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 conference “Diversity Management: Challenges and new frontiers for research organisations,” available here (pages 197 to 210).
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.
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
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 is one of the seven piloting organisations implementing a Gender Equality Plan (GEP) under the umbrella of the EU R&I PEERS project. NanoGUNE is a research performing organisation of medium size, employing approximately one hundred people, which focuses on nanoscience and nanotechnology. NanoGUNE launched its GEP in April 2019.
NanoGUNE is very committed to the implementation of its GEP. To strengthen the implementation of the GEP, aligned with execution of the R&I PEERS project, nanoGUNE carried out two key actions:
Establishment of a Gender Equality Committee (GEC)
Hiring of a consultant, Elhuyar Aholkularitza
With the aim of ensuring a credible, sustainable, realistic, and responsible GEP, nanoGUNE has consolidated a transparent, inclusive and participatory process together with its workforce. The main example was the exhaustive online questionnaire carried out between August and September 2018 which aimed at identifying the staff needs regarding eight key areas of action (Table 1).
In addition, three actions were recently carried out at nanoGUNE, in the area identified by the project as Conciliation, as highlighted in the questionnaire on addressing Work-Life Balance issues.
An agreement with a nearby childcare facility with discounts for nanoGUNE employees, and a special arrangement for attendees of conferences organised/co-organised by nanoGUNE in Donostia-San Sebastián
A campaign to organize meetings during core working hours of the institute, between 9am and 5pm
Promoting telework, where possible, depending on the position , if requested, and as required for addressing work-life balance issues
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;
Raising awareness of gender equality in UNISA;
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;
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.
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 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’.
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.
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:
TARGET Project: SUPPORTING Gender Equality Innovating Institutions in the Mediterranean; and
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.