About Manuela Aru

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far Manuela Aru has created 34 blog entries.

Towards violence-free research organisations: interview with Anne Laure Humbert, UniSAFE project

Anne Laure Humbert, Oxford Brookes Business School, interviewed by Paola Carboni, University of Cagliari

Gender-based violence affects many organisations, with Universities and research organisations making no exception, but despite the scale of the issue, gender-based violence in research organisations is deeply under-reported and under-researched. The UniSAFE H2020 project is conducting the first large-scale study on the topic. Following the joint #SafeResearch4All awareness campaign, we had the pleasure to interview Anne Laure Humbert,  a member of SUPERA international advisory board and also a UniSAFE partner.

In which forms can GBV occur in academic and research environments? Who are the victims and the perpetrators? Are the victims of intersectional discriminations more at risk?
The Istanbul Convention highlights four main forms of gender-based violence: physical, sexual, psychological and economic. In the UniSAFE project, we include all four but also consider other forms of violence relevant to the academic and research context such as sexual and gender harassment. We are also interested in emerging forms of violence, such as those linked to the increase in online activities, or the forms of violence not always recognised as violence such as institutional violence.

The issue of gender-based violence is often conflated with that of violence against women. While men represent the majority of perpetrators of all types of violence, and women are the majority of victims of gender-based violence, suffering disproportionate consequences, it is important to stress that both women and men can be perpetrators and victims. Intersectional factors play an important role besides gender alone. Being non-binary, trans, or from a sexual minority for example can increase exposure to gender-based violence, as does working in more precarious positions or not studying in one’s country of origin.

Is data available on how many people experience harassment and GBV in academia in Europe?
Few data are available
on gender-based violence generally across Europe, with even fewer information available in the context of academic and research institutions. The UniSAFE project will provide the first large-scale study on this topic, providing both quantitative data through a survey carried out in 45 institutions across 15 countries and in-depth qualitative data through case studies of institutional responses in 15 countries and interviews with researchers more at risk of gender-based violence. The project is currently launching a call for researchers having experienced or witnessed gender-based violence at an early-career stage, on a non-permanent contract, or as an internationally-mobile student or staff, to share their experience in an individual interview. Find out more about the interviews.

These results will be contextualised through an extensive mapping of legal frameworks and policies at the national level and within the institutions taking part in the research.
The project has already delivered 33 country reports on national and regional policies on gender-based violence in universities, research institutes and research funding organisations, that are publicly available at this link.

What does it mean to switch from an individualist perspective to an organisational violence perspective?
Gender-based violence should not be understood solely from an individual perspective, where the traits or behaviours of either victims or perpetrators are the focus of attention. Instead, it is important to understand violence as a structural issue, and part of a system that produces and reproduces inequalities between groups, including on the basis of gender. Organisations, such as for example universities, create and uphold the norms that shape this system of inequalities. Studying organisational violence therefore means also putting the focus on the environment, and what it does to enable or challenge gender-based violence at the individual level, but also how it can be violent towards individuals in its own right. This is visible when institutions not only fail victims, but in fact revictimise and blame them in turn rather than address the problem of violence itself.

What are “violence-free” organisations and workplaces?
International standards such as the ILO Convention n.190 recognise the right for individuals to a world of work free from violence and harassment. The UniSAFE project aspires to contribute to the creation of violence-free universities and other research organisations. This can be achieved by developing policies and practices to counter violence, promoting violence-free cultures and enable leaders to support this. It is not only about eradicating different forms of violence, but also about creating and sustaining structural change of an environment where individuals feel – and are – included and safe.

How can a research institution address the issue of GBV, for instance including specific actions in their GEPs? How should institutions challenge the power structures behind GBV?
The Horizon Europe Guidance on Gender Equality Plans – aimed at supporting institutions to meet the Gender Equality Plan (GEP) eligibility criterion of Horizon Europe – recommends five content-related (thematic) areas, including measures against gender-based violence, including sexual harassment. It is likely that this will lead to an increase in the number of institutions in Europe that develop and implement actions to tackle the issue of gender-based violence. A danger, however, is that if this is only done as response to a financial incentive such as access to funding, then it will fail to properly address the power and inequality structures that are at the root of gender-based violence in the first place. It seems that many institutions are realising the extent and importance of the problem as a result of societal campaigns such as #MeToo, but all too often only putting meaningful processes and structures in place in reaction to critical incidents and/or media exposure. On an optimistic note, the UniSAFE will provide many evidence-based tools by the end of 2023 for institutions that seek to eradicate the problem and change their culture, and thus create the shift in power relations that is needed to create inclusive and safe universities and research organisations.

