Gender Equality Plan Case Study: University of Salerno

The Gender Equality Plan (GEP) of the University of Salerno–elaborated in the framework of R&I PEERS project, and approved by the Academic Senate and Board of Directors–is a comprehensive document offering a clear and focused strategy on gender equality for a university made up of more than 40.000 people.  It is organised around six target areas whose achievement will be monitored through selected indicators:

  • Gender Perspective in Research and Curricula;
  • Improving use of gender-sensitive language;
  • Work-life balance;
  • Raising awareness of gender equality in UNISA;
  • Mentoring;
  • Reducing gender gap in decision-making bodies.

The GEP intends to carry on the legacy of OGEPO (Interdepartmental Observatory for the Gender studies and Equal Opportunities) and the CUG (Unique guarantee committee for well-being in the workplace) that since 2011 are committed to the achievement of equality between women and men and well-being for all.  Indeed, some of the GEP’s activities aim at reinforcing the already existing actions such as:

  • Courses on gender studies/gender equality;
  • Training on gender equality and diversity management for University administrative staff;
  • Initiatives on gender-based violence phenomenon;
  • Gender budgeting;
  • Nursery and summer camp for students and workers’ children.

The GEP’s activities aim at going one step further in order to define a broader strategy including a special attention to the STEM field. Among the envisaged actions, we can mentioned

  • Introduction of an interdisciplinary teaching on gender equality and diversity management in all PhD courses;
  • Mentoring sessions for female PhD students, research fellows and researchers;
  • Supporting activities for financing fellowships on gender equality.

In addition, a reach programme of international conferences and workshops has been included in the GEP in order to develop a lively debate among experts around some key issues concerning women and men in research (i.e. women in STEM; gender bias in decision-making bodies; feminine leadership; gender-sensitive language), and establish scientific partnerships between the University of Salerno and European research organisations on the matter.

Integrating the Gender Dimension in Research

At the second progress meeting for the R&I PEERS project, held in Athens on 4 April 2019, consortium members organised a workshop on “how to integrate the gender dimension into research content.”  The aim of this training was to provide consortium partners with knowledge on how to integrate the gender perspective in research in a way that does not deal with the topic of “gender” as a specific research objective.

The workshop was built around the Toolkit for Integrating Gender-Sensitive Approach into Research and Teaching developed as part of the GARCIA project, and was convened by Dr. Jovana Mihajlović Trbovc, one of the Toolkit authors hailing from R&I PEERS project partner ZRC SAZU.

The aim of the Toolkit itself is to help researchers and teaching staff understand the relevance of gender to scientific inquiry by addressing questions to their past and future research/teaching trajectories.  Using the Toolkit, then, the focus of the workshop was to:

  • Raise awareness about the value of integrating the gender dimension in research;
  • Examine how the gender perspective could lead open new opportunities research inquiry; and
  • Promote more socially responsible and sensitive scientific inquiry.

Starting from the premise that there are no ready-made solutions, the workshop participants were asked to describe a project that does not have gender component so the group could practice gender-sensitive approach from scratch.  In this way, the workshop was structured as a thought exercise in which the convenor facilitated discussions on how a gender-sensitive approach could be applied on concrete project questions, methodologies, and results.

Workshop participants were evenly divided between those familiar with gender studies concepts and those from disciplines where exposure to such concepts is rare.  This encouraged lively debate where, through exchange of knowledge between the groups, a notable achievement was an increase in understanding around the concepts of ‘gender’ and ‘intersectionality’.

Wrap-up: R-I PEERS First Multisectoral Conference

The First Multisectoral Conference of the R&I PEERS project took place in Athens on 3 April 2019, and was attended by approximately sixty participants, including Ms Maria Theleriti, Member of Greek Parliament, who also represented Mr Nikos Voutsis, President of the Greek Parliament.  The Conference was opened by Ms Marina Chrysoveloni, Greek Deputy Minister of the Interior in charge of Gender Equality and representative of Mr Alexis Charitsis, Greek Minister of the Interior, followed by introductory remarks from Ms Maria Rosaria Pelizzari of UNISA, R&I PEERS Project Coordinator.

Two project partner organizations, the General Secretariat for Gender Equality (Greece), and Agence Nationale de la Promotion de la Recherche scientifique (Tunisia), then presented their Gender Equality Plans, followed by  a speech from CIC nanoGune (Spain) on the subject of “gender equality in research and innovation in Spain,” and the situation at CIC nanoGune specifically.

A representative of Consiglio Nazionale delle Richerche (Italy) then discussed the importance of using correct indicators for Gender Equality Plans and the methodology employed for identifying these indicators.  Ms Marta Artilles Viera, EC representative,  then made a remote presentation outlining ERA guidelines and Project Objectives for the R&I PEERS project.

