Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, some organisations had increased the availability of telework for a larger number of their employees (ZRC SAZU), or extended the option to work from home for a higher number of days (National Institute of Chemistry). This facilitates researchers to balance work and family life and organise their own time. The measure targeted employees of all genders, but is more beneficial to those with caring duties.
The project VINNOVA addresses the unequal funding of research. Therefore, it works with three main areas linked to the questions of who, how and what. The ‘who’ dimension includes the work around who is being financed. The focus is on the project team and the gender composition, such as how many women and men are project leaders or the time and resources allocated to different positions and tasks in the project from a gender perspective.
The CNR published its first gender budget in 2020. The CNR is the largest public research organisation, with more than 9,000 employees. The report showed that the general composition of CNR staff is equally distributed, but a gap becomes evident in the subsequent career levels: 38 % of senior researchers and 26 % of research directors are women. That gap is even wider at top management level, where women make up only 22 %.
Diverse voices, skills and views are needed if technology is to serve everyone. Business Finland, together with national partners, led the discussion for more diversity, inclusion and equality in the science and technology that will transform everyday life. Episode VII of the webinar series discussed the lives, careers and experiences of women, who remain a minority in developing transformative technologies.
Gender equality is at the heart of the global transition to a clean energy future. The Equal by 30 campaign is part of the Clean Energy, Education and Empowerment initiative (C3E), which works to advance women’s participation in the clean energy transition and to close the gender gap. The Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) is committed to promoting equality in technology, keeping equality as a basis and paying attention to it in all operations, hiring the best and most suitable people, and ensuring that all kinds of people are visible and active.
KTH appointed a Vice-President for Gender Equality and Core Values in 2017, whose task is to promote gender mainstreaming and equal opportunities. HEIs in Sweden must work according to several government objectives and legal obligations within the broader equality framework. KTH also set up an Equality Office to coordinate implementation and support different units and management levels. Through the Equality Office, KTH is conducting research-based proactive work at both the strategic and practical level, with the aim of promoting gender equality, diversity and equal terms from an intersectional perspective.
The Centre for Women's Studies at the University of Rijeka’s Faculty of Philosophy was founded in 2016 and is the only formally confirmed academic centre of study for gender and feminist topics. The Centre links the academic and civil sectors, and is a platform for interdisciplinary domestic and international research. The Student-Teacher Association (Za-Pravo) within the University of Zagreb’s Faculty of Law was founded at the end of 2020.
In May 2018, the Faculty of Arts at the University of Ljubljana changed its practice of writing official documents (regulations) using exclusively the masculine form. Instead, it uses an asterisk, denoting that this form is to be understood generically and refers to both women and men. The new rule (in place for three years) states that the regulations are to be written in feminine forms so as to be recognised as gender-neutral/inclusive.
In 2019, the University of New Caledonia set up an exhibition on gender-based violence. Called “Project Crocodile”, it was based on cartoon drawings of situations encountered by young women. It also made and disseminated a film of visitors’ reactions that was widely disseminated, mobilised in a further event, and used for training. The objective was to have the issue widely debated and to improve the worrying gender-based situation locally.
In 2019, the Fraunhofer Society created the stimulus “BestChance” to raise awareness of gender equality measures that can be implemented in research organisations. Employees of the different institutes of the Fraunhofer Society can nominate and propose measures, teams, or a specific project or person in their institutes, and the winners receive EUR 3,000 prize money. BestChance increases the visibility of effective measures, rewards outstanding commitment to gender equality, and encourages imitation.
In 2016, Leiden University took the initiative for a National Dialogue Network of Diversity Officers. The main goal is to create a platform of knowledge and experience related to the development and implementation of policies on diversity. In addition, the network can serve in an advising, agenda-setting and strategic function in the development of policies at national level. Almost all Dutch universities are represented.
LIST leads the project “Gender-aware education and teaching” (Gender4STEM), which is a co-funded Erasmus+ project. Launched in 2017, it partners with six experts in gender, technological and learning issues: Consulio (Croatia), VHTO (Netherlands), SMART VENICE (Italy), FUNDATIA PROFESSIONAL (Romania) and Women in Digital and LIST (Luxembourg). Gender$STEM seeks to spark greater interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines among girls by supporting teachers to step-up their gender-fair teaching practices.