The conference, held yesterday, 10th December, was organised within the context of LeTSGEPs by the Institut de Ciéncies del Mar (ICM-CSIC) in coordination with the CSIC Equality Committee and the CSIC Women and Science Committee, and brought together more than one hundred professionals from all the CSIC centres.

The first online meeting of the Equality Committees of the CSIC centres accomplished three objectives: to present the LeTSGEPs project to the CSIC community and inform about the processes that ICM is articulating to implement its Gender Equality Plan; to promote the creation of a Network of Equality Committees from the different CSIC centres as a space for the generation of knowledge, and the articulation and exchange of good practices around the Gender Equality Plans under the leadership of  CSIC’s Equality Committee; and finally to discuss possible mechanisms for articulating the CSIC Equality Plan with the centers’ specific Equality Plans.

The CSIC president, Rosa María Menéndez, opened the event. She said: “CSIC is firmly committed to achieving equality in all areas of its research, administrative and technical staff”. The president also stressed that the work of the CSIC Women and Science Committee, since it was created in 2002, “has been remarkable”  and led to the decrease of the glass ceiling index, as a measure of gender imbalances, from 2.33 to 1.35 at present.

Since 2013, after the first CSIC Equality Plan was approved followed by a second plan in 2015, an evaluation report has been made yearly according to Rosa María Menéndez. In 2018, CSIC also introduced the Gender Equality Accreditation Seal, which is now in its third edition. But “we must continue to work more and with more effort”, she concluded. 

The director of ICM, Josép Lluís Pelegrí, spoke about the work being carried out at the institute in the area of gender equality. The ICM has recently received the Severo Ochoa Excellence Award. He said: “ICM aspires to be a research center that encourages collaboration in all areas. A collaboration from and for equality, especially gender equality, cooperation that is enriched by complementarities and that accepts differences without imposing hierarchies”. 

María Pilar López Sancho (CSIC) presented the work of the CSIC Equality Committee, Beatriz Esteban (CSIC) described  the CSIC Equality Plan, and Francisca Puertas explained the work of the CSIC Women and Science Committee.  

Elena Torrecilla (ICM-CSIC) gave an overview of some of the projects on Gender Equality that are being carried out with European Union funds. Esther Garcés and Silvia Donoso (ICM-CSIC) presented the European project LeTSGEPs, and described how ICM understands the articulation of the centre’s Equality Plans with CSIC’s Equality Plan.  

The second part of the meeting was dedicated to interventions from representatives of the Equality Committees of the CSIC centres, such as Sara Soto (ICM-CSIC), Rosa Fernández (IBE-CSIC), Elena Gómez (IPBLN-CSIC), Cristina Carnerero (IDAEA-CSIC), Silvia Gallego (ICM-CSIC), Anna May (ICMAB-CSIC) and Josefa Masegosa (IAA).  

These invited speakers described their experience and involvement in gender equality initiatives, including in some cases the achievement of the CSIC Gender Equality Accreditation Seal. 

Finally, breakout discussions were promoted in smaller groups, with the aim of gathering input and consensus in different topics: creation of the Equality Committees of the different CSIC centres; creation of a Network of Committees; training and capacity building; institutional commitment and development of Equality Plans.