The project’s latest developments are regularly shared on Twitter (@UniSAFE_GBV), LinkedIn, and through a quarterly newsletter to which you can subscribe here.

 

2021-11-30T17:43:41+02:00November 30th, 2021|Tags: , , , , |

Unconscious bias in research funding: a new webinar for RFOs on December 16th. Register now!

How research funding organisations can intervene to avoid unconscious biases in their work? A new webinar designed for RFOs will take place on Dec, 16th h. 11-12:30 CET.

The first speaker, Maxime Forest (Science Po, SUPERA Monitoring and Evaluation partner), will explain the different aspects of RFOs’ work where unconscious bias may slip in and influence ultimate effects.

The intervention of the second speaker will be of a more practical nature: Carry Hergaarden, from the Dutch Research Council (NWO), will share NWO’s experiences with the ‘inclusive assessment’ initiative. This practice is being promoted by the European Commission in its recently published “Horizon Europe Guidance on Gender Equality Plans”.

After the two presentations, there will be time for questions and answers.

Click here for the registration form

This is the 4th webinar organised by SUPERA and specifically dedicated to gender equality in research funding organisations.

2021-11-30T16:16:06+02:00November 30th, 2021|Tags: , , , , |

SAVE THE DATE! On March 25th 2022 the SUPERA Final Conference: see you in Madrid & online

Time to save an important date on your calendars!

On Friday, 25th March 2022 (h. 9:30-16:30 CET) the SUPERA final conference will take place. The sustainability of institutional change for gender equality will be the core topic of the day: we will discuss inspiring experiences and insights with a selection of speakers soon to be announced.

The event will be held in a hybrid mode: we look forward to meeting you in Madrid, at the UCM Campus Moncloa, and online. A registration form will be available in the next weeks.

You are more than welcome to share the news with your colleagues!

2021-11-30T12:17:21+02:00November 30th, 2021|Tags: , , , , , |

Gender equality in R&I ecosystems: engaging external actors in institutional change processes

By Maria Sangiuliano (Research Director and CEO at Smart Venice, CALIPER scientific coordinator)

In recent years ERA policies on gender equality in research have expanded their scope to cover innovation at large. This is reflected in several policy documents, and responds to an overarching emphasis on bridging academic research with society and the economy, an orientation that is visible in the Horizon Europe Work Programme and the value attributed to research impact thereof.

More specifically, the European Commission most recent policy directions on Gender Equality in R&I and institutional change that seek for ‘inclusive’ Gender Equality Plans, refer to “multi-sectoriality” as one of the dimensions (along with intersectionality and geographic inclusiveness) on which a forthcoming  Horizon Europe funded Centre of Excellence on gender in R&I and the next generation of sister projects on institutional change will be called to investigate, generate knowledge,  and experiment about.

The H2020 CALIPER project was designed and is now implemented, since 2020, having multisectoriality as its key specific feature to be embedded in all steps of the institutional change process, from the internal assessment to the GEPs design and implementation phases, as well as  in monitoring and evaluation. In concrete, this has implied for example an expanded scope for the internal initial assessment studies: Third Mission, Technology Transfer, Science Communication have been included to the usual recommended areas that are also part of the Horizon Europe requirement on GEPs. Also, the internal assessment/audits have been complemented by ‘external assessments’ and a gender sensitive mapping of innovation ecosystems using different methods including Social Network analysis, by each one of the 9 partner RPOs and RFOs, according to a specific set of indicators and to map.

Adopting a quadruple/multiple helix and gender sensitive approach to innovation ecosystems, all the 9 RPOs and RFOs have then formed their own “CALIPER R&I Hubs” engaging with national, regional and local authorities, private companies, social innovation actors and civil society (including feminist) organizations, as well as high schools and media. A co-creation process running in parallel with both internal and selected and motivated external actors has led to the design of GEPs. While the plans clearly keep their main focus on generating internal sustainable change, they include collaborative initiatives to be implemented in synergy with external actors: the purpose is thus to promote and support gender equality inward at the CALIPER partner organizations, while having an outward and multiplying effect at the territorial level.

