimed at addressing the under-representation of women in science, engineering and technology. The Centre aims to recruit more women and girls into STEM careers and education; to enable highly skilled women researchers to remain in STEM careers; and to encourage and assist top-level researchers to return to work following a career break. WiSER’s activities and practices are underpinned by the core value that scientific excellence is only achievable in an environment that supports, enables and sustains all outstanding researchers, regardless of gender. WiSER collects gender disaggregated statistics in TCD and reports on them annually to highlight gender gaps and to monitor progress. WiSER offers a range of practical professional development training to women academics and researchers working in STEM in TCD such as a mentoring programme, seminars which provide networking opportunities for women, WiSER academic writing group seminars and tips and information on how women can build their academic research profile via online tools and checklists and other supports. There is also information on work life balance and TCD policies and support for career breaks and flexible working. Funding for the Centre comes from the university (TCD). However, many of the WiSER activities have been funded through EU projects such as INTEGER.
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.
- Do you need to find experts from a specific scientific field in a particular country? Search GenPort’s people database.
- Gender Equality Academy is a EU-funded capacity-building programme launched in 2019 and based on state-of-the-art knowledge about gender in research organisations and the academia. It is composed of a series of tailor-made training materials and different training formats including: In-person trainings; Summer Schools; Workshops; Webinars; Distributive Open Collaborative Courses (DOCCs); Train-the-Trainer sessions. It aims at increasing skills of those who are implementing measures towards gender equality in their institutions (management, administrators, HR managers, academic staff etc.); Deepening the expertise of researchers interested in the gender dimension of their work: Further developing skills of gender experts willing to deliver training sessions to research & innovation and higher education communities in Europe and beyond. This programme will run until 2021 and all material will remain available online for replication.
- 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.
- Leaflet from the project EGERA: 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.
- “Are women a problem, do women have a problem or do women point out a problem?” This presentation was prepared by the coordinator of the EU-funded structural change project FESTA. It aims at raising awareness about the role of women in science.
- 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.
- Gendered Innovations also consist in a platform designed by Standford University and providing good examples of how innovation can be harnessed to gendering research and a comprehensive handbook published by the European Commission (DG RTD) in 2013.
- The Hypathia toolkit was designed under the eponym 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 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 is targeted to Research performing organisations, schools and science museums.
- The Toolkit for organising reflexive working groups for selection committee members was developed in 2017 for the EU-funded GARCIA project, to help effectively organising and facilitating reflexive working groups for all support and research staff who are involved in recruitment and selection committees and/or procedures or otherwise responsible for the evaluation of early career researchers.
- 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.
- “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.
- Toolkit for Integrating Gender-Sensitive Approach into Research and Teaching prepared within the EU-funded structural change GARCIA project.
- Guidelines for jury members, reviewers and research funding organisations’ employees designed by the EU-funded GEECCO project for Research Funding Organisations’ employees and evaluators of research proposals. The first part offers a set of practical recommendations concerning activities that strengthen gender balance among peer reviewers and members of committees and boards involved in the evaluation of research proposals. The second part intends to provide guidance about increasing gender sensitivity and diversity awareness in evaluation of research proposals
Compulsory awareness-raising session for B.A. students (FR)
The University Paris 7 Diderot (France) delivers a 3.5 hours compulsory awareness-raising session on gender equality for first grade students as they enter the university (2,700 students / year). It applies to all components and faculties but medicine (Law, Economics and Management, Social Sciences and Humanities, Literature and Arts, Sciences, Technology, Mathematics). The session is an integral part of the welcome programme of the university, which takes place in September and includes other events such as a forum of associations and a speech of the Dean. The session on gender equality is the only event having an academic content and for which attendance is compulsory. Between 70 % and 80 % of registered students have attended this session since it was put in place (approximately 2,000 students). The session is divided into three parts: 1) distribution of a questionnaire on gender inequalities; 2) a general introduction to gender and sexual identities; 3) broadcast of a conference by neurologist Catherine Vidal: “Does our brain have a sex?”. It is organised by the Gender Equality Service, established in 2010 as a central service of the university. While it does not primarily address gender in research and does not target researchers, this practice largely contributes to making gender equality culture an integral part of the institution’s identity, bringing insights from research on gender and initiating the fight against gender bias and stereotypes at an early stage of the curricula of future researchers.
- Gender Equality at University Paris 7 Diderot
- Guide: Being a student at Paris Diderot 2015/2016 (in French)
- Flyer about the awareness-raising session (in French)
- Questionnaire on gender inequalities used during the session (in French)
- Contact details: Rachida Lemmaghti (Rachida.email@example.com)
Ragazze Digitali (IT)
Ragazze Digitali (Digital Girls) is a summer camp devoted to enhancing girls' (and boys') digital skills and to encourage them to embrace STEM curricula and careers. It was initiated jointly by the Department of Engineering Enzo Ferrari of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, with European Women Management Development (EWMD). Launched in 2013, it received the support of a number of public and private entities and has been expanding to different location in Emilia Romagna region as from 2018, in the context of the EU-funded EQUAL-IST project. This programme engages with a variety of audiences and stakeholders, including secondary school students, university students, ICT companies, policy stakeholders, helping to enhance the attention for gender equality issues in STEMs. The number of participants has been increasing over years, reportedly with a high success rate in triggering girls' interest for STEM. This programme has also proved to be Covid-responsive.
Girls' Day (DE)
Since 2001, nearly 2 million female high school pupils did participate to Girls' Day in Germany. Hosted in tech, natural sciences and other STEM labs and faculties, Girls' Day offer hands-on activities aiming at enhancing the attractivity of STEM curricula and breaking stereotypes. The University of Westphalia Wilhelms University in Münster (WWU) successfully hosts Girls' Day every year since 2013. In the context of the EU-funded EQUAL-IST project, a focus was placed girls' participation in ICT, involving over 100 secondary school students each year. At the Department of Information Systems, a specific concept was developed under the project, which is different from all the other events within Girls’ Day: girls are divided into very small groups and visit ‘stations’ showing various facets of the area of Information Systems. This tailor-made concept allowed reaching girls almost individually and involving a large amount of DIS staff members thus also having an awareness raising effect inside the department.
A practice to award and ensure greater visibility for women researchers (RO)
The ‘Women Researchers’ Day at the Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi (Romania) was created in 2013 as an initiative within the EU-funded project "Structural transformations to achieve gender equality in science" (STAGES), led by the Centre for Social Management and Community Development and the UAIC Network of Women Academia and Research. It is an annual innitative aimed at increasing women’s visibility, voice and recognition by presenting their professional profiles and awarding their most relevant results in science. It is a complex public event consisting of several categories of actions like producing and presenting dedicated films under the title “UAIC Profiles of Women in Science”, giving awards to distinguished senior researchers and promising young researchers as well as giving lectureships/conferences on “Gender in science” and trainings for targeted groups (managers, staff, and young researchers) with the contribution of prestigious invited gender experts. The main objectives are to provide female research with role models, to create an international reach for the exchange of good practices, and to contribute to the professional development of women researchers. The event takes place on the same day as the European Women Researchers Day" as a form of enacting transnational and inter-institutional cooperation for promoting shared objectives of gender equality in science through the organisation of mutually beneficial common actions and through its dissemination at international level by networking channels (such as EPWS, GenPort, CNRS, STAGES, UAIC).
School of drafting and management for European projects (IT)
The School of project drafting and management for European projects for post-doctoral and early career researchers was one of the actions within the EU-funded STAGES project at the University of Milan (UMIL) (Italy). The action was designed in order to enhance women’s participation to research and project funds. Indeed, at UMIL women had the same chance as men to obtain European funds but they tended to apply less than their male colleagues. These findings matched those highlighted in the She Figures report (2012), especially with regard to the specific field of Agricultural Sciences (She Figures, 2012, pp. 126-129). The School of drafting aimed at fostering their participations in calls. It started in September 2013 and ended in June 2014. Its programme was planned in cooperation with the Grant Office at the UMIL and it was divided into two parts. The first part, which started in October 2013 and ended in January 2014, aimed at providing participants with an overview of the aims and structure of Horizon 2020 and other European funding schemes (ERC, Marie Curie, etc.). This first part also provided information on the budgeting, management and financial reporting of European Projects and Grants, on the valorisation of the scientific results (evaluation and management of scientific outcomes, patents etc.) and on the gender perspective within European funding schemes. The second part of the programme aimed at supporting the participants in drafting of projects. At this stage, participants had to gather information about European calls and to possibly choose calls they can/would like to apply to in order to receive a more targeted support.
Gender Sensitive PhD Supervisory Toolkit (SE)
As part of the activities organised within the EU-funded structural change project FESTA (coordinated by Uppsala University, Sweden), a Gender Sensitive PhD Supervisory Toolkit has been developed by the project’s consortium. The PhD supervision toolkit targets the supervisory relationships by addressing the socialisation of PhD students and by improving supervisory practices. In male-dominated research environments, it may be relevant to help women at the beginning of their careers to find ways of surviving and competing. The PhD supervision toolkit will advance women’s academic careers in two ways: 1) they will become more fully integrated in the community and therefore more motivated for an academic career and 2) the visibility of their specific value to the research community will be improved. During the Fall/Winter of 2014/2015, study circles on gender awareness in PhD supervision were organised for PhD-supervisors in the six participating countries. These were aimed at ensuring equal opportunities for women and men at the beginning of their academic careers. The PhD supervision toolkit is based on results from these study circles, that it, on the experiences of PhD supervisors themselves in six countries.
Overcoming bias in personnel selection procedures (AT)
As part of the internal leadership training programme of the University of Graz, the gender equality office organises a bias sensitising workshop. This workshop aims at creating reflexivity about gender and other discrimination-related biases in personnel selection procedures, and at creating a general understanding that equality and quality are mutually reinforcing goals. The training takes place over two half-day sessions of five hours each, and is facilitated by external experts as well as gender equality experts from the university. In this workshop, participants gain knowledge about diversity issues, societal inequalities, and academic evaluation procedures. They also participate in a mock personnel selection procedure, as well as discussions on academic CVs, to initiate reflection about their own selection criteria, prejudice and biases.
- Flyer workshop (in German)
- Full description on EIGE's compendium of good practices
- Contact details: Barbara Hey (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Gender certification: a road to change? (SE)
The aim of the project is to increase the knowledge on gender issues and to create conditions for a possible ‘gender certification’ at the departments of Physics, Earth Sciences, and Energy Sciences at Lund University in Sweden. This project was initiated in 2007 at the Department of Physics and consisted of three steps: 1) Education, Information and “Infiltration”, 2) Realising ideas and 3) Evaluation. A working team has been appointed to share information about the project within the departments and to discuss, initiate and implement various activities. The gender certification group (the working team) meets regularly since the beginning of 2010. This project assisted the departments in understanding gender assumptions in their teaching and research. This led to rethinking teaching, changing concepts and languages, and possibly also changed research questions and priorities.
To structurally embed gender equality within the organisation, it is necessary that the widest possible circle of stakeholders is receptive to this change. In order to make gender equality work effective, it is therefore paramount to engage with these stakeholders, vertically as well as horizontally.
Outreach work goes from the top to the bottom of the organisation, and across departments, schools and disciplines. Even alliances and outreach beyond the institution can help to strengthen and legitimate internal change.
Everything can be successful or not, in one or any setting, depending on the negotiation process with the concerned stakeholders. (Marina Cacace, L'Assemblea delle Donne per lo Sviluppo e la Lotta all'Esclusione Sociale (ASDO), evaluator of the EU-funded STAGES project)
Useful to know
- It is important to have the support and explicit backing from the top level of the organisation as from the start. Such support increases the perceived legitimacy of the actions.
- While work towards gender equality can start with a small group of motivated people, it is important to gradually and continuously reach out and widen the group of involved actors.
- Know your institution, talk with people, understand what existing structures do and can do, identify where potential allies are and where resistances can be encountered. Start by building strategic alliances and seek win-win situations.
- Creating a feeling of ownership is key to engaging stakeholders in the work towards structural change for gender equality.
- For engaging stakeholders, it is paramount that they know the gender equality objectives and the initiatives being taken. Therefore, internal communication and visibility are crucial.
- Internal legitimacy can be acquired by gaining external support through alliances with stakeholders outside the organisation. Think for example about research organisations with an outstanding reputation for gender equality, internationally recognised gender equality experts, or participation in an EU-funded structural change project.
Existing tools and resources
- The joint webinar on gender bias in leadership and decision-making jointly proposed in 2020 by the EU-funded GEARING-ROLES and Gender Equality Academy projects aims at explaining and deepening the understanding of the role of gender bias while exploring resistances to gender equality, also discussing strategies for tackling bias and resistances will be discussed.
- A Webinar on Mobilising and engaging. Creating long-lasting commitment for gender equality in research, was designed by the EU-funded Gender Equality Academy in 2020. It aims at presenting different discursive frameworks for gender equality in research and higher education (HE) and highlighting discursive opportunities and tensions between gender equality policies and mainstream HE policies. It also provides examples of strategic framing and priority-setting.
- Institutional guidelines to make your organisation more gender inclusive have been developed by the EU-funded Hypatia Project in 2018, offering concrete suggestions to institutions at the level of individual staff members, staff teams, management, and external stakeholders, including for affirmative actions that can be taken to enhance institutional capacity for gender inclusion.
- The EU-funded structural change project INTEGER project developed a checklist with suggestions for engaging with key stakeholders.
- The Gender and Diversity Toolkit, developed under the EU-funded structural change project GENOVATE, presents and explains a set of interesting approaches and participatory techniques to engage stakeholders.
- A presentation by Evanthia K. Schmidt, Aarhus University (Denmark), about engaging leadership in gender equality initiatives (presented at the STAGES final conference on 3 December 2015). This presentation contains concrete suggestions learnt from the experience of the EU-funded structural change project STAGES on how to better involve leadership in gender equality.
- A short video (5’13) from the StratEGIC toolkit with testimonials about working for change at multiple institutional levels.
