Why is gender equality important for research and innovation (R & I)? Why do I need to develop and implement a gender equality plan (GEP) in my organisation? If you want to find out more about the reasons for promoting gender equality and its potential benefits, read the relevant parts of this section of the gender equality in academia and research (GEAR) tool.


    National contexts are important framework conditions for developing and implementing gender equality plans (GEPs). Strong legal and policy frameworks can support or even require GEP establishment and predefine which objectives and measures should be implemented. Be aware that national requirements might be different to those of Horizon Europe. Read more Furthermore, other policies and initiatives to promote gender equality in the field of research and innovation (R & I) might be helpful when starting a GEP.

  • 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.

  • European Institute for Gender Equality’s terms and definitions

    The definitions below provide a short overview of relevant terms in connection with gender equality plans (GEPs). If not stated otherwise, they are taken from the glossary and thesaurus of the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), which is a terminology tool focusing on the area of gender equality. If you cannot find the term you are looking for in this section, please consult the EIGE glossary and thesaurus.

  • Which stakeholders to involve and how?

    Main section Videos and webinars Tools and resources As a matter of principle, you should mobilise all stakeholders of your organisation in developing and implementing a gender equality plan (GEP). Their involvement, which can be direct or indirect (depending on the stakeholder profile), will create a sense of belonging that will help overcome challenges and resistance throughout the process. In this way, your GEP will represent the diverse needs of and situations in the different areas of your organisation (e.g.

  • About the gender equality in academia and research tool

    The Horizon Europe gender equality plan (GEP) eligibility criterion has put GEPs at the top of the agenda of organisations in the research and innovation (R & I) sector. There is a growing demand for guidance on how to develop and implement a GEP in accordance with this eligibility criterion and how to achieve sustainable structural and cultural change. The gender equality in academia and research (GEAR) tool has provided guidance and advice on gender equality work in R & I since 2015.

  • Horizon Europe gender equality plan eligibility criterion

    Main section Videos and webinars Tools and resources With the launch of Horizon Europe – the key funding programme for research and innovation (R & I) – in 2021, a new eligibility criterion was introduced to strengthen gender equality as a cross-cutting priority: organisations applying for Horizon Europe funds are required to have a gender equality plan (GEP) in place.

  • European Union objectives for gender equality in research and innovation

    Main section Videos and webinars Tools and resources Gender equality is a core value of the EU. In 2019, the EU’s Gender Equality Index score was 67 points out of 100 (European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), 2020). This clearly shows that gender equality has still not been achieved and that considerable efforts are necessary to make progress towards full gender equality.

  • Rationale for gender equality change in research and higher education institutions

    Main section Videos and webinars Tools and resources Setting up and implementing a gender equality plan (GEP) requires strong arguments about the benefits of working towards gender equality in research and innovation (R & I). These supporting arguments are of different nature and outreach. They can be combined in different ways to build the case for gender equality within your organisation, and to reach different categories of stakeholders.

  • Success factors for gender equality plan development and implementation

    Main Section Videos & Webinars Tools & Resources A number of elements can be pointed out as supporting gender equality work in research organisations and research funding bodies. These are success factors for effective and sustainable change. When these success factors are present in an organisation, the efforts towards gender equality are more likely to succeed. Promote gender equality plan support and collaboration within and outside the organisation Almost every organisational endeavour is more likely to succeed if it is a collective effort.

  • Work-life balance and organisational culture

    Main Section Videos & Webinars Tools & Resources A key component of the transformation of an organisation’s culture for advancing gender equality is work–life balance. Work–life balance is relevant for all members of staff and involves ensuring that everybody is properly supported to advance their career alongside personal responsibilities that they may hold outside the workplace, including caring responsibilities. It is important to highlight that the whole institution benefits from a more open and respectful organisational culture, and that it is not ‘a women’s issue’.

  • Gender balance in leadership and decision making

    Main Section Videos & Webinars Tools & Resources Efforts to promote gender balance in leadership and decision-making have been undertaken in numerous countries. However, despite the policies and measures taken, data shows that women remain under-represented in academic and administrative leadership and decision-making positions in universities and research institutions across Europe. For example, according to She Figures 2021 observed that only 14 % of rectors in 46 countries with European University Association members were women in 2019.