At the consortium level, continuous efforts have been devoted since the very first phases on studying and sharing good and promising practices and criticalities potentially emerging from this approach, enquiring gender expert organizations, communities of practices, sister projects (SUPERA included), and the Advisory Board members. Specific, hands-on and interactive training sessions and modules have been delivered to partners including simulations on the engagement strategies to be devised.

All in all, we believe in the transformational potential of a multi-sectorial approach to gender equality in R&I, and at the same time we are aware of potential risks and tensions that might arise.

Even if the experience from the project is still ongoing as most of the partners have recently started the first GEPs’ iteration with some delay mostly due to the covid19 pandemic, our learning path on these matters can be summarized as follows:

  • It is important to re-interpret and re-define the multisectorialy/intersectorial dimension of inclusive GEPs going beyond the mere interaction with the private sector, relying on gender and feminist interpretations of innovation ecosystems and, including those ‘marginal’ actors whose voices and positions are often more critical of mainstream (often gender blind or neutral) innovation policies and discourses.
  • Synergy processes, alliances and exogenous change factors can be featured as potential levers, generating exchanges of gender expertise, facilitating internal consensus building particularly from high management positions, and their buy-in towards gender equality.
  • At the same time, risks are to be taken into account, and efforts well balanced as external factors can become scapegoats to avoid taking full responsibility towards internal change, or lead to losing focus from the internal change dynamics that have an already high level of complexity to handle.

If you have experience and methods to share, we are more than interest to learn and interact on multi- inter-sectorial approaches to institutional change for gender equality, so do not hesitate to contact us!

Gender-based violence in research and academia: a joint awareness campaign with the sister projects

Leveraging on the International day for the Elimination of violence against women (25 November), the H2020 UniSAFE project on gender-based violence in university and research organisations has joined forces with sister projects involved in structural change for gender equality in research and academia (SUPERA, SPEAR, TARGET, TARGETED-MPI, GEARING ROLES, RESET) as well as with other projects, organisations, and individuals, to raise awareness on gender-based violence in research and academia through a campaign running between 22 and 29 November 2021.  

Gender-based violence is a complex, prevalent, persistent feature and force in many organisations, with pandemic proportions. Violence, violations, and abuse may be physical, sexual, economic/financial, psychological – online or offline – and can include gender or sexual harassment.  

Universities and research organisations are not exempt from this pandemic. Specific organisational structures can even create conditions for hierarchies of power that are structured by gender and age and regularly underpin violence. While gender-based violence deeply impacts individual lives, it also has serious social, economic, and health repercussions on organisational and social levels.  

Despite the scale, the political significance and the growing interest in academia, gender-based violence in research organisations remains largely under-reported and under-researched. It also often remains unspoken. 

A selection of the contents shared during the #Saferesearch4All awareness-raising campagin can be found at this link.

From 22 to 29 November, all projects, organisations, and individuals intent on eradicating gender-based violence in academia and research organisations are invited to actively post on social media using the hashtag #SafeResearch4All. 

Media, articles, reports designed or collected by UniSAFE and sister projects have been made freely available in an Awareness-raising Toolkit. When sharing UniSAFE results, full acknowledgement of the project and authors must be mentioned, as stated in the introduction.  

Fighting gender-based violence in academia and research starts with bringing the issue to the surface, paving the way for victims to speak out, and for all students and research staff to be proactive role models in this respect. 

Contact: Colette Schrodi, European Science Foundation, UniSAFE communication officer: cschrodi@esf.org  

Gender@UC & SUPERA: the University of Coimbra at the European Researchers Night

By Claudia Araùjo, Universidade de Coimbra

On September 24th, the SUPERA team at the University of Coimbra participated in the European Researchers Night.

In Coimbra, we organised a spot in one of the busiest streets downtown with another project at the University, GendER@UC EEA Grants, which focus on promoting the integration of the gender perspective in research. We opted for a participatory approach aimed to highlight the importance of gender mainstreaming in higher education, and invited a number of other inspiring gender-sensitive (action)research projects and initiatives rooted or ongoing at the UC to collaborate with us.

We present below the activities developed by each of our partners:

SUPERA – CES/UC

We decided to focus on the importance of the Equality, Equity and Diversity Plan of the University of Coimbra and created both a presentation and an interactive kahoot quiz that we used to engage with our audience. In the quiz, we were able to communicate both the need for Gender Equality Plans in higher education institutions (through questions about horizontal segregation, work-life balance, etc.) and the impact the plan has already had in the leadership structure of the university itself (through questions about the percentage of women in leadership at the UC both before and after the approval of the GEP). We also highlighted, through practical examples, the overarching influence of the GEP, demonstrating as it affects the whole academic community – and also the society as a whole. Another aspect whose importance we reinforced was the importance of using inclusive communication.

