Defining a point of balance between the challenges of the GE transformative change and the capability of RPOs to absorb, accept, and support it is an important step towards a successful GEPGB.

Each organisation has a different capability of absorbing innovation and changes due to its history, context, capability, and collective openness of mind, and it should always be kept in mind that GEPGB, like any other kind of transformative change in organisations, has to overcome the collective inertia and resistance to change. For this reason, the team in charge of designing and implementing GEPGB should constantly seek to learn something from adverse reactions observed in the process.

On the one hand, designing a GEPGB that is not ambitious enough may lead to poor achievements, and the opportunity to promote GE and transformative change may be missed. If there are no reactions to it, there may not be any significant change in the RPO. On the other hand, designing a GEPGB, which is too ambitious for the capabilities and speed of change of a specific RPO, might result in a complete rejection of it or turn it into a formal achievement with poor results and without a significant implementation. If the adverse reactions are overwhelming, it is too early for an RPO to absorb such a level of change, which might take longer.

Therefore, finding a good balance between these two extremes thanks to a good, reasonable and truthful analysis of the status quo may help to adjust GEPGB targets and ensure the development of a successful GEPGB.

This is why much attention should be paid to the baseline study to get a better understanding of RPOs’ organisation in general, but especially of any already existing institutionalised GE and GB policies or practices.

The template developed by RWTH AACHEN University can be used as an example and is included in LeTSGEPs Handbook. It is structured in three different parts:

1) Information on the national context and the overall institutional information related to GE and GB

2) Institutional statistical data, e.g., for different staff grades, students (if applicable), composition of decision-making bodies etc.

3) Questions made to GEP Working Group (WG) individual members and teams to accompany the implementation process and share the GEPGB objectives and vision.

For example, at Cergy Paris Université (CY) the analysis started with the gendered data collection (some were already publicly available in the “bilan social” – social audit) and discussions with the staff in charge of data collection. The second round of analysis was more qualitative. It included discussions with the human resources director to acquire an in-depth knowledge of the policies available regarding maternity leave, sick leave, remote working, etc. Interviews with the legal service revealed the rules and procedures to be followed when facing sexual violence, discrimination and harassment.

For further details download LeTSGEPs Handbook available in open access here in English and in the national languages of LeTSGEPs partners (Albanian, French, German, Italian, Serbian, Spanish). There is also a version in English for people with visual impairments, so that nobody is left behind.