LeTSGEPs’ project aims at developing Gender Equality Plans of our RPOs within a Gender Budgeting perspective. A significant part of each partner’s activities consists therefore in implementing GEP measures, some of which may be defined “Best Practices” because of their innovative approach. Thanks to a scientific methodology developed by LeTSGEPs’ partner ICM, we selected a “Best Practice” measure for each of our six partners, and we are now very happy to share them with the RPO’s community.
In this post you find the presentation of the Best Practice N. 2 by our Partner MISANU (Mathematical Institute of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts – Serbia), you can find the other Best practices at these links: ICM, MPIN, CY, UNIME, UT.
Should anybody be interested in further details, please contact us: email@example.com
BEST PRACTICE TITLE: Support for a GENDER-BALANCED MANAGEMENT BOARD structure at MISANU
The Context and the Identiﬁed need(s)/ Inequalities addressed
MISANU Management Board is the main body of the Institute, responsible for all strategic and key decisions. According to the regulations, it consists of ﬁve members, two of them are selected by popular vote of all MISANU employees, two are delegated members of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SANU), and one member delegated from the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of Serbia. In the previous two terms, that lasted for four years each, MI SANU Managing Board did not have a female Board member, so it was an obvious place of gender imbalance in the institution.
Best Practice Description:
Change of governing structure at MISANU had to be done in accordance with three national laws. Some chapters and principles of one of the laws might contradict or challenge the principle of Gender Equality in Management Board in the sense that the MISANU representatives are chosen by the secret-ballot, or that the Department of Mathematics, Physics and Geosciences of SANU did not have a female member at the moment. The MISANU best practice adopted therefore an aﬃrmative attitude with devoted work on raising awareness on Gender Equality and its acceptance in practice at all levels.
As the governing structure of MISANU depends on SANU, where there is no female member in the Department of Mathematics, Physics and Geosciences, there were only two ways to secure proper representation of female colleagues in the Management Board.
The ﬁrst one was through internal procedure for the election of two members from the quota of the MISANU employees.
The second one was to point out to the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology the importance of taking care of Gender Equality when appointing their representative.
In the MISANU case, such changes required a lot of effort and engagement with both internal and external stakeholders. One of the most important tasks was also to motivate female MISANU researchers, who are already overloaded with various duties, to apply for the position in the MI SANU Management Board.
During 2020 and 2021, there were 2 meetings with the representatives of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, 2 meetings with the representatives of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, and 8 meetings with the decision-makers in the MISANU on the issue of representation of women in the Management Board and a mechanism to secure it. These activities collided with the internal and the national events organised by MISANU under the scope of LeTSGEPs project. Numerous informal one-to-one consultations were taken with MI SANU employees.
The first key result was the election of two female professors as the representatives of the employees to the Management Board.
At the moment of writing this post, the representative of the Ministry to Management Board has not been nominated yet, but MISANU has received positive signals from the Ministry that they will consider gender structure of a board of a government funded institution, before nominating their representative.
Strengths of the measure/action and key elements for success:
This best practice:
- is an institutional governance measure with clear and measurable objective and impact related to the endorsement of the management
- guarantees equal treatment and gender opportunities at MISANU
It is an example of how good practice and aﬃrmative and inclusive approach, coupled with dedicated work and persistence, produce signiﬁcant changes even in a quick period of time.