2nd Multisectoral Conference – The impact of gender equality plans on internal and external stakeholders: Lessons in engagement from the R&I PEERS project

20th April 2021, from 9.30 to 2pm (CEST) on the Zoom platform

The purpose of this conference is to disseminate the results and contribution of the R&I Peers project to advance the gender equality in research and innovation in EU. The conference’s topic will dig into what is the real impact of the GEP implementation, being internal and external to the GEP implementing organisation.

The following topics will be discussed:

  • The impact of the GEP implementation on internal stakeholders
  • Gender Equality Plan in engaging external local, regional and national stakeholders
  • Most successful actions in the GEP implementation

The R&I Peers invites to the conference science and innovation leaders, decision makers, researchers and practitioners ready to collaborate, share and learn on gender equality in R&I.

To register please follow this link.  

UNISA’s success in the Women’s history and gender studies course

The course Women’s History and Gender Studies, promoted by the Department of Humanities, responds to UNISA’s GEP key area ‘Integrating gender perspective in research and curricula’. In the academic year 2020-21, the course has registered an increase in enrolled students, passing from 20 of the previous years to 56 of this year. Moreover, the organising committee received numerous requests from people outside the academic world, who asked to take part as listeners. They work in the most disparate sectors, from the engineering to social sciences, others coming from anti-violence centres and some others working in schools and enterprises. The increase in attendees is mostly due to a dissemination campaign started a year and a half ago, that involved students’ associations, social pages (Facebook and Twitter) and flyers, both printed and virtual.

The course hosts several seminars and workshops with the aim to encourage a lively debate on different issues, from history to linguistic, from sociology to politics, from engineering to law. Exploring gender with the tools of different disciplines, Women’s History and Gender Studies strives to help students to learn how to use gender as a category of analysis, but also reflect on the manifestation of gender in their own lives, leading to a range of personal and intellectual discoveries. The course thus affords students the opportunity to study the history of women and of gender around the world and add depth and perspective to the curricula of all graduate students, regardless of their main fields of study.

The students have been asked to respond to a questionnaire, completely anonymous, concerning their perception of gender-related issues, what they know about and what they would like to learn more about. At the end of the course, a second questionnaire will be distributed, and in this case, it will be shaped as a satisfaction survey. For the next academic year, a new dissemination campaign is expected that will last longer and will include, in addition to social media, a sort of “word of mouth” among students.

Women’s History and Gender Studies is a free choice course for all university degree programs.

Main topics:

  • Masculine and feminine identities are socio-cultural construction
  • Relationship between sexes
  • LGBT+ literatures
  • Gender-based violence
  • Equal opportunities and social inclusion
  • The body in the legal discourse
  • Diversity opportunity

Why then choose Women’s History and Gender Studies?

  • Because it conveys the ability to understand the issues of integration, equal opportunities and social inclusion, as fundamental values ​​for the future of society.
  • Because it makes students aware that men and women’s identities are complex social, cultural and political constructions and that such constructions vary according to historical and geographical contexts.

MIGAL’s female researcher Dr. Dorit Avni, awarded 7.5 million grant for ground-breaking research into inflammatory bowel disease

Dr. Dorit Avni was only one of the MIGAL’s female researchers who participated in the Researchers Course “Champions” for the advancement of women researchers. A course that MIGAL, Galilee Research Institute (MIGAL) a regional mega-R&D centre supported by Israel’s Ministry of Science and Technology, launched in 2019 for improving gender equality in research, thanks to the Gender Equality Plan developed in the framework of the R&I Peers project. The course had the objective to promote women’s participation in international and competitive research projects, in leading scientific journals, and participate in economic and research decision-making. The course tacked aspects like, empowering self-confidence, improving presentation capabilities and the ability to write competitive research proposal.

Dr. Dorit Avni from the MIGAL Galilee Research Institute receives the prestigious Horizon 2020 R&D grant.
(photo credit: MIGAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE)
Dr. Dorit Avni from the MIGAL Galilee Research Institute receives the prestigious Horizon 2020 R&D grant, February 7, 2021. (photo credit: MIGAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE)

As a result, Dr. Dorit Avni,the group leader of MIGAL’s Bioactive Metabolites and Immune Modulation Laboratory, initiated, led and coordinated ALGEA4IBD, a project, that has been now awarded the prestigious European Union HORIZON 2020 R&D grant in the amount of EUR 7.5 million.

Shai-Lee Spigelman, Science and Technology Ministry Director-General complimented her and her team by saying “This award is an impressive achievement that few achieve, with international recognition confirming the importance of this innovative project aimed at transforming algae into sorely needed treatments for inflammatory related diseases.”

For more details see the article published in Yahoo Finance or The Jerusalem Post.

R&I PEERS Contributes to Gender Equality in CEE Conference

Tanja Petrović, R&I PEERS team member representing partner ZRC SAZU, joined the 12-13 November 2020 international conference entitled “Gender equality in CEE countries: Policies and practices 2020; Institutional change through implementation of GEPs at RPOs and RFOs in CEE countries.” The aim of the event was to bring together promoters and implementers of Gender Equality Plans (GEPs) developed in the framework of Horizon 2020 projects, along with researchers who are exploring gender issues in science in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). The conference was organized by the Lithuanian Social Research Centre (LSRC) and Vilnius University, and sponsored by the Research Council of Lithuania.