- The Handbook on resistances to gender equality in the academia elaborated by the EU-funded FESTA project (2016) aims to summarize what barriers are being experienced along the process of change. It provides a list of recommendations for dealing with the barriers and resistances along this process. The handbook thus hopes to give clues to the audience about the possible interpretations of a case of resistance and the suggested practices to tackle it.
National connections at Fraunhofer Gesellschaft: the National Committee (DE)
The National Committee of Fraunhofer Gesellschaft (Germany) included a set of qualified experts from the most important research institutions in Germany (sharing similar features and concerns), plus Federal Government institutions and the media. The team responsible for implementing the EU-funded structural change project STAGES actively involved Committee members, with varied tasks, in the implementation of selected actions, well beyond the original function of the Committee in the dissemination and communication of the Action Plan. Partnerships emerged among different institutions, which is an important follow-up of the Action Plan, increasing the chances for sustainability of parts of it. The active involvement of the Committee also had a positive impact within Fraunhofer, facilitating the mobilisation and involvement of interested internal stakeholders.
Integrating gender issues in an annual stakeholders' event (FR)
Every year in July, les Rencontres du CIRAD (CIRAD days) bring together researchers, administrative and technical staff, managers as well as external research and policy stakeholders. Strategic issues regarding agriculture for development, international cooperation and research policies are discussed with guest speakers and through participatory activities. In the context of the EU-funded Gender-SMART project, gender issues have been mainstreamed in the annual program of this milestone event, so as to engage and mobilize the whole community in implementing a GEP and a collective agreement on gender equality. This repeated focus helped ranking gender issues higher on the agenda of the organisation, visibilizing gender research throughout CIRAD and addressing pending issues, while making gender equality work visible to the entire community. Dozens of participants each year are thought to act as gender equality advocates in their respective units and departments, and gender issues have proven to generate more engagement than other issues discussed at CIRAD days, permeating the functioning of the whole organisation.
Gender Equality Fab Labs
In the framework of the EU-funded SUPERA project, partner institutions have been invited to set-up temporary Gender Equality Fab Labs for the design, prototyping and test of affordable and innovative policy solutions to gender bias and imbalances identified through gender audits. Derived from their implementation in tech and engineering, Fab Labs are conceived here as time-bound initiative aiming at solving an issue through engaging stakeholders drawing upon co-design methodologies. Capacity have been first built at consortium level to equip project teams with appropriate tools for facilitating Fab Labs, and this know-how has been further transferred internally to each partner. The University of Coimbra, in Portugal and the University of Cagliari, in Sardinia, Italy, are those which have reported to use Fab Labs more regularly, notably to produce recommendations on sexual harassment. Co-design, which relies upon specific tools derived from design thinking such as personas, journey maps or causal diagrams, drawing upon stakeholders' participation and experience, is thought to lower resistances and increase participation to the change process. It is being increasingly used in GEP projects.
Use of hackathons and Fab Labs to advance equality in ICT
In the framework of the EU-funded EQUAL-IST project, focusing on IT and other STEM departments, Kharkiv National University of Economics made an intensive use of formats such as hackathons and Fab Labs to engage with students and young researchers on gender equality issues and enhance female students' IT skills. A well-equipped Fab Lab, funded under another international project, has been used to host EQUAL-IST activities. Female students were encouraged to participate in a nation-wide hackathon for girls which they eventually won and serious games served as a support for stakeholder's engagement. When it comes to mobilising researchers and students, the use of innovative, participatory format, is recommended. Indeed, researchers are facing considerable administrative and reporting burdens in addition to their research activities, and students are not easily reached through standard administrative communication channels and top-down, course-style formats. Therefore, using alternative methodologies based upon experience and participation, such as serious games or labs, can prove successful to increase participation. This is especially the case in IT-related environment, where the tolerance for standard interactions is lower.
Organisational culture and work-life balance
The organisational culture and work-life balance are key factors that contribute to creating an enabling environment for both women and men to have fulfilling careers in the research sector. This area covers all aspects that promote an enabling working environment in which both women and men can thrive, feel good in their jobs, enjoy equal opportunities to develop their careers and have fulfilling lives. This is a broad thematic area that covers issues such as:
- Gender-sensitive communication
- Childcare provisions
- Maternity / paternity / parental leave provisions
Useful to know
- Some mistakenly understand gender equality as a women’s issue only. It is important to highlight that the whole institution benefits from a more open and respectful organisational culture. The well-being of all improves when there is a better balance between work, family and private life.
- Better organisational cultures help to attract and to retain the best talents.
- Changing the organisational culture does not happen through single interventions. Systematic efforts will be required until the desired change in values has been internalised by all involved in the organisation.
- The pursuit of an academic career is still often associated with full dedication to science and a culture of ‘long hours’. As long as women continue to carry the bulk of caring responsibilities, the double workload for women renders it difficult to balance their professional and private lives.
- A respectful, open and welcoming organisational culture is sensitive to a variety of gender identities and does not consider ‘women’ and ‘men’ as homogeneous groups.
Existing tools and resources
- EIGE’s toolkit for work-life balance in the ICT sector (2018) outlines how organisations in the ICT sector can boost equal opportunities and gender equality to attract and retain female talent. It provides organisations with practical tools and real-life examples from the EU Member States to support the implementation of work-life balance measures. More directed to ICT companies than R&D organisations, it nonetheless provides useful instruments and insights for RPOs in ICT to develop their own policies, including a business case that advocates for organisational change and outlines how organisations in the ICT sector can boost equal opportunities and gender-equality through human-resource management to attract and retain female talent and making workplaces inclusive for women, and a checklist for developing work-life balance provisions.
- Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in European Higher Education Institutions is a report published in 2019 by the European University Association as part of the INVITED project, which aims to support universities in developing and strategies towards equity, diversity and inclusion. It also seeks to promote dialogue between stakeholders at the system level in order to ensure that regulatory and funding frameworks empower universities to fulfil their social responsibility.
- Also published by the European University Association, Strategies towards Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at Universities show how universities approach the topic from a strategic point of view, bringing together various smaller scale projects focused on different aspects and dimensions into a comprehensive strategy that becomes an integral part of the institution’s mission.
- The League of European Research Universities published a position paper (2019) on Equality, diversity and inclusion at universities: the power of a systemic approach, which makes the case for why universities should and how they can engage with equality, diversity and inclusion and provides many examples of what LERU universities are actually doing to build equal, diverse and inclusive organisations, including through tackling intersecting inequalities.
- Supporting reconciliation of work, family and private life – Good Practices (2015). This publication of EIGE presents good practices, gaps and challenges in the work towards supporting the reconciliation of work, family and private life.
- Gender-sensitive communication:
- The Guidelines for gender-sensitive communication developed by the EU-funded SUPERA project (2020) consider the main factors influencing the development of an academic institution’s communication strategy through the lenses of gender-sensitivity, with three main aims: 1) Raising awareness on the pervasive role of communication and language in academia and its function in contributing to institutional change towards gender equality; 2) Introducing a deeper awareness of the gender biases and stereotypes that affect daily communication; 3) Providing advice and guidance in adopting a gender-sensitive approach in the communication strategies and practices of an academic institution.
- The Toolkit for gender-sensitive communication is one of a series of documents produced by the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) to raise awareness of gender-sensitive language. Other useful documents include a glossary to explain the meaning of key terms linked to gender equality and a thesaurus exploring the relationship between different terms, both accessible at EIGE's Gender Equality Glossary and Thesaurus. It provides guidelines for the use of gender-sensitive language in writing. Although it provides tips and examples for the English language, the underlying principles for gender-sensitive writing are universal and remain relevant when using other languages. Its main objectives are the following: a) raise awareness about the importance of gender-sensitive language; b) provide practical examples of what gender-biased and gender-discriminatory communication is and how to avoid it; c) provide practical tools and advice for policymakers and all those involved in the drafting of documents for the public so that these texts are gender-sensitive and inclusive for all members of the society; d) provide useful checklists and examples for users.
- Guidelines for using gender-sensitive language in communication, research and administration. This concise document provides practical suggestions to ensure that language and wording are not gender discriminatory.
- Antwerp charter on gender-sensitive communication in and by academic institutions. The organisations signing the charter undertake to promote respect for human dignity and social responsibility, eliminate all forms of discrimination and use gender-sensitive language at all times when communicating. The charter is one of the key outcomes of the EU-funded structural change EGERA project.
- Guidelines on gender-neutral language (1999), published by UNESCO (in English and French), explains how language can be exclusive and stereotyping. It contains a list of non-neutral phrases and words as well as possible alternatives to these.
- The Checklist for maintaining contact with staff taking family breaks proposed by the EU-funded Baltic-Gender project (2019), bringing together organisation from the Baltic area focused on marine exploration, is aimed at maintaining contact with the individuals taking family breaks and for employees returning to regular working conditions afterwards. It also includes recommendations to guarantee a successful career continuation with continuous institutional support.
- Good practices in gender inclusion in STEM communication produced by the EU-funded HYPATIA project lists a number of gender-inclusive science education activities designed by European science centres, museums, research institutions, industrial institutions, and other science education institutions.
- Training materials on Improving Meeting Cultures can be consulted in a report published by the EU-funded structural change FESTA project 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.
- Mapping organisational work-life policies and practices (2015), Sanja Cukut Krilić and Elisa Rapetti (eds.). This is a working paper (n. 4) developed in the context of the EU-funded structural change GARCIA project.
- Athena SWAN factsheet on organisational culture, with ‘quick win’ suggestions that have been implemented by Athena SWAN award winners.
- Imperial College London commissioned independent research to examine issues of gender equality and institutional culture, with a view to formulating advice on how to address sexism. In the context of this research, staff and students are encouraged to contribute to the project by filling in a short survey. Here is the template with the questions.
- At the University of Oxford, 39 female scientists were video interviewed about their experiences as a female academic. Have a look at the testimonies about work-life balance and about part-time and flexible working.
- Science Europe developed a Practical Guide to Improving Gender Equality in Research Organisations, part one of the document deals with "How to improve Grant Management Practises" as of page 38.
Extensive parental and maternity policy (UK)
The University of Glasgow has an extensive maternity policy. This policy is to be read in conjunction with the University's policy on Shared Parental Leave to ensure that employees are fully aware of the options available to them and their family. This gender-sensitive approach is reflected in a comprehensive toolkit, listing all instruments supporting staff planning or returning from maternity or parental leave. The comprehensive university policy covers Maternity Leave & Pay Entitlement, Ante-Natal Care, Notification Process, Commencement of Maternity Leave, Keeping in Touch During Maternity Leave, Shared Parental Leave, Returning to Work After Maternity Leave, Employees Not Returning to Work, Partners Rights During Pregnancy/Maternity Leave. It includes a risk assessment for each phase with corresponding guidelines, a checklist for planning the leave, as well as services such as a nursery, breastfeeding room and guidelines, a parents buddy network or a parents and carers forum. This comprehensive and well-articulated approach thus contribute to enhancing work-life balance and promoting a shared culture of equality and co-responsibility.
Discrimination-free and gender-inclusive language policy at university (AT)
The Affirmative Action Plan for the Advancement of Women and Equal Opportunities of the University of Vienna states that all institutions and members of staff (academic and non-academic) are bound to use discrimination-free and gender-inclusive language in all communications directed at members of the University or at the public. As a consequence, general statements like "women are included in masculine forms" are not acceptable. neither the University nor third parties are allowed to distribute materials on university grounds that do not comply with the principles of anti-discrimination and equality or that use discriminating stereotypes. To support the implementation of these principles, the university developed comprehensive guidelines (available in German only), as well as different supporting material such as videos. The policy is easily accessible on the web portal of the university.
Comprehensive funding support scheme for parents at German RFO (DE)
The Volkswagen Foundation, a private research funding organisation in Germany, has developed a comprehensive funding support scheme for parents. Although it is directed to parents of either sex, also including adopting parents, it has a clear gender sensitive approach, aiming at lowering the burden and career cost of parenting for early career female researchers. Funding is available for male or female researchers raising one or more children. As a second prerequisite, the supplementary funds are restricted to funding initiatives and calls specifically targeted at young researchers submitting applications for the funding of their own positions, in particular postdoctoral positions, and W1 professorships in Germany. During maternity and/or parental leave the current legal provisions shall apply. The end of the project will be shifted accordingly. After prior consultation with the Foundation, part-time employment combined with a proportional project prolongation is possible. If during parental leave and with the prior consent of the Foundation, it is considered indispensable for achieving the project targets, an appropriate replacement (e.g. research assistant) may be hired. Any additional costs thereby incurred may be claimed in a substantiated post-application, always assuming a cost-neutral budget reallocation is not possible. An allowance for child care may be paid from the grant for children no older than twelve. The amount depends on the number of children and is set as follows: For a single child EUR 400 per month. For each additional child the allowance is increased by EUR 100 per month. Within the context of funding initiatives involving long research stays in another country (minimum six months), the Volkswagen Foundation may assume the costs of flights for grantees as well as return flights for children and the grantee’s partner. Alternatively, in the event that the grantee travels alone, it is possible to apply for one return trip home during the stay.
Teaching-free period when returning from parental leave (DK)
Since 2012, one of the ways in which the University of Southern Denmark (SDU) has implemented measures addressing gender equality is by supporting work-life balance. With the implementation of internal guidelines regarding parental leave, SDU initiated two specific measurers: 1) while away on parental leave, the researchers are offered continuously academic updates and 2) when returning from parental leave, the researchers are offered to get a teaching-free period (if they were on leave for six months or more). The internal guidelines have helped establishing a supportive work-family culture within the organisation and providing more flexible career trajectories for young female researchers in particular.