The conference also showcased two ongoing “sister” Gender Equality projects in Research and Innovation, also funded by Horizon 2020, that promote Gender Equality Plan implementation.  Greek representatives of these projects, the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) and the National Documentation Center (Greece), presented the project objectives and results achieved so far within the two discussed projects, noted below:

  1. TARGET Project:   SUPPORTING Gender Equality Innovating Institutions in the Mediterranean;  and
  2. The GenderAction Project:   Gender equality in the ERA Community

Ensuing debate highlighted the need for networking among partners at national level and incentives to strengthen the diffusion of gender in research, including toward operation of research organizations.

Representatives of Galilee Research Institute (Israel) and Digital Leadership Institute (Belgium) subsequently spoke about the importance of an online platform for maximizing the impact of the project.  And finally, a representative of the Neuroscience and Technology Institute (Cyprus) presented the Structured Democratic Dialogue methodology and explained its importance for participatory decision-making.

 

Welcome to the First R&I PEERS Newsletter

We are thrilled to announce publication of the first R&I PEERS project newsletter for Winter 2019.  This issue contains the following articles:

  • Letter from the R&I PEERS Project Coordinator
  • Analysis of the “variables that may affect gender issues in research”
  • Results of the 7 November 2018 Mutual Learning Workshop in Rome

To access R&I PEERS Newsletter Edition 1, please follow the below links:

Feel free to subscribe to future editions of the R&I PEERS Newsletter here: http://bit.ly/ripeersnews

For more information about the newsletter or to share news with the R&I PEERS project, please contact the project coordinator.

Letter from the Coordinator

With great pleasure, we introduce you to the first series of articles from the R&I PEERS project.

The goal of the R&I PEERS project is to create and validate pilot experiences that disrupt gender-biased approaches and unconscious rules which limit careers for women and their participation in Research and Innovation.
These articles comes at a crucial stage for the project, as results from the first months of work are emerging, while the ground is being laid for the next stage of the project, which will see the implementation and improvement of GEPs, in the seven (7) pilot organisation involved in the project, leading up the validation of the strategies proposed by R&I PEERS advisory board and other stakeholders.

Among these articles, you will have the opportunity to read about the results of the analysis made in the pilot organisations to obtain information on the framework variables (cultural, legislative, political, economic) which may affect the gender issues in research. This article provides an insight into the principles inspiring the GEPs definition, highlighting the importance of setting the proposal emerging into a relevant institutional environment.

The results of the first Mutual Learning workshop, held in Rome (Italy) on 7 November are detailed in the article “Mutual Learning Workshop in Rome”. This workshop has brought together fifteen (15) experts from the gender equality field representing universities, governmental and scientific bodies as well as enterprises to discuss the existing practices in the gender equality sphere. This first project workshop has been appreciated by all attendees and we consider it a successful experience!

To conclude, I would like to highlight that this first article come on the heels of the international week for the Elimination of Violence against Women, celebrated  19-25 November. The aim of that international initiative is to emphasise the importance of the respect to the woman that we consider, as R&I PEERS consortium, a key point to promote a concept of gender equality that can best be expressed as “women and men enjoy the same status and have equal opportunity to realize their full human potential to contribute to political, economic, social and cultural development, and to benefit fully from the results”.

I hope these articles will stimulate your interest in R&I PEERS!

Now let’s get started!

Maria Rosaria Pelizzari
R&I PEERS project coordinator

Mutual Learning Workshop in Rome

On 7 November 2018, the first Mutual Learning Workshop of the R&I PEERS project, entitled “Towards the identification of best practices in the Gender Equality Arena within an organisation,” was organised in Rome in collaboration between the R&I PEERS partners Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR), Cyprus Neuroscience & Technology Institute (CNTI), and CIC nanoGUNE.

The workshop, which was realised using the participatory methodology of the Structured Democratic Dialogue (SDD), brought together fifteen (15) experts from the gender equality field representing universities, governmental and scientific bodies as well as enterprises to discuss the existing practices in the gender equality sphere which can be utilised for the development and implementation of Gender Equality Plans (GEPs) by the R&I PEERS consortium.

  • The main conclusions of the workshop were the following:
  • Necessity to exploit the already collected administrative data which must be updated on an annual base in order to have a comprehensive recording of the institutional situation in terms of the different areas of the Gender Equality Plan (GEP) implementation as well as allow the GEP team to promptly propose additional measures to reflect to the new situation;
  • Introduction of basic gender curricula in STEM in academic institutions;
  • Research evaluation committees in recruitment procedures should be composed by both male and female evaluators in order to avoid unconscious barriers related to the gender of the candidates;
  • Gender Equality should not be treated as an issue concerning only women but also men and for this reason, steps towards the active engagement of men in Gender Equality Committees is pivotal.