Figure 1. The flyer for the Supera & GendER@UC spot at the European Researchers Night

GendER@UC EEA Grants – Institute for Interdisciplinary Research at the University of Coimbra

The project GendEr@UC spoke about the importance of integrating the gender perspective in research content, through a role of examples of projects whose results were skewed due to its absence, as well as those which have successfully integrate gender into the design, analysis and presentation of results, thereby producing more inclusive, realistic, and useful research overall.

Pandemic and Academy at Home – CES/UC

The Pandemic and Academy at Home project proposed an interactive game of questions and answers about the differentiated impacts of the pandemic on the research and teaching activities of women and men in Portugal, as well as questions about the integration of the gender dimension in scientific research and the University of Coimbra.

Glass Frontiers

The Glass Frontiers project proposed an interactive presentation on how gender stereotypes affect educational and professional trajectories of men and women.

Phoenix – Citizens Voices for a Greener Europe

This project, which has recently received a grant from the European Commission, discussed the importance of integrating women in the public discussions on the Green European Deal, in particularly in citizen assemblies, by highlighting the importance of the gender perspective in addressing the climate emergency.

Figure 2. SUPERA in action at the European Researchers Night

It was also important for us to present the work of initiatives currently rooted at the University of Coimbra that are working to break stereotypes and increase the presence of women in scientific areas where they remain underrepresented, so we invited the Coimbra delegations of Women in Engineering and Girls Who Code to collaborate with us. Both were represented by both female and male students, thereby demonstrating that gender equality in higher education concerns both women and men.

 

Women in Engineering

Women in Engineering discussed the importance of including women in engineering and the gender perspective in the work of engineers through interactive quizzes, deconstructing gendered stereotypes that prevail in women’s access to STEM areas.

Girls who Code (As Raparigas do Código)

Girls who Code presented two separate activities – they had an interactive game about Gender in IT professions and brought the theme of stereotypes in artificial intelligence to discussion, an increasingly important issue in the network society, through a practical demonstration on facial recognition.

We were also lucky to count with the collaboration of the State Secretary for Equality, Rosa Monteiro, and the President of the Commission for Citizenship and Gender Equality, Sandra Ribeiro, who both sent videos in support of our event, and also featured some presentations produced by Journalism and Design students about gender equality at the University of Coimbra and in IT start-ups/companies.

Overall, this was a fantastic opportunity for us to present a collective narrative on why gender needs to be a factor in university governance overall, and we were lucky to spread the message to both the academic community and the general population in the city, including younger people. This was a successful occasion to disseminate our project to an audience that is normally removed from it, and our presentations and practical exercises certainly gave the public some food for thought on Gender Equality.

2021-10-07T17:36:44+02:00October 7th, 2021|Tags: , , , |

Gender-sensitive data collection and monitoring: the experience of CEU

Ana Belen Amil, Central European University, interviewed by Paola Carboni, University of Cagliari

Implementing gender equality policies in academic environments requires the availability of gender-sensitive data to support evidence-based decisions. The challenge to properly analyse such data is huge, if we consider that not only it should be systematically collected and stored, but also monitored and updated over time.

With this in mind, following the experience developed during the gender equality baseline assessment performed within SUPERA, CEU’s Gender Equality Officer Ana Belén Amil and CEU’s Institutional Research Officer Anna Galacz developed a “Handbook of gender-sensitive data collection and monitoring”.

The drafting process required the involvement of several university units, responsible for the collection and storage of different data sets, and the result is a tailor-made, step-by-step guide to data collection and management, with a solid gender equality background. The Handbook is currently under revision, in collaboration with prof. Anne Laure Humbert, researcher at the Centre for Diversity Policy Research and Practice at Oxford Brookes University and member of SUPERA’s international advisory board, and will be publicly released in the next months.

In the following paragraphs, Ana Belén Amil provides us with several highlights about the process that led to the development of the Handbook and some practical examples and advice.

What does “gender-sensitive data collection and monitoring” mean?