- Mapping initiatives on gender equality for the period 2009-2014 at University of Southern Denmark (in Danish)
- Contact details: Jakob Ejersbo (email@example.com) or Vivi Madsen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Family-leave without consequences for the academic career (FI)
Hanken School of Economics (Finland) automatically extends temporary contracts of teaching and research personnel if they have been absent due to maternity, paternity and parental leave. The policy was included in the Human Resources instructions of the School in 2010, and it is also inscribed in its gender equality and non-discrimination plan. The policy was adopted in order to support long-span research work and ensure that research projects will be finalised, as well as to promote career advancement of women researchers. The practice also improves the reconciliation of work and family life for all workers on temporary contracts, but in particular for women, who in Finland take most of statutory leave. A recent survey by the Finnish Union of University Researchers and Teachers (2013) revealed that one fourth of university workers had not received a contract extension due to family leave. The present policy ensures staff members are treated equally in this matter. It has improved the career prospects of young women researchers at Hanken and their possibilities to combine research career with family. Researchers on temporary contracts are able to finalise their projects after returning to work after parental leave, even if the projects had officially ended during their absence. Not losing research time and being able to return to a position after parental leave is crucial for career advancement in the highly competitive academic job market. From the perspective of reconciliation of work and family life, the policy makes taking parental leave more attractive to researchers – also for men. Hanken’s policy offers a contract extension for the length of the statutory leave (maternity leave three months, paternity leave two weeks and parental leave six months).
Maternity Cover Fund and Return to Work policy (UK)
In Queens University Belfast (QUB) (UK), all Schools have return to work policies, which are funded by the Schools and, where feasible, allow for either a six month teaching free period on return from maternity leave, or a greatly reduced teaching load. This policy began in Science, Engineering and Technology Schools in QUB and has since expanded. It began following on from a recommendation in the Women’s Forum Report on Gender Imbalance at Queens (May 2000) and was implemented shortly thereafter. This policy aims to ensure that mothers-to-be can take their maternity leave without worrying about how their leave impacts on others, and that they have time to readjust to work on their return and focus on research activities without teaching pressures. This policy also extends to female and male staff taking adoption leave. These policies have received strong praise and positive feedback from academic staff within SET Schools in QUB.
A Maternity Cover Fund is also in place across the University and is comprised of money reclaimed through Statutory Pay Credits and a contribution from University funds. The fund provides assistance to Schools and Directorates to ensure that the essential work of all members of staff who take maternity leave is covered so that they can enjoy anxiety-free maternity leave. The Maternity Cover Funds are administered and managed centrally by the Personnel Office and claims can be made through an online application which is then reviewed by a Maternity Cover Fund Group. Replacement teaching costs are estimated at a faculty level and come out of Schools budgets. The Fund enables women across the university, not only academics, to take maternity leave without worry about work, and enables the manager/department head to apply for funds to employ substitutes to carry out the mother's work while she is on leave. The outcome of this Fund and policy is a 100 % maternity leave return rate for QUB since 2011.
- Queen's Gender Initiative
- Maternity and Adoption Leave at Queen’s University Belfast
- Presentation by Denise Price at Learning and Dissemination Seminar on Promoting Gender Equality in Research and Higher Education Institutions (9 September 2016)
- Full description on EIGE's compendium of good practices
- Contact details: Yvonne Galligan (email@example.com)
Recruitment, selection and career progression support
Recruitment, selection and career progression support measures aim at ensuring that women and men get equal chances to develop and advance their scientific careers. Actions are needed to avoid and undo the systematic and structural discrimination of women along their career path in research. It is thus important to critically review the existing selection processes and procedures at all stages and to remedy biases where these occur.
Useful to know
- The Council Conclusions on Advancing gender equality in the European Research Area (adopted in December 2015) point out that still only 20 % of full professors in Europe are women and therefore invites institutions to strive for guiding targets for a more even gender balance for professors.
- In a number of countries, the so-called ‘cascade model’ is being introduced, following the German example. In this model, the institutions set targets for the proportion of women at each qualification level on the basis of the proportion of women at the level immediately below.
- While it is generally accepted that ‘merit’ and ‘excellence’ are key criteria for the assessment of candidates for academic positions, these concepts are not gender-neutral.
- ‘Unconscious’ or ‘implicit’ bias unintentionally influences judgements and opinions about others. It is very important to be aware of your own biases. Likewise, it is highly relevant to organise training for those involved in selection processes to avoid unconscious or implicit gender bias to interfere in the decision-making. CERCA created a video on gender bias in recruitment to make panel members aware of the different biases which might come up and how to solve them.
- Organising blind assessments of candidates’ CVs can contribute to avoiding unconscious gender bias in candidate selection.
- Where existing processes fall short of satisfactorily remediating inequalities, positive action measures can be mobilised temporarily. It is however commendable to carefully check the legislative framework before such measures are introduced.
- While quotas are generally seen as effective in bringing forward an improved gender balance, quotas tend to evoke significant resistance. Carefully consider the pros and cons of introducing quotas, taking into account cultural specificities. Take a look at how quotas were introduced at the University of Ghent in Belgium.
- A gender pay gap results from variances in contractual conditions and terms of employment, of which the effects are cumulative over time and most often disadvantageous to women.
To generate excellent research requires excellent researchers. This implies both attracting them, and recognising, fostering and promoting them. But throughout the EU, gender still plays and inappropriate role in selection. The more transparent the procedure, based on explicit criteria, the more successful women are likely to be. Excellent male candidates have nothing to fear from transparency! (Teresa Rees, in ‘Developing a Research Strategy at a Research Intensive University’ in The Sage Handbook of Research Management, R. Dingwall and M. B. McDonnell (eds.), 2015)
Existing tools and resources
- A video on Contrasting gender biases in the evaluation and recruitment of professors and researchers was put online in 2018 by the EU-funded project PLOTINA. It explains the notion of unconscious bias and why and how it can affect scientific evaluations and hinder female researchers. It provides practical advice on the steps to take to combat this unconscious bias.
- The EU-funded project LIBRA released in 2017 a Recruitment handbook – Inclusive, Transparent and Unbiased Recruitment Processes to support institutes participating in the LIBRA project in their recruitment processes helping them not only to find the most suitable candidate but also to increase diversity which leads to more creativity and ultimately success. It compiles a series of recommendations for a more fair, objective, and transparent recruitment process for senior leadership positions in science research institutes. These recommendations can also be applied more broadly to include the recruitment of PhD students, postdocs and technical staff.
- The paper Student evaluations of teaching (mostly) do not measure teaching effectiveness, published in 2016 by Anne Boring based on findings from the EU-funded EGERA project is devoted to gender bias in teaching evaluation by students, which have a significant impact on the career progression of academics. Author’s groundbreaking findings are summarized in this paper, and further referenced in Times Higher Education and other publications, available at www.anneboring.com.
- As part of the LIBRA project, the CERCA Institute (Spain) released in 2016 a video on gender bias at recruitment in research institutes, which effectively illustrates widely present gender bias expressed during selection committees and providing recommendations on how to tackle them.
- This video by the British Royal Society (2015), provides a clear and impactful introduction to the debated notion of unconscious bias, showing that prejudices dictate most of our perceptions and decisions about who belongs to our ingroup, thus strongly impacting selection and recruitment in science.
- A Handbook on Gender Issues in Recruitment, Appointment and Promotion Processes has been developed within the framework of the EU-funded structural change FESTA project. This handbook is intended to support practitioners who are involved in hiring processes and stakeholders who can influence regulations. It helps to create awareness of the biases that can influence appointment processes and criteria.
- E-learning package on Gender Competent Leadership in Academia developed by the EU-funded project GENOVATE. Section 3 of this tool deals specifically with unconscious bias. It explains the mechanism at work, and presents case studies, tests, video statements, a glossary of relevant terms and a list with further reading suggestions.
- Academic Careers and Gender Inequality: Leaky Pipeline and Interrelated Phenomena in Seven European Countries (2015) is a working paper (n. 5) developed within the framework of the EU-funded structural change GARCIA project. It demonstrates how women´s career progress “evaporates” as they advance in their career (the so called “leaky pipeline” phenomenon). The report also provides some recommendations based on the national cases studies.
- Assessing excellence (2014). This paper, drafted by Flavia Zucco within the framework of the EU-funded structural change project GENIS-LAB, reviews critically the concept of excellence and its underlying criteria, showing how it leads to the structural discrimination of women.
- Excellence in university academic staff evaluation: a problematic reality? (2015). This is a paper of Pat O'Connor and Clare O'Hagan, drawing on work undertaken within the EU-funded structural change project FESTA. The paper was published in the journal ‘Studies in Higher Education’.
- Constructing excellence: the gap between formal and actual selection criteria for early career academics is a working paper (n. 2) developed within the framework of the EU-funded structural change GARCIA project. It examines the notion of excellence by comparing formal and actually applied selection criteria.
- Several ‘unconscious bias tests’ can be found on the Internet. One test that is frequently referred to is the one of ‘Project Implicit’. This is also the test which Facebook staff are invited to take before attending the training on Managing Unconscious Bias. The video modules of this training are online.
Implicit Gender Biases during evaluations: How to raise awareness and change attitudes? Workshop Report Brussels, 30-31 May 2017, by DG RTD.
"Learning Materials": Link to Uta Frith's (Royal Society) interview on unconscious bias by the BBC (including surgeon's son accident exercise)
Link to 5 min video from McKinsey, published on 17 Sept 2015 (on gender bias in recruitment/management, with inverted women-men situation)
Université de Lausanne (Switzerland) – Eviter les biais de genre lors de nominations professorales (video, with English subtitles) concerning gender biases when nominating professors.
- In the article Science faculty’s subtle gender biases favor male students (2012), Corinne Moss-Racusin and colleagues report on a study that statistically demonstrates the bias in favour of male (‘John’) versus female (‘Jennifer’) candidates, based on identical CVs (except for candidates’ first names).
- The article Student evaluations of teaching (mostly) do not measure teaching effectiveness (2016) by Boring et al. reveals gender bias in the evaluation of male and female professors by students.
- The report Exploring Quotas in Academia (2015), published by EMBO and the Robert Bosch Stiftung (Germany), discusses the use made of quotas, their potential benefits and potential harms. It also presents options for the implementation of specific types of quotas.
- Slaying the Seven-Headed Dragon: The Quest for Gender Change in Academia (2012) can be found at Gender, Work and Organization, Volume 19, Issue 1 (pp. 71-92). This academic article written by Van den Brink and Benschop is based on an empirical study from the Netherlands and discusses practices that should bring about gender equality, showing how these interact with gender inequality practices.
- The WAVE Employer Case Studies: from Evidence to Action on Gender Pay Gaps (2015) from the WAVE (Women Adding Value to the Economy) project presents explanatory factors for the gender pay gap as well as a set of actions to tackle the problem.
- Science Europe developed a Practical Guide to Improving Gender Equality in Research Organisations, part one of the document deals with "How to Avoid Unconscious Bias in Peer Review Processes" as of page 11.
Examples related to recruitment and selection
Gender sensitive job advertisements (DE)
In many scientific and technical fields, it is still often the case that men find much more likely access to the fields than women. One way to improve this situation already applies when creating job advertisements. A simple, uncomplicated and low-threshold access to the implementation of balanced job advertisements is the use of gender decoders, as experimented at the Fraunhofer Institute, a forefront RPO in Germany. These tools check job advertisements for the appearance of any of a pre-set list of words associated with (gendered) masculine or feminine profiles and calculate the relative proportion of masculine-coded and feminine-coded words. This helps to make imbalances visible in order to create job advertisements more attractive for women and increase the number of female applicants. In order to attract more women for jobs, decoders setress that it is helpful to be very clear in the job description and mark less important requirements as optional, since women use to consider such requirements to be more mandatory than men and do less likely submit an application as result, if they believe these requirements do not fit to their profile.
Gender sensitive recruitment procedure for doctoral schools (AT)
When recruiting for a joint doctoral school of Vienna Technical University (Technische Universität Wien, TUW), methods were tried out for the first time in 2013 to increase the proportion of women as much as possible without establishing binding quotas. From these experiences, a guideline for all doctoral programs was developed and is set into practices for the future doctoral programs at TU Wien. For the whole process of recruitment, all steps, from advertisement to selection procedure and recruitment were considered. The selected procedure extends typical recruiting processes by further aspects: e.g. in the context of an assessment center, topics such as personal skills, motivation, and the ability to work in a team are also considered. All process steps were assessed from a gender perspective, and specific measures and tools were developed for each stage of the recruitment process. Thus, women were to be better reached by the call for applications when the texts of the call for applications were written accordingly. During the selection process, personal skills were evaluated in addition to the classic topics. Participating supervisors, including those initially more resistant, proved very satisfied with the selection process. For many of them it was the first time that they were able to experience for themselves how teamwork skills can be assessed – and what a difference it made to their personal selection.
Female professorship program sponsored by the Federal State in Germany (DE)
In 2008, the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research, in cooperation with Länder, launched the Female professorship program. Higher education and research organisations can apply for a full professor position reserved to a woman, to be funded over five years from federal funds (while universities are usually funded at Länder level). This opportunity is granted based on the adoption of a fully-fledged gender equality strategy by the applying institutions, which commit to fund these additional positions permanently beyond the five first years. Regularly assessed, this program granted with 200 million Euros for the 2018-2022 phase has received over 500 million since its launch, and by the end of 2019, 570 female full professors had been appointed. Utterly competitive and successful, this program has also brought tens of universities and higher education institutions to adapt comprehensive gender equality strategies. Although hardly replicable in a non-federal system and/or to a similar scale, this successful program highlights the impact of strong, sustainable and well-monitored incentives for gendering research organisations.
Women in Science Excel (WISE) (NL)
Launched in 2015 by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), this program offers young female researchers (PhD obtained at least 3 years prior to the application) to develop or expand their own research group at NWO institutes since 2015. NWO offers 20 tenure-track positions in its research institutes (specific institutes cooperate in each round and are presented on the NWO homepage for each round) in five recruitment rounds. The funding includes a start-up package that is subdivided into three levels, depending on the candidate’s qualifications: 1) a standard tenure-track position for a fixed period of five years, 2) an accelerated tenure-track position for an experienced candidate for a fixed period shorter than five years or 3) a permanent position for a senior candidate (funding for max. three years). Candidates have to submit a research proposal and state the NWO institute they would like to work at. This application is assessed by the institute of choice in the first round followed by an assessment of the WISE selection committee that invites the two first rated candidates of each institute. The dedicated goal of the program is to ensure a more balanced male-female ratio in top-level positions at NWO’s institutes and is a direct result of the strategy “Talent to the Top Charter” (NWO signed this Charter in 2010) with the objective to concentrate on gender diversity during recruitment and selection, staff planning and talent management. Ten positions were configured during the recruitment rounds in 2016-2019, and NWO decided to strengthen guidance for applicants and to introduce more flexibility in the deadlines so as to further increase women’s access to career opportunities.