The results of the workshop will feed the second Mutual Learning Workshop which is scheduled to take place on November 2019 in Slovenia.

Figure 1 Map of influences for the Rome Mutual Learning Workshop

Main Drivers for GEP Implementation – An Overview

The activities performed in the R&I PEERS project’s Work Package 3 aimed at defining main drivers for Gender Equality Plans (GEPs) to be implemented in each of the seven piloting partner organisations. The work has been completed as a three-step process, as presented in the graph above.

First, targets preliminarily defined for each GEP were aligned with national (cultural, legislative, political, economic) contexts of each piloting organisation. The analysis performed has shown that, despite significant differences among piloting partner organisations (in nature of their work, status, size), there is a notable convergence in GEP target areas defined. The graph bellow shows seven main target areas that are shared by most of the piloting partners.

Most of the GEP target areas result from detecting a gap – between what is prescribed by legislation and what exists in practice (as a consequence of unequal access, prevalent stereotypes, institutional cultures, etc.), between what countries commit to with regard to gender equality in policy documents and resolutions, and what they really do to fulfil their commitments.

In the second step, to improve preliminary GEPs, the survey has been conducted in all piloting partner organisations. This way, the employees’ perspectives have been considered in redefining GEP targets. For each GEP, the strategies have been proposed to either provide additional evidence for justification of planned measures, or to entail a sustainable structural change.

Finally, in the third step, the tools for collecting gender relevant data for both planning and monitoring the implementation of GEPs have been provided to the piloting partners. The first tool offers a framework to collect sex-disaggregated data from secondary sources, such as administrative databases and human resources information systems. The second tool proposes a translation of the 7 preidentified target areas into empirical measures, and links these measures to the indicators to assess their impact.

Through activities performed in the framework of WP3, R&I PEERS consortium has set the foundation for definition and successful implementation of GEPs in seven piloting partner organisations.

Tanja Petrović

Gender Equality Best Practices

Today, the R&I PEERS project released Deliverable 6.2 of the project, a report on gender equality best practices that aims at identifying best practices related to gender equality in research organisations, targeting all types of functions and stages of a research career, from starting to management and decision-level.

The review has  focused on practices functional to the R&I PEERS project, in order to be useful for the R&I PEERS piloting organisations to improve their organisational policies and adequate better their strategies for achieving gender balance.

The findings have been clustered and collected following the taxonomy of strategies and indicators identified in previous reports, D3.2 and D3.3, respectively. The present research has also been built around the concrete targets and preliminary priorities identified by our piloting partners, which were collected extensively in Deliverable 3.1 “Analysis of Country Guidelines”, and briefly compiled below:

  1. Work-life balance
  2. Mentoring
  3. Gender dimension in research and curricula
  4. Gender balance within the organisation (in committees, research teams, job offering and recruitment panels, decision-making bodies, high management teams)
  5. Gender sensitive language in organisation’s documents
  6. Female researchers’/staff career and excellence (and career progression)
  7. Raising awareness of gender equality within organisations

These seven preliminary priorities have been taken into full consideration in the selection and analysis of the existing practices and gender policies.

For more information about this and other R&I PEERS reports, please visit here or contact the R&I PEERS project coordinator.

Indicators for Monitoring GEPs

Today, the R&I PEERS project released Deliverable 3.3 of the project, a report that aims at “making operative” the activities undertaken in previous stages of the project. In particular, the report provides R&I PEERS piloting partners with two tools aimed at collecting gender relevant data for both planning and monitoring the implementation of their customised Gender Equality Plans (GEPs), i.e. their specific institutional targets and strategies. The two proposed tools are:

  1. The “Template for data Collection” which is a methodology for data collection; and
  2. The “R&I PEERS Fields of Actions and Indicators”, which are gender equality indicators and measures.

The definition of a sounding methodology, to design and implement GEPs based on evidences from institutional data, along with the adoption of a strong set of indicators, to monitor the implemented measures and their impacts, have been acknowledged by EIGE as crucial elements to ensure gender equality in academic and higher education organisations, as well as research performing and research funding organisations (EIGE, 2016A). As the piloting organisations taking part in the R&I PEERS project are of that nature, the methods and tools proposed in this report are aligned with those recommended by EIGE.