In short, gender-sensitive data collection means that gender is systematically included as a variable at the moment of collecting data on individuals. It is also know as “gender-disaggregated” data. Without it, it is impossible to assess the status of gender equality in a given context (in an institution, in a country, in a continent, for example) for a particular indicator. Once the assessment on that indicator is done, and an gender inequality is found, different types of measures shall be applied to improve such inequality. During the monitoring phase, data is collected and analysed once again on that particular indicator to assess if the measures taken had led to progress in gender-related terms (and if so, to which extent). Monitoring can also occur for indicators in which no inequality was found but that, according to research, tend to show gender inequalities. This way we can closely follow an indicator and be aware of any deterioration that might occur.

Can you give us some practical examples of why is it important for a research institution to collect data in a gender-sensitive way?

Collecting data in a gender-sensitive way only makes sense if a research institution is interested in promoting gender equality among its staff, students (if we talk about a university), research content and knowledge transfer. This might sound as an obvious interest on the side of HE&R institutions but, depending on the particular (political) context in which the institution is embedded (at a national or regional level), improving gender equality might not be a goal for the institution or might not be easy to pursue.

Assuming that the interest (and feasibility) are there, then there is no way to take evidence-based measures for the promotion of gender equality without a proper assessment to know where we are standing vis-à-vis a variety of indicators. To give an example: gender-disaggregated data on salaries is paramount to diagnose gender pay gap in an institution and act upon any disparities that such indicator might show. Collecting the gender of principal investigators across research teams will enable us to analyse gender disparities in leadership positions and design measures to correct them if needed.

How did you became aware that managing data with a gender-sensitive approach is a key asset for a university?

This became evident to me during the assessment phase of the SUPERA project. We had developed many indicators, and when we started approaching different Units in the University to provide us with data to run the calculations, we found that many of this data was not collected at all, was collected in a way that did not allow for statistical analysis (i.e., on paper, no digitalization), it was inaccurate, or dispersed across different units without a central database. This made it impossible (or too time-consuming) to analyse data and see how badly (or well) we were doing in certain gender equality indicators. That is when the idea of the Handbook came up: as a response to all data gaps that were found during the diagnostic phase.

Which university offices are involved in such an in depth-analysis?

It very much depends on the University and its structure. In the particular case of CEU, lots of offices are involved since the scope of the data needed is very wide. Human Resources Office and Student Records Office – Admissions Office collect  data on employees and students respectively. Academic Cooperation and Research Support Office collects data on research projects (externally funded). Institutional Research Office is key for performing calculations. This list is not comprehensive but covers the offices with the highest involvement in data collection.

Which are the key action areas in which the monitoring indicators are organised? Can you describe them with some examples?

The data collection and monitoring are organised in key action areas that follow the European Commission’s suggestions with some adaptations that were more suitable for our University. Some examples of areas and their indicators are:

  • Gender Equality in leadership and decision making: gender distribution in leadership positions (Rector, Provost); gender distribution in the Senate – both of them from a historical perspective.
  • GE in recruitment, retention and career progression: gender distribution of the average time it takes for staff to be promoted, gender distribution of academic staff turnover, gender distribution of Faculty recruitments.
  • Work-Life Balance: gender distribution of average time taken for parental leave.
  • Gender in research and knowledge transfer: gender distribution of researchers in research teams, number of courses that incorporate a gender dimension in their syllabi.
  • Sexual harassment: number of cases registered, severity of the cases.

How can you adopt a non-binary and intersectional approach in data management?

For a non-binary approach, we made sure to adapt our IT systems to allow students to freely describe the gender they identify with. For employees this is more difficult since the software that processes employee data does not give that option; this is still a matter to be solved. Regarding intersectionality, this is much more complicated. In theory, data collection should include other variables besides gender, such as race/ethnicity, disability, age, nationality, etc. This is a very difficult task in practice; it is already extremely challenging to collect gender data systematically, even more so to collect data for variables that were never considered for analysis. Data on race/ethnicity is particularly challenging due to the sensitivity of the topic, so for the moment we are using some (imperfect) proxies for it, such as nationality and country of birth.

Which are the most challenging aspects of introducing this approach in an institution? Do you have any practical advice to give?

I found two main challenges: collecting data under GDPR, and the lack of centralized database. Collecting and analysing data in a way that is GDPR compliant should not be, at least in theory, a complicated task. But practice showed me that due to a (sometimes) too restrictive reading of general data protection regulations, the task becomes highly bureaucratic and therefore very time-consuming. I do not think there is a way around this other than getting familiar with the content of these regulations to be clear about what can and cannot be done in terms of data collection/processing.