Women represented in all rounds of applications (DK)
Different specific initiatives have recently been implemented at the University of Copenhagen (UCHP) (Denmark) related to processes of announcement of vacant positions, recruitment and assessment of applications. For instance, UCHP is now requesting at least one applicant of either sex before a vacant post can be filled and, similarly, there has to be at least one person of each sex in all appointment and review committees. UCHP has also begun to reassess the way position vacancies are announced, and they have introduced the use of search committees, which are to look carefully for promising candidates (inter)nationally, prior to the filling of research positions.
- UCPH debating: at least one applicant of each sex for researcher positions (in Danish)
- A new target: Applications from Women for all research positions (in Danish)
- Full description on EIGE's compendium of good practices
- Contact details: Charlotte Autzen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Age limit extension in calls for female researchers with children under 10 (HU)
In March 2009, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (HAS) accepted an equal opportunities framework programme (Presidential decision no. 13/2009. II. 24). One element of the framework programme is the extension of age limits for female researchers who have children under the age of 10. This means that all calls of the HAS (scholarships, fellowships and grants) with an age limit, the age limit is extended by two years after each child under the age of 10 for female and male researchers who certify that they stayed with the child(ren) on parental leave. The Academy also extended the scope of the programme to single parents as well.
Examples related to career progression
Stimulating personal development to improve women academics' positions (NL)
Radboud University (Netherlands) started in September 2010 with a mentoring programme for women academic and administrative staff. After a positive evaluation, it was decided to continue this programme, but exclusively for women academics. The programme organises mentor groups for talented scientists to gain more insight into their current work position and what activities and skills are necessary for them to grow. There is room for about 35 female participants. Evaluation of the programme has shown that the mobility of scientists can be improved by mentoring, e.g. many received important grants and improved their position. The aim of the programme is to provide practical support and advice for women talents (particularly post-docs, assistant and associate professors), who want to develop their academic careers. The mentoring trajectory is custom made: mentees choose their own mentor (men or women preferably from another faculty or department). In a series of interviews it will often be the mentee who determines the themes and topics to discuss. The mentor can help the mentee with: their personal and professional development, gaining a better understanding of the organisation, establishing useful contacts and gaining new access to networks. On average, mentees have five to six meetings with their mentor per trajectory, which maximally takes up to one year. In addition to the mentoring programme, a career coach can be contacted within the Human Resources department. Approaching a coach is based on the outcomes or specific needs of the mentoring programme. The goal of coaching is to deepen the themes from the meetings with the mentor even further. The programme includes several workshops and peer-reviews with colleagues. For example, there are workshops on networking, negotiating or personal branding.
Participatory approach towards a Career Development Plan (SK)
In 2013, Trnava University developed a Gender Equality Plan as part of project proposal of EU-funded structural change GENOVATE project. This Plan contained a measure aiming at developing a Career Development Plan (CDP) for the university research employees. The project team opted for a participatory approach in developing a CDP, which consisted of: mapping the existing situation in two university’s faculties, collecting sex-disaggregated data on research and education employees, interviewing the HR Department of the Rectorate and Personnel Administrators of both faculties, carrying out surveys among research employees and several questionnaires on gender equality distributed within awareness raising activities. On the basis of collected information, the proposal for a Career Development Plan was developed. The inclusion of surveys, questionnaires and discussions into the process of developing policies served not only as an example of evidence based policy-making, but also contributed to raising awareness on gender equality and the policy itself, and to create a sense of ownership within the two faculties.
- Institutional Recruitment, Progression and Research Support Strategy Document (in English)
- Contact details: Alexandra Brazinova (email@example.com)
Cascade Model at Helmholtz Centre Potsdam (GFZ) (DE)
Considering that women and men are not equally represented in scientific careers, especially in senior positions, the Helmholtz Association decided to introduce flexible target ratios for the shares of female employees, following the cascade model. According to this model, the actual ratio of a career stage is regarded as the ideal ratio for the next career stage. A timeframe for reaching target ratios has been established, i.e. five years. Target ratios are a result of the ideal ratios which are then being weighted with the actual new vacancies on the respective career stage and other factors. Each Helmholtz Centre has its own target quotas. Currently, the GFZ committed itself on higher target ratios than the calculated target ratios. Meeting these target ratios can be challenging, as recognised by the organisation. However, this illustrates the organisation's motivation to promote equal opportunites through GFZ's human resources policy.
- Cascade Model at GFZ (in English)
High-profile tenure-track positions for top female scientists (NL)
Delft University of Technology is aiming to substantially increase the number of top female scientists. To help accelerate this, Delft Technology Fellowship (initiated in 2010) offers high-profile, tenure-track positions to top female scientists in research fields in which the university is active. The current situation is that 12 % of the current full professors are female. The goal is to increase this percentage up to 20 % in 2020. The 5-year Fellowships are awarded to outstanding female scientists from any country and from any of the existing disciplines in the university, who are currently not employed by Delft University of Technology. The fellowships are awarded at the Assistant, Associate or full Professor levels. As fellow women will be offered the unique chance to establish their own research programme of international repute, including a generous start-up funding (assistant professor 100.000 Euro, associate professor 200.000 Euro and full professor 300.000 Euro). Candidates can write their own research proposal (not restricted by specific available positions). An informal mentoring scheme is available for fellows to get to know the university and the Dutch (research) environment. Also, fellows participate in a university wide introduction programme and in the Personal Development Programme. Following a positive evaluation at the end of (a maximum of) five years, the fellow is awarded tenure. Having been awarded tenure, the fellow will be following the regular career path for scientists at Delft University of Technology. Should the fellow in the fourth year of the tenure track not achieved the expected goals for that period, the fellow is offered career advice to help explore employment opportunities elsewhere.
- Information about the programme Delft Technology Fellowship (in English)
- Interview with the rector of Delft University of Technology (with English subtitles)
- Contact details: Caroline Kohlmann-van Noord (C.J.C.Kohlmann-vanNoord@tudelft.nl)
Minna Canth Academy Professorship (FI)
Professors selected for the Minna Canth Professorship of the Academy of Finland – the nation-wide RFO, are in an employment relationship with the organisations by which the research posts are hosted. Research posts as Academy Professor, a specific title linked to the Academy, are intended for fixed-term, full-time research work where the professors carry out their own research plan, supervise their own research team and provide guidance to junior researchers. Their duties also include the supervision of thesis and M.A dissertation in their own field and teaching related to their research. One of these professorships – the Minna Canth Academy Professorship – is dedicated to women’s studies and gender research and is open for applications every five years.
Controlled experiments to limit gender bias in teaching evaluation by students and students' mobility orientation
Insightful quantitative-based study carried out under the EU-funded EGERA project (FP7) evidenced strong, widely shared gender bias in students’ evaluation of their professors. Documented in several academic papers and disseminated towards the wider public through publications in French and international press (Time Higher Education), those works also served as a basis for a statistically controlled experiment held in 2016-2017, through which different wordings were used in the evaluation sheet to be filled in by students. A control group with no change in wording was also selected, and randomization was performed to control for potential selection bias. Results showed that gender bias could be significantly reduced by making aware students of their existence in a neutral, merely informative way. Following the experiment, evaluation forms were modified, and potential bias further monitored. Additionally, a similar job was performed with students’ orientation for their mandatory international mobility year. Female students proved to systematically select foreign universities ranked lower than those chosen by their male fellow students, explaining part of the gender pay gap identified after graduation. Consecutively, controlled experiments were planned to limit gender bias and monitor them in the longer term. These experiments are to be expanded in the frameworks of the EU-funded SUPERA and RESET projects, and have proved inspirational to a number of universities in the EU and the US, fueling ongoing discussions on removing gender bias in students’ evaluations.
Plan for the recruitment, retention, and advancement of talented Women (DE)
The plan adopted by the Department of Information Systems (DIS) at the University of Münster (WWU), was developed based on the outcomes of the EQUAL-IST project, where existing at DIS challenges related to gender equality, diversity, and work-family balance were revealed, the objectives to address these challenges were formulated, and the Activities to achieve these objectives were defined and implemented. This Plan focuses on the Activities relevant for DIS, and has the following objectives: 1) To improve the processes for personnel recruitment, retention, and advancement at DIS; 2) To ensure the sustainability of the activities towards higher gender equality, diversity, and work-family balance, which were initiated within the EQUAL-IST project. It is foreseen as a living document, which will be discussed and monitored continuously and reissued every four years. This plan is a relevant practice as it is based on the EQUAL-IST approach consisting in issuing sustainability plans for GEPs towards the end of a project, and for its comprehensive focus on advancing gender equality in ICT careers.
- Further information on the Plan
Leadership and decision-making
The leadership of the institution and its decision-making bodies need to be gender balanced for the organisation to truly live up to its values. Women and men should have equal access to and a balanced participation in leadership and (formal and informal) decision-making structures. Decision-making itself has to be gender-sensitive (or gender-responsive) because it takes into account gender differences and aims at promoting gender equality.
Useful to know
- Women are sometimes reluctant to apply for decision-making positions, especially in male-dominated contexts. This can be explained by a variety of factors. The still very masculine image of science, the way informal networks continue to function in selection processes and the fact that the bulk of high level positions remain occupied by men are just some of the elements that convey the message that there is no place for women at the top.
- Establishing open, cooperative working relations and a culture of respect contribute to building a working environment in which everybody can have confidence. At the same time, it is worth supporting and encouraging women to apply for decision-making positions all along their career trajectories.
- When the top of the organisation explicitly supports gender equality, legitimacy is given to the issue and all can feel safe raising gender matters when decisions need to be taken.
- Remember that gender balance in leadership and decision-making positions is a key concern at the EU level. The Council Conclusions on Advancing gender equality in the European Research Area (adopted in December 2015) invited relevant authorities to set up guiding targets, for example quantitative objectives, for better gender balance in decision-making bodies including leading scientific and administrative boards, recruitment and promotion committees as well as evaluation panels. Research funding and performing organisations are encouraged to reach these targets by 2020.
Existing tools and resources
- Charter for More Women in Management is a baseline report prepared by the University of Copenhagen.
- Promoting sustainable change: A Toolkit For Integrating Gender Equality and Diversity in Research and Innovation Systems, was designed within the framework of the EU-funded GENOVATE project for experienced and new innovators as well as for people who want to learn more about how understanding gender and diversity can lead to more innovation in their everyday lives. The Promoting Sustainable Change toolkit can be used in different ways depending on the readers' group’s needs and which target group readers are associated with. It covers crucial issues for sustainable change, including the participation of under-represented groups to decision-making.
- Methodologies and measures for analysing informal decision-making and communication processes (2015) is a report produced in the context of the EU-funded FESTA project. It looks into transparency and inclusivity in the informal decision-making and communication processes, and formulates suggestions to foster a more active participation of women in all the decision-making and communication processes.
- Gendering Decision Making and Communications Processes (2015). This report, developed in the context of the EU-funded FESTA project, shows how power works in organisations and provides recommendations for more transparency in decision-making processes to progress gender equality.
- The paper Implementing gender quotas at University: a practice published in 2019, explores the practices of university actors when implementing gender quotas, and studies how these practices affect gender equality in academic decision-making bodies. Through a practice theory approach, this paper offers original insight into how actors comply with gender quotas.
- GenBUDGET, the community of practice established under the EU-funded ACT project, provides a directory of relevant practices in gender budgeting at RPOs and RFOs.
- The Gender Budgeting in Academia toolkit developed in 2015 by the EU-funded GARCIA project, is intended to be a guide for integrating gender into the financial processes and decision-making procedures of academic and scientific institutions.
- Gender Equality and Non-Discrimination Laws in Austrian Higher Education is presentation about the specific laws that exist in Austria for higher education institutions, setting rules for the advancement of women and including quota for decision-making positions.
- E-learning package on Gender Competent Leadership in Academia developed by the EU-funded GENOVATE project. Section 4 of this tool (“How to overcome the barriers”) illustrates strategies and interventions to promote gender and diversity competent leadership.
Gender budgeting policy (AT)
Gender mainstreaming is enshrined in the Austrian federal constitution (Art 7 Abs 2 B-VG) and has been consolidated by several resolutions from the Council of Minister by the mid-2000s. Its implementation, which applies to all public bodies including universities, also draws upon the implementation of gender budgeting, which is also enshrined in the constitution (Art 13 and 51 B-VG). Based on this constitutional and legal framework, the University of Graz, among other Austrian universities, has developed several instruments for its implementation. Those include internal resolutions, a checklist and diagram for checking the gender relevance of any budgetary decision, and a coordination between internal field-specific gender expertise and gender mainstreaming implementation. Legal references, instruments and an overview of gender budgeting implementation are available from a specific webpage on the university website, and regular assessments are carried out.
- More information on gender mainstreaming and gender budgeting at the University of Graz
Advancing gender budgeting through Targeted Implementation Projects (IS)
Under the EU-funded GARCIA project (FP7), the University of Iceland experimented progressive gender budgeting implementation through targeted projects. Following the election of a new Rector in 2015, a review of the system of budget allocation was carried out at the university. It provided an opportunity to critically assess, from a gender perspective, a system inspired by New Public Management, with emphasis on global competition and performance-based indicators. It was thus documented how an allegedly gender-neutral system plays out for different schools and disciplines and for academics in different ranks, when the gender dimension is taken into account. The findings at the University of Iceland supported the design of the GARCIA Toolkit for gender budgeting, making these targeted experiments an inspiration for other RPOs.
