Dear LeTSGEPs friends!
Here we are at last: holiday season is over, January has gone in the midst of flu, storms and snow, and we are in view of the incoming spring! Ok..ok..not exactly, some weeks are yet to come before warmer and brighter times, but, really, these days are for all of us the real start of the year.
What a better moment, then, to reflect on what happened in the LeTSGEPs family during 2022, and what we expect for 2023?
2022 was a great year for us from different points of view. After 2020, which was mainly the year of preparation and 2021, in which LeTSGEPs Partners designed their first GEPs (Gender Equality Plans) and implemented it, in 2022 we were all focused on releasing the second GEPs’ edition and on developing the second round of implementation.
The transformative process that LeTSGEPs was meant to trigger has definitely taken off, at last, and now we are all strongly committed to strengthening it as much as possible before the end of the project, so that it may remain permanently structured in the RPOs (Research Performing Organizations).
Since our last Newsletter, many things have happened, most of which we reported in our News section, but we are happy (and proud!) to sum them all up here.
GEPs…GEPs..and GEPs again!
During the first months of 2022, we were all very busy in completing the activities of the first implementation period, following the release of the first edition of GEPs. A very good occasion to practice GEPs measures, test the organizations, discover to what extent the Gender equality measures that we had imagined could be really and immediately developed and, on the other side, which rather needed more time to be accepted and fully adopted.
This was a great experience that taught a lot to all of us, and that was really precious for the second edition of our GEPs, all of them refined and re-designed with this new awareness. As a consequence the second implementation period started again, with an increased power to support transformative change in our RPOs due to the experience that we had achieved.
We supported the dissemination of these activities with a first video on GB (Gender Budgeting), a second one on GEPs and finally with 6 Video-Pills. We also shared on the web the most successful measures of our GEPs, one for each partner (here: CY, ICM, MISANU, MPG/MPIN, UNIME, UT), selected with the criteria pointed out in our Guidelines for the collection of Best Practices.
This cycle of GEPs design – Implementation – 2nd GEPs design – 2nd round of implementation, which in the end is the core of LeTSGEPs, was supported by numerous activities aimed at strengthening it as much as possible, both in terms of skills development and of stakeholders involvement.
Training…and learning..and studying..again and again!
In Spring 2022 we had a 2nd round of advanced training, which focused on GEPs/GB tools and best practices, also presented by external experts who really enriched the contents and the quality of our training. We also made available training materials with our slides translated in 7 languages, always to spread the knowledge of GEPs and GB in RPOs as widely as possible.
Since, in the end, we are all research institutes, we were also very much committed to developing research papers on our experience. In 2022, therefore, we presented 2 papers at the ICGR 2022, the first on “The Connection Between Gender Budgeting and Academic Housekeeping in RPOs”, the second on “Gender Differences in Burnout Syndrome and Perceptions of Gender Equality in RPOs”.
Stakeholders’ involvement? Yes! Wide, crowded and interested!
Stakeholders’ participation was reassured by an intense activity of online and in person meetings: every RPO organized both internal and national meetings, while at international level we organized three very successful stakeholders’ international workshops, on the “Improvement of women’s careers prospects and gender balance in decision-making bodies in Research Organisations”, on “Strategies, Negotiating and Sustainability for Gender Equality at RPOs” and, recently in January 2023, “Gender dimension in research content and increase in the quality and societal relevance of produced knowledge, technologies, and innovations“.
They proved to be not only very interesting but also really supporting in terms of “external” pressure and moral suasion to support Gender Equality in our RPOs.
Here we are, facing the 4th and last year of LeTSGEPs, in which we will have to push hard to achieve as much results as possible, fulfill the final project requirements, but, above all, to disseminate the projects’ results within our RPOs, first of all, so that they will be skilled and motivated enough to continue in the next years to implement the GEPs/GB process.
At the same time, we feel strongly committed to leave our heritage to the next RPOs who will commit themselves to new GEPs/GB initiatives, so that they can take up the baton from us, learn from mistakes and be inspired by successes.