This report has been written as a tool to aid our piloting partners in their task of achieving the three main targets of ERA (European Research Area) stated in the EC’s document Guidance, i.e. facilitating the implementation of targets to promote gender equality in research and innovation. The overarching targets are: Equality in scientific careers, gender balance in decision-making bodies and positions, and gender dimension in research & innovation content. Based on these three overarching targets, the R&I project piloting partners have built a list of more concrete targets or preliminary priorities which have been outlined in Deliverable 3.1 “Analysis of Country Guidelines” and are also compiled below:

  1. Raising awareness of gender equality within organisations
  2. Gender dimension in research and curricula
  3. Gender balance (in committees, research teams, job recruitment panels, and career progression)
  4. Work-life balance
  5. Mentoring
  6. Gender sensitive language in organisation’s documents
  7. Female researchers’/staff career and excellence

These seven preliminary priorities have been taken into full consideration in the design of the two tools presented in this report and further introduced below.

Two tools for data collection

Methodology: “Template for data Collection”
The methodology proposed in this report, the “Template for data Collection”, is a framework to collect sex-disaggregated data from secondary sources, such as administrative databases and human resources department information systems, about the following “field of action” within our piloting organisations: Demographics, education and qualification, career path, work organisation and research outputs. For each “field of action” a number of variables are proposed along with descriptions, examples and relevant classifications.

This tool is intended to be used by our piloting organisations as a reference to measure the different dimensions of gender equality in their respective academic and higher education organisations, research performing organisations and research funding organisations. This tool has also been conceived as a baseline to develop GEPs. In particular the “Template for data Collection” serves to collect sex-disaggregated data for what EIGE defines the “Diagnosis Phase” or the characterisation of the current status regarding gender equality in the GEP development process within an organisation.

Indicators and measures: “R&I PEERS Fields of Actions and Indicators”
The “R&I PEERS Fields of Actions and Indicators” tool proposes a translation of the seven identified gender equality target areas (see list § 2.1) by piloting organisations into empirical measures, and link those to a subsequent list of indicators to state their impact.

Moreover, for each of the seven preidentified target areas, a number of specific dimensions are also defined. Those dimensions are, in turn, linked with the data collection methods suggested by the “Template for data collection” tool to harvest the relevant data within the organisation, and with a plausible list of indicators and measures to be implemented to make GEPs effective. To ease the reading and the use of the “R&I PEERS Fields of Actions and Indicators”, each target area is visualised in a diagram that also presents the corresponding dimensions and the relative indicators schematically (see § 7).

Further resources
Along with the two main tools described above, the report offers an outlook on the use of statistical indicators in the evaluation of policies for human resources in science and technology. In addition, a review of existing tools to target gender equality, most of which were produced in the framework of other EU-funded projects, is provided with direct links to relevant information in order to valorise the knowledge produced by those projects, exploit their results and facilitate and enrich the activities of the R&I PEERS Consortium.

Furthermore, to be further inspired and learn from others’ experiences, a number of concrete examples of measures already in place in EU academic and higher education organisations, RPOs and RFOs is also presented. Each experience is briefly described, and the relative web link is provided to facilitate obtaining further information and reference.

Finally, the report presents an additional resource section along with the reference of resources cited in the text.

For more information about this and other R&I PEERS reports, please visit here or contact the R&I PEERS project coordinator.

Strategies for Gender Equality

Today, the R&I PEERS project released Deliverable 3.2 of the project, a report that aims at proposing potential and concrete strategies and actions for the preliminary customised Gender Equality Plans’ target areas predefined by each piloting partners. The strategies are proposed after the following two studies:

  1. A critical analysis of the work carried out on deliverable D3.1 Analysis of Country Guidelines by each piloting organisation ; and
  2. The collection, analysis and integration of employees views, perceptions and needs, harvested through an anonymous online questionnaire at each piloting organisation.

The strategies and actions proposed should be considered carefully by piloting partners and assessed according to their feasibility and correspondence to the actual needs of their organisation members. 
Preliminary target areas defined in D3.1 for each piloting organisation were aligned with survey results in order to assess their relevance for employees. Most of preliminary target areas were found relevant by survey respondents in piloting organisations. Within these target areas, some specific measures were pointed out as highly relevant by survey responses. These specific measures or actions have been included into proposals of strategies for each partner. For several piloting partner organisations, the survey has shown that employees identified as relevant additional target areas that had not been considered in the preliminary definitions of GEPs for D3.1.

These target areas are added to the existing ones, and specific strategies have been proposed for each. 
This report proposes lists of strategies for each piloting organisation GEP, organised under GEP target areas. The proposed strategies are either survey oriented, aiming at providing additional evidence for justification of planned measures, or sustainability oriented, resulting in a sustainable structural change. Sustainability oriented strategies usually mobilise various stake-holders and result in competence development and improving status quo.

This report also brings suggestions for strategies for innovation actions to improve GEP implementation, as well as a list of references to existing tools, experiences from already completed projects and insights from different institutional and national contexts for all GEP target areas and accompanying strategies.

For more information about this and other R&I PEERS reports, please visit here or contact the R&I PEERS project coordinator.