- Video on Gender Budgeting from the University of Iceland
- Article on Gender Budgeting in the University of Iceland
Election procedure for the Board (BE)
In 2014, Ghent University (Belgium) changed its procedures for the election of its highest decision-making body, the Board of Governors (Raad van Bestuur) by requesting a 40/60 % gender-balanced representation of its members. As soon as the new procedure was implemented for the first time, it has instantly changed the university’s male-dominated board: gender balance was achieved for the first time in the university’s history. In the new procedure, faculties are required to have at least one male and one female candidate for the elections. If the elections have an unbalanced gender outcome (not respecting the minimum 40/60 gender balance) the candidate with the least votes from the overrepresented sex (compared to other faculties) has to give way to the faculty’s candidate of the other sex with the highest number of votes.
- Procedures for the election of the members of the Board of Governors (in Dutch)
- Regulations on the procedure for the appointment of members of the Executive Board (in Dutch)
- Rules for the composition of (advisory) boards and commissions (in Dutch)
- Rules for the composition, operational and decision-making processes of boards (in Dutch)
- Diversity and Gender Policy Unit at Ghent University
- Presentation by Tine Brouckaert at Learning and Dissemination Seminar on Promoting Gender Equality in Research and Higher Education Institutions (9 September 2016)
- Full description on EIGE's compendium of good practices
- Contact details: Tine Brouckaert (Tine.Brouckaert@UGent.be)
Gender-integrated Leadership Programme (AKKA) (SE)
In 2004, Lund University (Sweden) launched a gender-integrated leadership programme (AKKA). Within this programme, leadership is understood as something that can be learnt and developed, and that focuses on the individual´s competences, and not on personal characteristics. The AKKA programme aims at raising gender knowledge and awareness, and providing methods and tools for structural change in order to achieve sustainable gender equality. From 2004 to 2014, five AKKA programmes have been offered for 150 senior scholars in Lund University (Sweden) (of which 37 were men). The programme runs over a year with monthly meetings. Throughout the years, AKKA has increased the number of women in leading positions, contributed to an enhanced visibility of women as potential leaders, increased willingness of both women and men to assume leadership positions, raised gender awareness among female and male academic leaders, promoted networking and collaboration within the university, raised the knowledge about the university’s politics and activities, developed tools to deal with resistance to gender issues and for change management, contributed to highlight discrimination, and developed concrete change projects.
- AKKA reports: 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014 (in Swedish)
- Report from the project 'Core values work at Lund University' by Tomas Brage and Inger Lövkrona (in English)
- Presentation by Inger Lövkrona at Learning and Dissemination Seminar on Promoting Gender Equality in Research and Higher Education Institutions (9 September 2016)
- Full description on EIGE's compendium of good practices
- Contact details: Inger Lövkrona (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Elections for the University Council (LT)
The EU-funded structural change INTEGER project has taken on a pioneering role at Siauliai University (SU) and in Lithuania as a whole. This project was fundamental to promote institutional transformation in a higher education institution. During the project’s implementation, the Council elections were planned to take place. Considering the striking underrepresentation of women in the university’s Council, the SU Council Election Tactics and Strategy Plan were developed within INTEGER in order to encourage a gender-balanced representation of the Council. Several activities were undertaken in order to empower female candidates to run in the university’s Council elections, such as: communication with the highest management staff at SU through formal meetings; consultation with the university lawyer about the possible ways of making women’s representation in the Council’s election; participation in the preparation of the election regulations; search for women candidates from SU representatives according to criteria such as loyalty to the university and commitment to implement gender equality at the university. As a result of these initiatives, the number of women to the Council significantly increased from 0 % in 2011 to 36.3 % in 2014.
- Video: How to increase women’s representation in the 2014 SU’s Council elections?
- EU-funded INTEGER project
- INTEGER’s Online Guidelines
- Presentation by Virginija Sidlauskiene at Learning and Dissemination Seminar on Promoting Gender Equality in Research and Higher Education Institutions (9 September 2016)
- Full description on EIGE's compendium of good practices
- Contact details: Virginija Sidlauskiene (email@example.com)
Combatting sexual and gender-based harassment
The fields of research and higher education are not immune to sexual and gender-based harassment. Actions are needed to put an end to this behaviour, such as: providing information regarding sexual and gender-based harassment, and offering attention and support to victims and witnesses of misconduct, with a commitment to putting an end to such behaviour.
Useful to know
- Sexual and gender-based harassment is a problem that tends to be underestimated in research organisations and universities. However, recent analyses and reviews, undertaken among others in the context of EU-funded structural change projects, have revealed the pressing need for action against this problem.
- Institutions may find it sufficient to treat sexual harassment under existing policies and procedures. Increasingly, however, institutions consider it necessary to set up dedicated structures and/or to issue specific procedures and instruments. In any case, the institution must make clear that it does not tolerate abuses.
- Educational programmes about sexual and gender-based harassment may prove useful in preventing its occurrence.
Existing tools and resources
- The policy brief Mobilising to eradicate gender-based violence and sexual harassment: A new impetus for gender equality in the European Research Area, was published in June 2020, based on the text adopted by the ERAC Standing Working Group on Gender in Research and Innovation on 22 May 2020. It lists 23 recommendations, among which to revise the Charter and Code for Researchers so that it addresses gender-based violence and includes measures at the institutional level to combat gender-based violence in the assessment of the HR Excellence in Research Award.
- The report Sexual Harassment in the Research and Higher Education Sector: National Policies and Measures in EU Member States and Associated Countries, published in 2020 by the ERAC Standing Working Group on Gender in Research and Innovation presents an analysis of the answers to a questionnaire sent to national authorities, RPOs and RFOs across Europe.
- Sexual harassment in higher education – a systematic review, published in 2020 by Fredrik Bondestam and Maja Lundqvist, suggests several findings of importance: (a) prevalence of sexual harassment among students is reported by on average one out of four female students; (b) severe consequences of sexual harassment impacts individuals but the effects on the quality in research and education is unknown; (c) there is almost no evidence supporting the supposed effects of major preventive measures; and (d) research on sexual harassment in higher education lacks theoretical, longitudinal, qualitative and intersectional approaches and perspectives.
- Sexual harassment in Academia: an International Research Review was commissioned by the Swedish Research Council to the Swedish Secretariat for Gender Research, University of Gothenburg. It provides an overview of current knowledge in international research. The review is based on an analysis of approximately 800 publications out of a total of 5 561 during the period 1966–2018, which were selected through an extensive search process in literature databases.
- Guidelines on dealing with sexual harassment, developed by SciencePo (Paris) in the context of the EU-funded structural change EGERA project.
- Guidelines for the prevention of Sexual Harassment, Harassment on the grounds of Sex and Psychological Harassment (2015). This concise guide was developed by the Polytechnic University of Madrid in the context of the EU-funded structural change TRIGGER project.
- Preventing and responding to gender based violence - Guidance for SOAS students and staff (2015), from the SOAS University of London. This document presents awareness-raising and prevention initiatives as well as guidance for victims and those supporting victims.
- The Intervention Initiative toolkit (2015), developed by University of the West of England (UWE) for the prevention of sexual coercion and domestic abuse in university settings.
- Vademecum on sexual harassment in higher education and research (2015) (in French). This guide aims at supporting institutions to set in place actions to fight sexual harassment. It responds to the questions of various institutional actors, directly or indirectly concerned by the topic (Human Resources services, juridical services, management, health providers, equality officers, etc.
Protocol of the University of Granada for preventing and responding to harassment (ES)
This comprehensive protocol, adopted by the University of Granada in 2016, addresses different forms of harassment, including gender-based and sexual harassment, cyber-harassment and moral harassment on the workplace. It is framed in one of Spain’s most advanced and holistic university gender equality policy, regulated by the 2nd GEP of the University. Its design has been supervised by Miguel Lorente Acosta, a forensic who inspired recent updates to Spanish national laws on fighting gender-based violence, and currently (2020) serves as a Vice-Rector for gender equality at the University of Granada. It defines several steps in preventing and handling reported cases of harassment, defining responsibilities, procedures for both formal and informal cases and insisting on attention to and protection of victims. The focus on “informal cases” is relevant, insofar it intends to address every reported situation, including those which do not necessarily qualify for a penal response. This is reported to have increased the number of reported cases (up to 130 as from March 2020, of which approximately 17% involved sexual harassment and 13%, gender-based violence), reflecting the efficient response brought by the institution Its implementation is supervised by the Equality and conciliation unit of the University, that covers both gender equality and LGBTQI+ freedoms and rights. The implementation of the protocol and the transparency demonstrated in its monitoring, have shown the way to other universities in Spain and abroad to act more resolutely in handling sexual harassment and GBV in academic communities.
Protocol for preventing and tackling sexual harassment and gender-based violence (FR)
Fighting sexual harassment ranked among the priorities of the Gender Equality Plan adopted by the university Sciences Po (Paris, France) as part of the EU-funded structural change EGERA project. A comprehensive protocol was designed to monitor, report and take action about potential cases. This protocol targets all categories of users, including students, teaching staff, researchers and other staff. It aims at building an atmosphere based on mutual respect, to prevent any illegal behaviour and to offer victims or witnesses of gender-based violence or harassment a safe environment to report, ensuring the privacy of what they communicate. A monitoring unit consisting of 11 staff was established, who are in direct contact with the different categories of users of the university and the gender equality officers. The members of this unit receive training on a yearly basis. It also includes the dissemination, both in French and English, of guidelines on sexual harassment, as well as a dedicated hotline and mail address, permanently displayed on the internal information system of Sciences Po.
- Guidelines on deadling with sexual harassment
- Contact details: Hélène Kloeckner (Helene.firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ministry funding for Universities, RPOs and NGOs to support projects on tacking sexual harassment and gender-based violence at university (FR)
As part of its gender equality policy and of the measures adopted to tackle gender-based violence and sexual harassment in higher education and research, the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation launches annually a call to award modest (up to 8,000 euros) funding to support universities, other RPOs and students and professional associations in establishing internal policies to tackled GBV and sexual harassment. Although other axes of the call focus on integrating the gender dimension or strengthening broader gender equality policies, a clear focus on GBV and sexual harassment can be found. The latest campaign was launched in March 2020. Other initiatives of the Ministry include an interactive map listing all universities and higher education organisations having a protocol on the prevention of sexual harassment in place, as a benchmarking effort, and a poster campaign directed to teaching and administrative staff to prevent sexism and sexual harassment. Together, these initiatives have reinforced the framework for tackling sexual harassment at French universities, increasing the pressure on the few universities which have not adopted a protocol yet.
- More information of funded projects tackling sexual harassment and gender-based violence
Guidelines to prevent sexualized violence in expeditions (DE)
As part of the EU-funded Baltic Gender project, GEOMAR (German Seagoing Institutes) have designed these guidelines to prevent and handle situations of sexualized violence in maritime expeditions. Research expeditions are presented as extreme situations in which a group of people is at sea for an extended period of time, working under high pressure to achieve their goals and, often under strenuous conditions. Moreover, many expeditions are characterized by small group sizes, reduced privacy due to spatial restrictions, stronger dependencies among colleagues, and less options to keep physical distance from one another. These circumstances may increase the possibility of unintentional and intentional sexual harassment on expeditions. In consequence, the guidelines define an action protocol and provide recommendations for team leaders and potential victims to react appropriately. The guidelines also include a leaflet with key definition, legal and contact information and a contact sheet. Situations can be reported both internally to the expedition team and externally, to GEOMAR GE officer. Content is based on the code of conduct used on Polarstern research cruises. These guidelines thus call attention upon specific conditions for gender-based and sexual violence that can arise from field scientific work, including among peer researchers.
- More information on dealing with sexualized violence on expeditions
Integrating gender in research and education content
Integrating the gender dimension means taking into account the biological characteristics and the social features of both women and men, girls and boys. Our knowledge is the basis on which future generations will build their societies. It is therefore crucial that the knowledge which is created through research and transferred through education is free of gender bias.
Particularly, when relevant, research and innovation activities need to critically examine both gender differences and inequalities. The added-value of integrating a gender dimension in research and innovation allows: a) ensuring excellence and quality in outcomes and enhancing sustainability, b) making research and innovation more responsive to social needs and c) developing new ideas and fostering innovation. Through the inclusion of a gender dimension in research and innovation content, gender biases are more likely to be tackled and eliminated.
Also, as education forms our future scientists, young people need to be taught about the gender aspects of their disciplines and trained to perform gender-sensitive research.
Useful to know
- A subject is considered gender relevant when it can be expected that its findings affect (groups of) women and men, or girls and boys, differently.
- Integrating the gender dimension in the research content requires the consideration of sex and gender aspects throughout all stages of the research cycle: from the definition of research questions and hypotheses, the selection of research methods and during the running of research activities, to the analysis and reporting of results.
- STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) research topics often appear as gender-neutral. In such cases, the following questions can be asked about aspects that are not gender-neutral: who decides on the research agenda; whose interests and needs are served with the research; who will be the users of the knowledge that is to be produced; who can benefit and in which way from the research? It is always relevant to produce research that has a high societal value and can provide answers to societal needs.
- Teachers’ and lecturers’ interactions with students are unconsciously influenced by gender stereotypes. Young people also hold stereotypical beliefs about women’s and men’s ‘natural’ abilities. Countering such stereotypes allows for everyone to engage with science in all its aspects without constraints set by ungrounded preconceptions.
Existing tools and resources
- Research and Innovation:
- 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.
- Gendered Innovations. A website providing recommendations, examples, case studies and tools for sex and gender analysis in research content for various scientific fields.
- Videos by Londa Schiebinger on the gender dimension in research content.
- Video on understanding gender dimension for MSCA projects by the European Commission. This video will explain you what gender dimension in research is about and give you examples of how it can be integrated within your research project and improve the quality of your research.
- The EU-funded EUGENMED project focused on the identification of focal areas of work where sex and gender play a major role in medicine. This consortium developed a Roadmap for a gender-sensitive approach to health care research and practice in Europe, among other resources (such as policy briefs).
An Australian Broadcasting Corporation 30 minute program on sex differences in health: Let's talk about sex...differences on Science Friction. See also written materials accompanying the program.
- The Canadian Institutes of Health Research have on their website a number of free training modules on how to deal with sex and gender in health research. Have a look at the first module on “Sex and Gender in Health Research” below.