Tanja Petrovič of ZRC SAZU, R&I PEERS Project Partner

On the first day of the event, Petrović presented the R&I PEERS project and the process of GEP design and implementation at ZRC SAZU. On the second day, she participated in a panel on “Removing barriers to the recruitment, retention and career progression of women researchers,” and discussed the ways in which the GEP adopted at ZRC SAZU addresses female researchers’ careers, excellence and prospect for career advancement. In particular, Petrović emphasized mentoring, work-life balance, and construction of excellence as three important domains that shape female researchers’ careers and define their possibilities in academia. These domains are covered in a series of strategies and actions detailed in ZRC SAZU’s GEP. Petrovič also addressed the ways these strategies have been adjusted in the monitoring phase of GEP implementation in order to better respond to researchers’ actual needs.

Practical Tips for Tackling Sexism in Media and Public Discourse

The Hellenic General Secretariat for Family Policy and Gender Equality recently published two Practical Guides respectively targeting media professionals and journalists, and women politicians and candidates for public office, in order to tackle sexism in media and public discourse.

These guides include practical tips and communication techniques to help women in the public sphere respond to, and even prevent, sexism and stereotype-driven behavior. The guides contain general information and statistics on the position of women in public discourse and their empowerment needs. They outline concepts, provide a conceptual framework within which sexism may operate, and provide case studies and examples that can be used by anyone interested in tackling stereotypes and sexist behavior in public debates. 

Tips for Tackling Sexism in Media: 

Journalists can constructively contribute to decreasing sexism and stereotyping behavior in media in the following ways:

  1. When we cover a story as journalists, we make women ‘visible,’ even when they do not shout. 
  2. We change the narrative – Tip 1: The story that suggests women are weak and at the mercy of their emotions, and men are logical and strong, as well as women’s saviours, is a problematic narrative. We include in our reporting men who show sentiment and kindness, and women who need no saviour. 
  3. We change the narrative – Tip 2: As journalists, we do not abide by stereotypes that suggest that showing sentiment is the proof of weakness, nor that cold logic is always a show of strength, intellectual or otherwise. Remember there are fine lines, for example cruelty is not strength. 
  4. In harassment and femicide stories, we analyse what happened, offering a three-fold, deep analysis. We do not stigmatise the victim. 
  5. We find allies against sexism—colleagues, representatives of institutions, organizations—and we form a community with them.
  6. We give a priority to anti-sexist education of children, eg. games and toys are not forbidden or required play for children of a specific gender. 
  7. We use inclusive language.                                                
  8. We look for women experts who can contribute to our reporting.

Tips for Tackling Sexism in Public Discourse: 

A woman politician or candidate for public office, or any woman exposed to public discourse, may consider the following guidelines when they become the subject of sexist or stereotyping behavior: 

  1. Assess the situation calmly and practice a confrontational and dissuasive reaction. 
  2. Speak openly and state when you are being interrupted, including when someone “protects” you, thus implying that you are unable to manage the conversation yourself.
  3. Use arguments when you are accused of using your feelings.
  4. Correctly state your status when someone refers to you with a diminutive.
  5. Immediately flag any comment made because of your gender.
  6. If you receive a comment because of gender, disapprove of your interlocutor and ask for an explanation.
  7. Be vocal if you feel that what you are saying is not heard.
  8. Answer calmly if the comments are about your gender.
  9. Be prepared and ready to react.
  10. Speak through your own experiences.
  11. Reverse stereotypes, and if possible, generalize. 
  12. Bring the issue of gender to the fore.

The guides were elaborated in the framework of the project “Capacity building for women candidates and media stakeholders in public debates in Greece” (“GENDER_PUBLIC DEBATE”) implemented by the Centre for European Constitutional Law (coordinator), in collaboration with the National and Kapodistrian University Athens Department of Communication & Media Studies, and the General Secretariat for Family Policy and Gender Equality, with co-funding from the “Rights, Equality and Citizenship” Program (REC) of the European Union, 2014-2020.

Links to additional content:

Heidemarie Uhl Receives 2020 ZRC SAZU Member of Honour Award

Dr Heidemarie Uhl Receives ZRC SAZU Member of Honour Award 2020

One of the target areas of the ZRC SAZU’s Gender Equality Plan (GEP) focuses on practices to promote of female researchers’ results and achievements. Analysis of existing promotion practices at ZRC SAZU conducted in the GEP preparatory phase revealed that senior male researchers’ results are promoted more frequently than those of female researchers.

The disparity is particularly visible when it comes to awards. The analysis of award honoring practices, focusing on the past twenty years, was based on the data on winners and nominees for ZRC SAZU awards: The ZRC SAZU Gold Award, the ZRC SAZU Silver Award, the ZRC SAZU Researcher of Merit, and the ZRC SAZU Member of Honour. Currently, more female researchers than male researchers are employed at ZRC SAZU, but the data show that the majority of awards was received by male researchers, who lead in all categories. Specifically, 18 men and 9 women received the Gold Award, and 10 men and 5 women received the Silver Award. In the investigated period, not a single woman became an ZRC SAZU Member of Honour. The Member of Honour award is given to top researchers who make an important contribution to the establishment of the ZRC SAZU at home and abroad.

