Across research institutions, gender imbalances still exist and are widely tolerated: few of the top positions in academia are occupied by women, and women still experience slow career progression. To tackle these issues, it’s important to define concrete objectives and employ measures on an individual, cultural and structural level.
Structural changes in particular ensure lasting and sustainable effects. A powerful tool for this kind of change are Gender Equality Plans (GEPs), that can play a key role in achieving gender equality in higher education and research organizations.
What are Gender Equality Plans?
Gender Equality Plans are plans that include gender as a key criteria or variable, as a way to integrate a gender dimension into policy. These plans can serve as a monitoring tool for Gender Equality.
However, Gender Equality Plans cannot reach their full potential without the use of Gender Budgeting (GB): gender-based assessment of budgets, that incorporate a gender perspective at all levels of the budgetary process in order to promote gender equality. Budgets reflect real policy committments, and ensure the sustainability of measures.
What is LeTSGEPs?
LeTSGEPs (Leading Towards Sustainable Gender Equality Plans in research institutions) will support the design and implementation of Gender Equality Plans and Gender Budgeting in six different institutions and their countries.
To design actions that will address gender bias in research performing organizations (RPOs), the project will form a network of partners with different levels of experience in Gender Equality Plans and Gender Budgeting: they will work together to design a common methodology to implement GEPs in their environment.
The local staff will be actively involved, so to learn how to design GEPs tailored to specific issues, and how to implement GB. Each institution will be guided by a Mentor, a professional expert in Gender Equality Plans and Gender Budgeting that will support the local staff in every step of the project and ensure implementation consistency.
The implementation of these tailored plans will be continuously monitored and adjusted, to work towards the most effective measures for systemic change within the institution.
The project is coordinated by Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia (UNIMORE), a leading Italian university with established experience in Gender Budgeting; RWTH Aachen University is in charge of monitoring and evaluating the project.
Within LeTSGEPs, the partners will follow the Gender Equality in Academia and Research GEAR tool, developed by the European Institute for Gender Equality (2016), and will work with the support of a highly qualified Scientific Advisory Board.