- The EU-funded GENDER-NET project developed the IGAR tool: Recommendations for Integrating Gender Analysis into Research. Guidelines and Checklists for IGAR have been developed for Research Funding Organisations, Grant Applicants and Peer Reviewers/Evalutors. Useful references and examples are also made available, along with IGAR indicators. Take the opportunity to check the Recommendations and Models for Integrating Gender Analysis into University Curricula (IGAUC). Watch the IGAR video below.
- Research funding:
- The report Best practice examples of gender mainstreaming in Research Funding Organisations was released as part of the EU-funded GEECCO project in 2018, and provides an up-to-date state of the art of the recent development in RFOs at the level of the ERA, including Switzerland and Norway, as well as in Canada.
- Research and Teaching:
- Toolkit for Integrating Gender-Sensitive Approach into Research and Teaching, prepared by Jovana Mihajlović Trbovc and Ana Hofman within the EU-funded structural change GARCIA project.
- Manuals with guidelines on the integration of sex and gender analysis into research contents, recommendations for curricula development and indicators, a report by the EU-funded research policy initiative GENDER-NET.
- Publication on integrating sex and gender in medical research and teaching prepared by the Charité Berlin, Institute of Gender in Medicine.
- Policy document on integrating sex and gender in medical research and teaching by the Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME).
- E-module for integrating sex and gender in medical research and teaching and a publication on the e-module prepared by the Charité Berlin, Institute of Gender in Medicine.
- The guidelines Gender-Sensitive Teaching: An introduction for teaching staff in STEM developed as part of the EU-funded Baltic-Gender project in 2020, provide a framework to eliminate gender stereotypes, and to create a positive and encouraging working environment for women, as well as men who do not necessarily fit the typical ‘alpha males’ who too often dominate academia. Examples and recommendations focus on Marine Science, the realm of the Baltic-Gender project, but have a broader validity for STEM.
- The Collection of tools and Resources on Gender–Sensitive Teaching Methods in HE released by the Baltic-Gender project (2018) aims at encouraging teaching staff to integrate the gender dimension into their teaching. A variety of information is provided in form of toolboxes, best practice examples, manuals, guidelines and training tools.
- The EU-funded PLOTINA project provides research and teaching case studies, as examples of the integration of the gender dimension into the design, evaluation and implementation of research, to enhance its quality and relevance fostering excellence and the social value of innovations.
- Although limited to the members of the EGERA consortium (FP7, 2014-2017), Collected good practices in introducing gender in curricula provides useful and well documented examples of good practices in mainstreaming gender in academic curricula.
- The UNESCO Guide for Gender Equality in Teacher Education Policy and Practices has been conceived in 2015 to be a practical tool to promote a gender-responsive institutional culture. It seeks to strengthen the capacity of teacher educators, managers and student teachers to transform their practices effectively through innovative participatory approaches to teaching and learning.
- Guidelines on gender fair curriculum development (2010), an Austrian publication, present a diagnosis tool and a catalogue of aspects to be considered for developing a gender-fair curriculum to improve equality of access and success for both male and female students in higher education.
- One size fits all? Enhancing gender awareness in teaching. A publication from the EU-funded TWIST project.
- A syllabus bank for higher education courses on gender and politics, collected by the Standing Group on Gender and Politics of the European Consortium for Political Research.
- The Gender Bias Learning website is a rich resource for teaching about gender bias patterns, reviewing knowledge of gender bias patterns, and teaching strategies for managing gender bias.
- The ATGENDER book series ‘Teaching with Gender’ collects articles on a wide range of teaching practices in the field of gender.
- The Women’s & Gender Research Network NRW connects since 2007 professors and scientists located in academic institutions in the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW). In the context of the research project Gender in bachelor and master courses, it developed and published an on-line Model Database including 55 subjects/disciplines across the different main fields of Science and Engineering with the respective gender-sensitive curricula proposal for each one. The database contents are updated regularly.
Gendering in Research network (DK)
Gendering in Research (GIR), launched in 2015 at the University of Aarhus (Denmark), is a network for anyone who is interested in learning more about sex/gender, sexuality, and feminist methodology and how one can approach these topics from a scientific perspective. It offers monthly talks, occasionally also events or conferences all presenting the newest research carried out by a broad range of gender researchers from humanities, social sciences, as well as the natural sciences. The purpose of Gendering in Research is to create a platform which disseminates the newest knowledge on sex/gender, sexuality, and feminist methodology to a scientifically interested audience. It aims to facilitate scientific collaboration and gendered discussions at Aarhus University, although it is not a requirement that one is employed nor enrolled at the university in order to participate. The network is meant to be inclusive and welcomes students and activists active in the fields of gender equality and non-discrimination. It has proved to be an active forum for young researchers to engage with gender related topics.
Gender and teaching project (ES)
Based on regional legislation and from the academic year 2021/22 onwards, all Catalan universities have to include gender dimension in teaching. The Politechnical University of Catalonia (UPC), partner in the H2020-funded project GEECCO, has launched a pilot programme on including gender dimension in teaching (projecte gènere i docència) in december 2018. Eight research teams and teaching staff members from different schools and faculties participated. The programme started with a training session, followed by working sessions in which different aspects were considered (methodology, material of the courses, evaluation methods, contents, etc.). As a result, a guideline for including gender in teaching was developed. After completing this first pilot programme, the Education Sciences Institute of the UPC launched a call for teaching innovation projects including a track for gender-in-teaching-projects. In October 2019, four projects in which 11 schools and faculties are participating were approved. In April 2020, the Governing Council of UPC approved a proposal of the Gender Equality Unit of a new course “gender mainstreaming competence” to be included in all Bachelor and Master studies from the academic year 2021/22. This bottom-up approach relied upon the interest of research and teaching staff of the UPC in collectively enhancing their practice through pedagogical innovation. For this reason, it was positively received by the community and gained support through the gender balanced participation of male and female staff from a number of research and teaching areas.
Gender knowledge research and teaching programme (FR)
Founded in 2010, PRESAGE (Programme de Recherche et d'Enseignement des Savoirs sur le Genre) is a multidisciplinary research and teaching programme on gender at Sciences Po Paris university, the leading social science university in France. In a country where research on gender abounds but has been met with limited success in terms of institutionalisation, this programme opted for mainstreaming gender throughout curricula and research programmes through: a) identifying and addressing needs for specific gender courses and integrating gender in existing courses; b) successfully pursuing research funding opportunities on gender from private and public organisation, at national and EU level; c) providing expertise on gender mainstreaming to the university itself, supporting the design of its first GEP (2014-2018), conducting experimental evaluation of planned measures and assisting Sciences Po in gaining recognition on its gender policies through international (HeForShe University Impact Champion from 2015) and national schemes (First university awarded the Gender equality in the workplace label in 2018); d) enhancing the visibility of gender research at Sciences Po, through podcasts, interviews, social media, conferences, lectures, summer schools, publications and generating research projects opportunities. PRESAGE is also part of an inter-university cluster on gender, called La Cité du Genre.
- Information about PRESAGE
Support programme for early career researchers in innovative activities and for a culture of equal opportunites (CZ)
The ZETA program, funded by the Technical Agency of the Czech Republic (TAČR) supports the involvement of young researchers (up to the age of 35) with the implementation of applied research projects. One of its aims is to promote equal opportunities for men and women in development of their research paths. Gender mainstreaming is included in the evaluation process in three aspects – extra points are awarded to the proposals: a) led by women or projects with gender-balanced teams; b) correctly assessing the relevance of the gender dimension for the content of the proposed research and (if it is relevant) correctly integrating it in the project and its methodology; c) with an advanced HR policy (promoting equal opportunities) of the institution of the main applicant. Furthermore, GM is included in one gender-sensitive support condition consisting of the age limit of 35 years: the age limit may be increased by the time spent on relevant professional breaks (maternity leave, care for a close person, long-term disease, etc.). A similar rationale applies to the ETA program, supporting research, experimental development and innovation of applied social sciences and humanities. The program supports projects that focus on one or more of the following aspects utilizing the benefits of multidisciplinary approaches, linking technical and non-technical research and extracting potential outputs of basic research for application. The duration of the program is expected to be 6 years from 2018 to 2023. One of the 31 thematic research areas is (9) equal opportunities for men and women and principles of non-discrimination. This approach has contributed to shift the culture of this relatively recent organisations towards a greater attention for inclusion and equal opportunities, contributing to lowering organisational and individual resistances to change. This experienced is being widely shared by TAČR across the ERA, thus inspiring other RFOs.
Mainstreaming gender in regional funding for research (IT)
Part to the EU-funded SUPERA project (H2020), the Autonomous Region of Sardinia (RAS) is one of the five Italian regions granted with regional autonomy in research policies. RAS is thus at the center of a regional research ecosystem for which EU funding (also from regional and other structural funds) is vital and has triggered local innovation. Law 7 (2007), is a regional law governing the contribution of the region to research and innovation, under which annual funding calls are launched to which regional RPOs can apply. As part of the GEP enshrined in the Regional Development Plan adopted by the regional parliament in 2020, RAS will mainstream gender in all communication material and activities in relation to Law 7 calls, so as to increase the number of female applicants. Results will be monitored, and positive actions are foreseen as a possible second step. This initiative has been met with media and political interest in Sardinia, where it has been widely communicated as a way to enhance research excellence.
- More information about SUPERA project in the Autonomous Region of Sardinia
Gender lectureship: a model for mainstreaming in higher education (SE)
Following the rationale that gender mainstreaming is possible within every subject, in 2005, Linköping University (Sweden) created gender lectureships in order to assist its faculties on how to mainstream gender equality. The gender lectureships are established by the Vice-Chancellor and aim at actively contributing to mainstreaming gender within the content of study programmes and courses, and at developing pedagogical models for gender sensitive teaching and gender equality in higher education. Education must be provided in such a way that women’s and men’s experiences and knowledge are developed in a gender sensitive way. This is important to counteract unequal power relations between women and men. During the last decade, gender lectureships have been contributing to continuously work on gender mainstreaming at Linköping University. In practical terms, the gender lectureships provide resources, competences and sustainability to gender mainstreaming work. It is a programme that continuously addresses gender issues within the structure of the university. It aims to ensure that gender is mainstreamed in all study programmes, including at PhD level.
Analytical measures, targets, indicators, monitoring and evaluation
Collecting, assessing, reviewing, analysing numbers, data, procedures and practices enable optimal planning and implementation of gender equality work. A Gender Equality Plan or any other gender equality ad-hoc initiatives need to be grounded in evidence. An initial assessment of the state-of-play of gender equality in the institution usually includes a statistical analysis of sex-disaggregated data, a documentary analysis of national legal and policy documents, along with the organisation’s strategic and operational documents.
This analysis will provide pertinent insights to decide on the measures or actions required to progress gender equality (see here: ‘How to analyse and assess the state-of-play in the institution’). Then, it is important to set targets and to follow up the implementation of measures or actions in order to monitor the progress, as well as to improve measures or actions along the way. Finally, once measures or actions are concluded, it is pertinent to evaluate them in order to learn relevant lessons for future initiatives (see here: ‘How to monitor progress and evaluate a Gender Equality Plan’).
Useful to know
- While baseline data and information are necessary as input for tailoring a context-sensitive Gender Equality Plan, it is good not to spend too much time just collecting and analysing information. If necessary, complementary analytical efforts can still be undertaken when concrete activities have started already.
- The best way to capture the status of gender (in-)equality in the organisation and to assess progress is by combining the use of quantitative indicators with qualitative ones. Gender-sensitive and gender-specific indicators are key to measure gender-related changes over time. They can be quantitative (e.g. number of female and male researchers), or qualitative (usually used to capture/assess people’s experiences, opinions, attitudes, behaviours and feelings). While quantitative indicators can provide statistical evidence of what has changed, qualitative analyses allow assessing the quality of change and help understanding why certain patterns have occurred.
- Remember that ‘women’ and ‘men’ are no monolithic groups and that differences in the situations of individuals within these groups might be bigger than between the groups. Attention for intersecting inequalities and the influence of other factors (like age, family status, contractual basis, …) is thus warranted.
- Monitoring efforts not only allow to measure the impact of initiatives and the progress made towards gender equality, they also enable to identify what can be done better. Monitoring is thus important for learning: to take on board the lessons from the practice and to improve what is done.
Existing tools and resources
- The She Figures Handbook can strengthen your capacity to systematically produce meaningful data as it provides methodological guidance on the calculation of indicators included in the She Figures 2015 publication. Organised by data source, information provided on each indicator includes a brief definition, rationale, computation method and any comments or critical issues for the reader to note.
- The EU-funded structural change project INTEGER developed a number of ready-to-use templates, to be used as tools, to support universities and research organisations in the assessment of their Gender Equality Plans.
- The Wheel Toolkit designed by the EU-funded SAGE project (2017) aims to assist organisations to effect and sustain change in cycles. At each cycle, the organisation should re-assess itself and carry out changes towards gender equality. It includes a comprehensive 3-phase approach to GEPs and institutional changes.
- The Gender Diversity Index designed under the EU-funded GEDII project is a composite indicator which combines data on those seven grounds into one figure. It is bound between 0 and 1, and measures both parity in representation in the most desirable categories (e.g. senior roles) or more inclusive categories (e.g. care responsibilities), as well as equal chances for women and men to access these categories (attrition) for each of the seven grounds.
- The EU-funded BALTIC-Gender project developed a Handbook of gender-sensitive indicators to look at sex-segregated and aggregated data from its eight partner institutions. For each indicator, a short description is given followed by the rationale, data needed / computation method, initial ideas for data analysis and comments / critical issues. It is accompanied by a database of indicators that can be retrieved from the project website.
- The EU-funded structural change project STAGES provides in its guidelines some insightful recommendations to collect data and monitor gender equality. Check pages 29-33 for more information.
- The EU-funded structural change project FESTA developed a toolkit aimed at providing practical insights, examples and tools to collect and understand statistics (including indicators), and to translate these figures into awareness.