This trend, however, was reversed in 2020, when the ZRC SAZU Member of Honour Award was bestowed upon Dr. Heidemarie Uhl, a senior researcher at the Institute of Culture Studies and Theater History at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, and lecturer at the universities of Vienna and Graz. In her research, Dr. Uhl focuses on constructions of identity in 19th and 20th Century Central Europe, on National Socialism and the Holocaust in Austria, and on selected episodes of 19th and 20th century European cultural history.

The Road to UNISA’S First Gender Equality Plan

In June 2020, Maria Rosaria Pelizzari from University of Salerno (UNISA) in southern Italy, published a paper on the implementation of UNISA’s first Gender Equality Plan (GEP) entitled “The R&I PEERS project at the University of Salerno: Implementation of GEPs in Research Organisations.” The article is part of a report on proceedings from the conferenceDiversity Management: Challenges and new frontiers for research organisations,” available here (pages 197 to 210). 

“No Space for Violence” – Image from Paper by Maria Rosaria Pelizzari on UNISA’s GEP Implementation

Pelizzari’s paper aims to retrace the road that has led the Observatory for Gender Studies and Equal Opportunities (OGEPO) to achieve significant goals toward its engagement to shape and launch UNISA’S first Gender Equality Plan, the first of the seven GEPs planned within the H2020 R&I PEERS project.

Broaden Your Horizons with a Master in Diversity from the University of Salerno

The Master in Leadership, Gender Equality, Diversity Opportunities (LeGenDO) represents an important outcome in the extensive research, programmes, and activities developed within the Horizon Project 2020, R&I Peers , at the University of Salerno (Italy). This outstanding University, recognised as one of the most influential Italian institutions in terms of both research activity and teaching programs is also leader of a consortium of ten European partners of the R&I Peers Project. The Master project, approved by the Department of Human Studies (Dipsum), is one of the main actions of the Gender Equality Plan (GEP) within the domain “Gender Perspective in Teaching and Research”. The program aims at bridging the gap between business-focused and values-based, humanistic leadership skills.

Designed specifically for graduated who intend to boost their career opportunities in Gender Equality and Diversity Opportunity areas, this twelve month program also provides an excellent opportunity for professionals who want to harness and develop the right skills that add value to a business, whilst embarking on a leadership development journey.

On completion of this programme, you’ll be empowered to:

– Create a personal project work, starting from its development plan, including the aims, objectives, and resources needed for the implementation, to the impact evaluation phase.

– Critically examine and recognise the leadership potential, under a perspective of Inclusiveness, Gender Equality, and Diversity Opportunities, together with its outcomes in political, economic, and social terms.

– Understand how to respond to culture and gender assumptions and stereotypes, including LGBT, to overcome the binary category of gender and adopting gender fair strategies to combat sexist and discriminating hate speech on both traditional and online media.  

– Evaluate and experiment a range of methods and resources to develop and implement GEPs in Diversity Management and Gender Equality subjects.

– Join a global network of local and international companies and associations to broaden the impact and influence of your own project.

Important: Due to the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the starting date of the Master’s degree courses may be postponed to the academic year 2021-2022.

CIC NanoGUNE conducting trainings for directors on sexual harassment

The R&I partner CIC NanoGUNE has held two trainings for directors on the topic of sexual harassment during summer 2020. The main aim of the trainings was to raise awareness about the sexual harassment. Different forms of violence against women (and gender-based violence) was discussed, trying to reflect upon what would be sexual harassment (although not everyone understood them the same way), with specific examples of other companies. Law and recent changes in this field were also discussed. The methodology and contents of the trainings can be summarized as follows:

1.       Basic aspects about the theory of gender

2.       Ways of sexist’s violence

3.       Sexual harassment and owing sex: definitions, types, consequences for the victim and at work

4.    The legislation about sexual harassment and owing sex

5.      Sexual harassment protocols as prevention of labour risks and as part of an egalitarian culture: characteristics, functions and procedures

New Greek Law on Gender Balance in Management Boards

On 17-7-2020 a new law on corporate management was published at the Government Gazette (Law 4706/2020, Nr of the Gazette 136/A/17-7-2020). Special provision has been taken in favour of women’s participation in economic decision making. More specifically:

On article 3 it is clearly stated that the composition of the management board of all companies registered at the Athens Stock Exchange must take the issue of gender balance into consideration through the adoption of 25% for the under-represented sex.

So, Greece is included among the EU Member States which follow the path of the positive measure of quota aiming at the increase of female participation in economic decision making. It has to be underlined that during the recent Hellenic Presidency of the Council of the European Union (January-June 2014), our governmental organization in charge of equality between women and men promoted the European Commission’s Directive Proposal on gender balance in the composition of management boards despite the strong opposition by a minority of Member States.