- The Gender Equality Audit and Monitoring (GEAM) tool, developed in 2019 by the EU-funded ACT project, is an integrated environment for carrying out survey-based gender equality audits in academic organisations or organisational units. Its core instrument is a flexible questionnaire framework based upon the Athena Survey of Science, Engineering and Technology (ASSET) and on existing measurement scales in the scientific literature. It comprises a collection of questions that cover most aspects of gender equality in academic organisations, providing high-quality data for designing and implementing gender equality measures and assessing their impact over time. It is available in English, Spanish, German, Polish, Portuguese and Lithuanian.
- The EFFORTI Toolbox 2.0 designed in 2019 by this EU-funded project, provides instruments for ex-ante and on-going GEP evaluation. It is meant to assist GEP implementation team in defining indicators, an impact pathway to explicit how planned actions are meant to deliver desired changes. It allows for compiling a customised gender equality intervention or evaluation design and to simulate ideal processes, outcomes and impacts. The Impact Story Knowledge Base provides the user with the necessary tools to understand ‘how’ gender equality measures are supposed to work and will support the formulation of programme theories. The programme theory generator represents the practical tool that helps you to generate your own customized programme theory. The evaluation framework is a wiki-style knowledge base that includes a diversified set of reports, analyses and key literature to provide you with an in-depth insight into the project‘s evolution.
- The EU-funded GEARING-ROLES project developed an up to date (2019) Resource directory that lists relevant resources for planning and performing a gender audit as a first step towards GEP design.
- Under the EU-funded EQUAL-IST project, Prof. Claudia Canali from the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia elaborated a Methodology for Participatory Gender Audits (PGAs) in ICT. The methodology exploits a mixed strategy integrating quantitative and qualitative techniques adapted to the specific context of ICT/IST research institutions. On one hand, quantitative indicators are computed on gender disaggregated data. On the other hand, a qualitative approach based on participatory techniques makes use of intense interactions with the staff of an organisation to trigger reflection, internal conversations and dialogues on individual and collective rules, behaviors and beliefs, and their impact on gender equality.
- The EU-funded TARGET project developed a Monitoring tool and guidelines for self-assessment (2018) that provides concrete guidance for development of a customized monitoring and its use for self-assessment. The approach to monitoring assumes that there is a no one fits all solution. The monitoring is based on the objectives formulated in the GEP and the logic model developed for each GEP activity.
- The Gender Audit Toolkit designed by the EU-funded PLOTINA project in 2017, provides recommendations on how to get ready for a gender audit at a research performing organisation, how to collect data and how to analyze it and report about it. It includes two checklists to help RPOs to collect both qualitative and quantitative data.
- The EU-funded structural change project GenisLab provides detailed instructions to carry out a Participatory Gender Audit (PGA). A PGA is an action-research methodology that helps ‘mapping’ an organisation from a gender equality perspective. This methodology combines an objective observation of facts and data with a more in-depth and qualitative reflection on individual and collective rules, behaviours, and beliefs, as well as their impact on gender equality. Download the complete GenisLab guidelines and tools for institutional change and read pages 29 to 55.
- Sets of possible indicators on structural change in research organisations and higher education institutions are under development in a couple of EU-funded projects, e.g. Gender-Net and EGERA. Keep an eye on their websites for updates on indicators.
- To assess gender structural change, the EU-funded GENOVATE project developed in 2016 comprehensive Guidelines for Evaluating Gender Equality Action Plans (GEAPs), which presents several specific features: 1) It fully takes into account the inputs from the evaluation literatures, carefully identifying the steps of the evaluation process and defining a theory of change adapted to the project’s purpose; 2) It also draws upon the insights from the critical analysis of gender mainstreaming implementation in a number of domains, thus highlighting the specific hindrances and resistances faced by social and institutional change aiming at gender equality and 3) it focuses on three fundamental dimensions of change: ideas, structures and people.
- The Manual for Gender Audit Facilitators developed by the International Labour Organisation in 2012, provides PGA facilitators with guidelines and practical instructions on how to undertake a PGA in an organisational context. Its content and structure are based on training materials that are being used to prepare facilitators to conduct PGAs. A step-by-step approach is used that leads facilitators through each stage of the process culminating with guidance on writing a PGA report that covers key findings, good practices and a set of recommendations to the audited unit or organisation. ss in promoting gender equality in the world of work. This revised Manual is based on the ILO’s practical experience of piloting PGAs of many ILO technical units and country offices, constituents and UN partners from 2001 to 2012.
- Science Europe developed a Practical Guide to Improving Gender Equality in Research Organisations, part two of the document deals with "How to Monitor Gender Equality" as of page 26.
GL.ON.DA. - A Gender Equality database at the University of Münster (DE)
The database built by Westphalia Wilhelms University (WWU) in Münster, includes good practices examples from all university departments, faculties, research units and central services. It also encompasses all Gender equality related measures enforced at/by the university in the fields of studies, research, teaching and career development. It provides a comprehensive overview of gender equality measures and opportunities applying to academic and non-academic staff, students and visiting fellows. Those can serve for information and inspiration and users are allowed to further enrich the database with new practices and actions. The database also provides an entry point to federal and regional databases, complemented by an updated depository of past and present initiatives in this realm at WWU. Provided that gender equality work is often decentralized, especially in large RPOs, and partly carried out through short lived projects, such a depository is of great value to monitor institutional change and capitalize on lessons learnt.
- More information on GL.ON.DA. at the University of Münster
Implementation of Participatory Gender Audits under GEP projects to support GEP design
According to EIGE's definition, participatory gender audit (PGA) is a "tool and a process based on a participatory methodology. It seeks to promote organisational learning at the individual, work unit and organisational levels on the subject of how to practically and effectively mainstream gender". The concept and practice of participatory gender audits was coined by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in 2001. It was initially developed to fulfil the internal ILO Gender Mainstreaming Policy. A manual has been made available to disseminate the practice, of which an updated version is available in the resources and tools listed (above). In the context of GEP projects, PGAs have been successfully implemented by the EQUAL-IST and more recently the GEARING-ROLES projects, both funded under H2020. In the case of EQUAL-IST, a mixed methodology combining quantitative and qualitative inputs and adapted to the specific context of ICT/IST research institutions, has been developed by Prof. Claudia Canali (UNIMORE). The qualitative approach based on participatory techniques makes use of intense interactions with the staff of an organisation to trigger reflection, internal conversations and dialogues on individual and collective rules, behaviors and beliefs, and their impact on gender equality. Under GEARING-ROLES, PGAs have been supported by capacity-building activities and methods derived from Design thinking and social design, as experimented notably at Oxford Brookes university, EtaG (Estonia), DEUSTO university and IGOT (Lisbon University).
A survey to know your institution (CZ)
In line with recommendations for implementation of structural change, the gender equality implementation process must build on “knowing the institution”. For this purpose an initial comprehensive institutional analysis was performed at the University of Chemistry and Technology Prague (UCT Prague) (Czech Republic). This analysis included 1) statistical data collection and analysis, 2) questionnaire survey of working conditions of both academic and administrative staff, work-life balance, mobility, research and teaching evaluation, 3) individual and group interviews, 4) documentary analysis, 5) media analysis, and 6) analysis of legislative framework in the Czech Republic from a gender perspective. The research design and instrument were developed and the analyses performed by an external gender expert partner, the National Contact Centre for Gender and Science at the Institute of Sociology. These analyses served to identify bottlenecks and issues to be tackled through the Gender Equality Plan (GEP), and will be periodically repeated, to guide upcoming GEP implementation and actions and to guide institutional development at UCT Prague. Following the statistical data collection, the internal monitoring system was amended to include the variable “sex” to facilitate monitoring in the future.
- Presentation by Marcela Linkova at Learning and Dissemination Seminar on Promoting Gender Equality in Research and Higher Education Institutions (9 September 2016)
- Contact details: Anna Mittnerova (Anna.Mittnerova@vscht.cz), Marta Vohlidalova (email@example.com) and Marcela Linkova(firstname.lastname@example.org)
Gender Equality Report: Monitoring progress towards gender equality in the university (PT)
University of Beira Interior (UBI) was the first university in Portugal to set up a gender equality plan. The pioneer work of UBI in this field is well-known in the country. A thorough initial assessment (2010-2011) of the gender equality state-of-play of the university preceded the development of the Gender Equality Plan. UBI’s Plan established as a measure the elaboration of sex-disaggregated statistics about teaching and non-teaching staff, and students. Since 2012, Gender Equality Reports have been prepared on an annual basis to monitor the progress towards gender equality in the university. These reports are publicly accessible and build on the initial assessment carried out early in the process of setting up UBI’s gender equality plan. The analysis provided in the reports considers the gender balance in terms of disciplines taught and on decision-making and leadership positions, the gender pay gap, the use of measures to reconcile professional and personal life (like flexible working hours), a gender analysis of the utilisation of leaves, and information about the number of students disaggregated by sex and faculty.
- Website of UBIgual (in Portuguese)
- Initial assessment report about Gender Equality in University of Beira Interior (in Portuguese)
- Gender Equality Plan (in Portuguese)
- Gender Equality Reports since 2012 (filter by ‘Relatório de Igualdade de Género’) (in Portuguese)
- Presentation by Catarina Sales Oliveira at Learning and Dissemination Seminar on Promoting Gender Equality in Research and Higher Education Institutions (9 September 2016)
- Full description on EIGE's compendium of good practices
- Contact details: Catarina Sales Oliveira (email@example.com)
Gender Report (IT)
The “Bilancio di Genere” (referred hereafter as Gender Report) of the University of Ferrara (Italy) is an action implemented by the Unique Guarantee Committee for Equal Opportunities in Public Administrations for workers’ wellbeing and against discrimination (CUG) and the Equal Opportunities Committees (CPO) since 2011. It is divided in four parts: 1) In the first (and most important) part it monitors the participation of women in the organisation among students, professors, clerical workers and all decision-making bodies; 2) It describes equal opportunities bodies in the organisation; 3) It describes the Positive Action Plan of the University (PAP) and its objectives; 4) It monitors what actions of the PAP have been realised. The Gender Report was firstly introduced by the first PAP (2011-2013) of the University of Ferrara as part of the Social Responsibility Budget of the University. It is now part of the second PAP (2014-2016) as a monitoring action. The Gender Report of the University of Ferrara is considered a milestone in the Italian academic system. It uses quantitative methodologies to collect data on career trajectories following the European Union’s ‘She Figures’ indicators. The Gender Report is written in cooperation with the Statistical Office of the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR) and for the first time it has produced longitudinal data on the presence of women inside a university. Since 2011, each year, the Gender Report is made available online on the website of the ‘Equality and Diversity’ unit of the University of Ferrara. The ‘Equality and Diversity’ unit of the University of Ferrara received 183.000 Euro from the Department of Equal Opportunities (DPO) of the Italian Presidency of the Council of Ministers in order to create a model of Gender Report – in the form of guidelines – and to propose to all Italian Universities, Public Administrations and Public Corporations to apply this model, with the aim to harmonise data and collect national indicators.
Incentives to promote gender equality
Both rewards and sanctions can push forward change towards gender equality by stimulating the desired behaviour among actors. Rewarding positive contributions has the potential to enhance the working relations and the organisational atmosphere.
Useful to know
- Give proper visibility to the incentives to promote gender equality. Make sure the target audience of these incentives is aware of their existence. Provide information on when and how to apply.
- Define gender-sensitive and gender-specific criteria to apply to the incentive.
- Be transparent about the selection process.
Existing tools and resources
- The analytical paper produced in 2016 by EIGE on Integrating gender equality into academia and research organisations focuses on incentive factors identified in the Member States for promoting the uptake of gender equality initiatives by research and higher education institutions. The focus of the analysis herein has been on public research and higher education institutions, with particular attention being paid to how these institutions have taken up the challenge of tackling gender inequalities within their organisations.
- The EU-funded GENDER-NET project produced a report which analyses existing awards to promote gender equality structural change. This report assesses the impact of national and regional award schemes aimed at creating greater gender equality, and their ability to stimulate gender equality and enact structural change with regard to gender equality in research institutions.
- The paper on Excellence and Gender Equality Policies in Neoliberal Universities, by Birgit Riegraf and Lena Weber (2017) critically analyses the impact of incentive- and excellence-based gender equality initiatives in the academia. It argues tat the classical idea of innovative science was shaped by male scientists and reflected their ways of living and was mainly reproduced via gatekeeping and homosocial co-optation processes. On the basis of two case studies of German universities, this paper calls attention upon the shift to new ‘quasi’-market mechanisms being combined with gender equality policies. Findings shed light on new gendered work patterns and inequalities of contemporary academia. Academia is opening up to ‘excellent’ high-performance women, while other women are still disadvantaged.
Female Professorship Program (DE)
In 2008, the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research, in cooperation with Länder, launched the Female professorship program (Profesorinnen Programm). Higher education and research organisations can apply for a full professor position reserved to a woman to be funded over five years from federal funds (while universities are usually funded at Länder level). This opportunity is granted based on the adoption of a fully-fledged gender equality strategy by the applying institutions, which commit to fund these additional positions permanently beyond the five first years. Regularly assessed, this program granted with 200 million Euros for the 2018-2022 phase has received over 500 million since its launched, and by the end of 2019, 570 female full professors had been appointed. Utterly competitive and successful, this program has also brought tens of universities and higher education institutions to adapt comprehensive gender equality strategies. To date, it constitutes the most effective incentives for GEP adoption in the German research and innovation environment.
- More information on the Female Professorship Program
Female talent programmes (Femtech)(AT)
The Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) has a voluntary gender equality policy, including training, working groups and gender-related project assessment criteria. As part of this broader approach, there are three funding options at FFG under the header Female Talents - FEMtech: 1.) FEMtech Career – Equal Opportunities in Applied Research 2.) FEMtech Internships for Female Students – Entry into a Research Career 3.) FEMtech Research Projects – Gender-Relevant Projects FEMtech Career aims to increase the number of female scientists employed in industrial research and to improve their career opportunities. Companies and research institutions receive funding to implement measures which attract women to careers in applied research, lead to equal opportunities for women and men (affirmative action plans, flexible working hours, etc.), increase the proportion of female scientists and engineers in the company or research institute or support female scientists and engineers in their professional careers (coaching, mentoring, further education and training, etc.). FEMtech Internships for Female Students supports and mentors female students to take up scientific and engineering positions in industry in order to meet the future demand for researchers and R&D experts. The internship lasts one to six months. FEMtech Research Projects initiates and supports projects in research, technology and innovation that deal with the different needs and requirements of men and women. By considering the relevance of gender within the project, innovations are supported, and new market potential is generated. This approach is inspiring to support the inclusion and career enhancement of women researchers in ICT and tech research sectors.
Irène Jolliot-Curie Prize (FR)
First awarded in 2001, the Irène Jolliot-Curie Prize (Prix Irène Jolliot-Curie), named after the daughter of Nobel Prize Marie Skłodowska-Curie, also a forefront French physicist, is an initiative of the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation. It aims at promoting the place of women in research and technology in France. For that purpose, it highlights exemplary trajectories of female researchers of different generations, combining excellence and dynamism. Its scientific significance has been enhanced since 2011, through a partnership with the Academy of Science and the Academy of technology, in charge of constituting the jury. There are three categories in the Prize. The category "Female scientist of the year"(40,000 euros), awards an outstanding scientific contribution to public research, based on the importance and recognition of her publication record and the groundbreaking and pluridisciplinary character of her work. The category "Young female scientist", granted with 15,000 euros, is awarded to a promising trajectory and the category "Women, research and business" , also granted with 15,000 euros, is awarded to a female researcher working in private R&D or who (co)founded an innovation-driven startup. Along with the l’Oréal Prize awarded to female researchers, the Irène Jolliot-Curie prize is a landmark event in France for the promotion, visibility and career enhancement of female scientists.
Ada Byron Prize for women in technology (ES)
The prize (Premio Ada Byron a la Mujer Tecnóloga), established by the Faculty of Engineering at DEUSTO University in 2014, is directed to women graduated or with a professional trajectory in STEMs, and more specifically connected to technology. The objectives of the prize are the following: a) to give visibility to women in STEMs, acknowledging their work and contribution; b) providing role models to younger generations and support new vocations among them and c) visibilize the relevance of technology in shaping economic prosperity and the future of society. As from 2019, the prize established two categories, one of them for female researchers younger than 35. It is granted with 3,000 and 1,000 euros for each category, and awarded on the occasion of a tech forum held annually. In 2019, the Prize was replicated in Mexico, by the Universidad Iberoamericana CDMX and in 2020 the National technical University and the Catholic University of Cordoba initiated the prize in Argentina.
- More information on the Ada Byron prize
Encouraging gender equality activities at the grassroot level across the university (FI)
Between 2002 and 2011, the University of Helsinki (Finland) made funding available for small-scale gender equality projects across the university. The funding increased grass-roots engagement in gender equality work, helped to identify and address the specific problems and needs of different faculties and departments, and created permanent networks and good practices. Over the course of 10 years, gender equality projects were implemented at all levels: in faculties, departments and units. A broad range of disciplines from almost all faculties was represented, including gender studies, veterinary medicine, theology, mathematics, political sciences, law, educational science, biosciences and physics. In most cases, the initiative came from staff or students, and the project was planned together with the leadership. The projects included gender equality trainings, initiatives to integrate a gender dimension into teaching content in different disciplines, and gender impact assessments of on-going reforms. Several faculties and departments conducted in-depth studies to assess their respective gender equality situations and identify ways to improve it. Hands-on gender equality projects in male-dominated disciplines, such as mathematics and physics, took steps to improve the position of women students and researchers. In some cases, follow-up funding to make use of the knowledge and tools developed in previous projects was applied and granted. The results of the projects were presented to the whole university in annual gender equality seminars that provided visibility and a possibility to exchange experiences. The concrete results (e.g. studies, tools, reports) were made available in the intranet of the university as good practice to be learnt from and made use of.
- Contact details: Terhi Somerkallio (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Introducing a gender perspective in research content and teaching (ES)
Since 2010, a gender perspective in research content award is being organised on an annual basis by the University of Santiago de Compostela (USC) (Spain). The award aims to recognise and make visible existing research projects and teaching practices that stand out for integrating a gender dimension in research content. Six prizes are awarded annually: three for teaching achievements (excluding gender-specific courses) and three for research projects in any field (which integrate a gender dimension in hypothesis formulation, research design, methodology, research processes or the dissemination and publication of results). The award is fostering synergies with other initiatives undertaken by the university such as gender training and conferences. The award is remarkably bringing more visibility to gender in research and teaching. Furthermore, synergies were activated with other parallel initiatives (such as conferences and trainings) on which awardees have the possibility to share their research findings or how they managed to introduce a gender perspective in their teaching activity (including obstacles and resistances faced and how these were overcome).
- Documents concerning the prize call, list of applicants and respective research and teaching works, and jury decision: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 (in Galician)
- Information about the Annual Galician University Conference on Gender: 2013, 2014, 2015 (in Galician)
- Information about the training Applying gender perspective to university teaching (in Galician)
- Full description on EIGE's compendium of good practices
- Contact details: Eva Aguayo (email@example.com)
For a gender-sensitive response to the COVID-19 crisis
As most of human organisations, RPOs and RFOs are severely affected by the health, economic and policy impact of the COVID-19, and are constantly adapting to the current situation. It is therefore difficult to map their efforts at this stage, as those are often based on ad-hoc initiatives and not fully documented. However, the resources and examples listed below illustrate different scales of gender-sensitive responsiveness to the COVID-19, from a broad gender and feminist platform compiling useful resources, to large surveys launched to measure the different impact dimensions of the COVID-19 on academic communities.
Useful to know
- As shown in an influential paper published in The Lancet by the Gender and COVID-19 working group, the pandemic has a differential impat on men on women, if considering for instance that women are in the front line of (health) care worldwide. Additional evidences call for a gender-sensitive approach to the health impact of the outbreak.
- First available data show that COVID-19 related measures such as telework resulting from partial or full lockdown, social distancing and travel restrictions, have a disproportionate impact on women, affecting work-life balance, the gendered distribution of care activities and their well-being and mental health.
- A similar situation prevails in research and academic organisations, as female scholars and researchers also bear the greatest share of care duties in their couples or families, thus limiting their capacity to maintain a similar pace in terms of scientific production and activity. This resulted in a sharp drop in the number of academic papers submitted for publication in international journals, as documented in many disciplines.
- Research funding is also at stake, as massive resources are poured into COVID-19 related research projects. First indications show that men and women are not equally involved in this endeavour, thus deepening the gender gap in terms of access to research funding.
- It is also reported that women scientists and experts have been widely invisible in providing expertise and solutions to the current crisis, thus deepening a persisting gap in terms of scientific visibility, but also undermining the capacity of human societies to adopt a gender-sensitive response to the multi-layered COVID-19 crisis.
- COVID-19 crisis is being followed by a major economic turmoil, primarily affecting services in which women constitute the majority of the workforce (such as in tourism, retail, financial services…), and placing female-dominated, lower paid sectors such as healthcare and homecare in the frontline. Hence, gender-sensisitive data and research is required more than ever to tackle the situation, for which specific measures are to be adopted in RPOs and RFOs.
- EIGE has developed a webpage devoted to raising awareness on those and other challenges related to gender and COVID-19. The information made available draws on EIGE’s existing research and gender statistucs to highlight how the different realities that men and women could be facing in light of the pandemic.
Existing tools and resources
- NGOS, grassroots associations and activists of dozens of countries have joined forces to collectively outline key principles for a just and resilient recovery from the ongoing global pandemic, as well as to track responses and uplift collective action of feminists around the world. They established a platform this gives access to position papers, selected good practices, analysis and other resources which have in common to adopt a right-based and intersectional approach to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 to gender and sexual rights globally. Although not focused on research and the academia, resources posted on the platform outline common needs and potential responses which place any COVID-19 response at the level of RPOs and RFOs against a broader background.
- Gender and COVID-19 working group was established in February 2020. Initially focused on the US, the UK, Canada, China and Hong-kong, this inter-disciplinary group of academics published an influential article in The Lancet, devoted to the gendered (health) impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since, it has expanded its geographical and thematic scope, including research and higer education and involving several researchers from the EU-funed GENDER-NET plus project.
- The project #DATACOVIDGENDER was initiated through a collaboration with the GenPORT portal, an output of the EU-funded (FP7) GenPORT project. It aims at providing scientific evidence through a collaborative, open knowledge archives portal, on the gendered implications of the COVID-19.
- The EU-funded SPEAR project disseminated the results of a short questionnaire submitted to its consortium partners to share their experience during the COVID-19 crisis through an online media campaign to raise awareness on the gendered impact of the pandemic on academic and research staff.
- The European Commission ahas launched a series of webinar devoted to gender-sensitive responses to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Delivered in May-June 2020, it included two sessions: one devoted to tackling gender-based violence in the context of the COVID-19 and another to gender equality aspects of work and care. The webinars were delivered as part of a broader mutual learning programme which provides access to a range of policy experimentations and solutions in relation to a gender-sensitive response to the COVID-19 crisis.
- The European Commission, through its Directorate General for Research and Innovation, has launched a webpage compiling recent initiatives in addressing the gendered impact of the COVID-19.
- This influential paper published in The Lancet on behalf of the Gender and COVID-19 working group, outlines the need for a gender-sensitive approach to the health impact of the pandemic, and calls for further research so as to design gender-responsive strategies in fighting the outbreak.
- This paper published in Nature (583, 867-869), provides a brief overview of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the productivity and subsequent evaluation of female researchers. It also features a series of recommendations, from altering evaluation criteria to take into account that most of care activities fall upon women and that work-life balance is heavily affected by the measures taken to limit the expansion of the pandemic, to setting quotas.
- The position paper on the current COVID-19 outbreak and gendered impacts on researchers and teachers, released in May 2020 by the Standing Working Group on Gender in Research and Innovation (SWGRI, ERAC), addresses the multi-layered, gendered impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the working conditions, funding opportunities and publication record of researchers in the European Research Area, and formulates recommendation to document and tackle those consequences, including on work-life balance.
- The European University Alliance for Global Health (EUGLOH) and Paris Saclay’s Ecole Normale Supérieure, have designed the largest survey ever sent to students in five European countries. It will allow to make a specific analysis of the evolution of students’ living conditions across Europe in the context of the COVID-19 health crisis, including on gender relevant. Full data is collected by Université Paris-Saclay for academic use only.
Guidelines for a gender-sensitive implementation of telework in relation to COVID-19 pandemic
Part to the SUPERA project (H2020, 2018-2022), the Central European University, based in Budapest and Vienna, promptly issued official guidelines for all supervisors to implement an inclusive and gender-sensitive policy with regard to telework and work life balance in the situation created by the COVID-19 sanitary crisis. Based on a diagnosis formulated jointly by the Equal Opportunity Officer, the Gender Equality Officer and the Equal Opportunity Committee, the guidelines address the differential impact on women of remote work and schooling, due to the persistently uneven distribution of care duties. Supervisors are thus invited to set realistic expectations towards individuals considering their unique situations and taking into account equal opportunities, by 1) prioritizing tasks, 2) Assess and adjust teams’ capacity, reducing workload for particularly overburdened colleagues, notably single parents households; 3) Supporting teams with new working norms including flexible worktimes, the limitation of ad hoc tasks, defining “core hours” and enabling conditions for telework. The guidelines are also directed to the staff, encouraged to use IT tools provided by the CEU and to report their own difficulties and constraints. These guidelines were issued by late March 2020.
Survey on working conditions, academic time usage perception and academic performance during the COVID-19 crisis (ES)
A Survey on working conditions, academic time usage perception and academic performance was designed by the University Complutense of Madrid as part of the EU-funded SUPERA project and launched in June 2020. Approximately 27% of the UCM research and teaching staff responded to the survey, which was launched through the 26 faculties of the university, involving the Gender Equality focal persons appointed under SUPERA. Definitive results will be made available in September 2020. Within the SUPERA consortium, the universities of Cagliari (UNICA) and Coimbra (UC) have been working on adapting it to their institutional contexts. The Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation also used the questionnaire for inspiration for a survey on young researchers.
- More information about the survey at University Complutense
Webinar on gender-sensitive teleworking in Covid times
Yellow Window, technical partner to the EU-funded Gender-SMART project, and Teagasc, GEP implementing partner in the same consortium, jointly delivered on July 7th, 2020, a webinar on gender-sensitive telework in COVID-19 times, sharing the experience of Teagasc, an Irish research institutes on agriculture, and tips and hints on how to prevent telework to increase gender bias and imbalances during the current health crisis. This webinar was part of a broader effort in Gender-SMART, to address the gendered consequences of the COVID-19, including a project wide survey.
Online workshop on 'putting a gender lens on COVID-19 funded research'
An online workshop highlighting gender equality challenges in research and innovation funding during the current pandemic was organized on 20 April 2020 by the Research Funding Organisation Community of Practice (FORGEN) set up as part of the EU-funded ACT project and coordinated by the Science Foundation of Ireland, featuring Drs Rosemary Morgan & Clare Wenham (co-authors of the influential paper published in the Lancet in March 2020 by members of the international Gender and COVID-19 Working Group). Although an ad-hoc initiative, this workshop highlights the importance of adopting a gender perspective on the research funded to address the multi-layered aspects of the COVID-19 outbreak. Delivered as part of a EU-wide community of RFOs, it has the potential to raise awareness on this issue and should therefore be replicated.
- More information on the workshop
Online surveys on COVID-19 impact on GEP design and implementation
So as to make the GEP process of their respective implementing partners COVID-19 responsive, several EU-funded projects – namely CALIPER, Gender-SMART, GEARING-ROLES, SPEAR, SUPERA -, have launched online consultations on its tangible and expected impact on GEP design and/or implementation. Those questionnaires/surveys have been designed to identify both constraints and opportunities in setting-up, getting approved and implementing GEPs in COVID-19 times. Their results, made available internally or shared with the broader research community, have highlighted issues such as the impact of the outbreak (and related measures) on: work-life balance, decision-making processes, psychological health, access to research funding, staff evaluation… thus calling action to further adapt GEPs to the new situations generated by COVID-19.