Regarding the lack of a centralized database (in our case this only applies to the employee body; student data is much better organized), my suggestion is to work intensively with the IT Department and Human Resources Office to come up with strategic solutions to put the data “in order”. This will not only benefit gender equality related assessment but also the strategic planning of the University as a whole. It is important to raise awareness on how important (gender-sensitive) systematic data collection is for the running of the institution.

Another challenge, but this is not specific to gender-sensitive data collection, is the low level of prioritisation it tends to receive. Unless there is an urgent need derived from other aspects of the functioning of the university, this task is so time consuming and sometimes overwhelming that it gets dropped to the bottom of the list.

Is it possible to introduce gender-sensitive data management on a low-budget basis?

If by budget we only refer to financial resources, I would say yes. If we include internal human resources as part of the budget, my answer would be: it depends on the mess that the university has in terms of data management. The more chaotic and unsystematic, the more work in terms of human involvement will be required to bring order to the chaos. And this is of course specific to each institution.

What sources provided you inspiration for this work? Can you recommend some reading in particular?

The main source of inspiration was the work done by several sister projects of SUPERA, who had already developed a compilation of indicators and shared them in public deliverables. Since one of the core principles of SUPERA is cumulativeness, we built up from what other projects have done before and adapted it to our own institutional context. Of course we let go of some indicators that were not relevant for CEU, while we also added others that were not present in previous compilations, but we don’t have to reinvent the wheel each and every time.

Our main resources were the deliverables of Gender Diversity impact (GEDII), Plotina, Baltic Gender, Target, GARCIA, EFFORTI, Gender Net, and of course She Figures.

The XI European Conference on Gender Equality in Higher Education is approaching

By the Local Committee of the 11th GEHE Conference 

The Spanish institutions organizing the 2021 online edition of the GEHE Conference (15th – 17th September) are proud to present an inspiring and diverse program with high-level contributions received from the gender & science community and practitioners. Our goal is to provide the space for them to share their knowledge and expertise so that the public authorities can design better and more effective policies.

When the organizers of the XI GEHE Conference had to take the difficult decision to postpone the 11th GEHE Conference to September 2021, the situation was uncertain both due to the global health emergency and in relation to the organization of the Conference. Today, after considerable efforts to launch a new call for abstracts in 2021 and to adapt the whole program to an online event, the organizers are glad to communicate that the agenda for the upcoming 11th edition of the GEHE Conference has been published in our website and the registration has been closed.

Since the beginning of 2021, the Women and Science Unit of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, the Ministry of Universities, the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology and the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, with the financial support of the Spanish Institute for Women, resumed work on the organization of the Conference. First, the organizers decided to open a new call for abstracts in order to give the opportunity to present new works. Indeed, given the importance acquired by the impact on the confinement in women’s research careers and the sex/gender analysis of research on covid-19, the organizers added a new topic. Then, our international scientific committee once again proceeded to evaluate the new proposals submitted following the same evaluation criteria. Taking into account both 2020 and 2021 call for abstracts, this 11th edition received more than 200 proposals, what can be considered as a success of the Conference given the difficult conditions. The organizers are grateful to the scientific community and practitioners for their committed work revealing persistent inequalities and producing valuable knowledge to build better science and innovation systems.

The online registration process was opened during June and thanks to the dissemination work conducted, more than 300 people have registered for the Conference. Our attendees come from institutions in 23 different countries, mostly European countries, but also Brazil, Canada, India, South Africa, among others. This is indicative of the global dimension of this research field and the interest in advancing gender equality policies in R&I in different global regions.

As a result of all these joint efforts, the agenda for the three days of the Conference includes 144 oral communications and 12 workshops/symposia on the different topics of the Conference. Attendees will be able to choose between more than 30 experiences with gender equality plans, more than 20 discussions on fostering scientific-technical vocations and more than 30 presentations on the integration of the gender dimension in university teaching, among other topics. The impact of the confinement on women’s research careers, to give another example, will be addressed by at least 10 presentations. In addition to workshops and oral communications, around 30 posters on the different topics will be exhibited in an ad-hoc space of the online platform of the Conference.

Moreover, the program offers two plenary conferences on the 15th and 17th. Thamar Heijstra (University of Iceland) will give the opening lecture “Academic career making in a gendered environment: Men as the norm, women as the deviant and feminists as double deviants”, while the closing conference “Building feminist futures in European research: major shifts, continued contestations, new challenges” will be in charge of Marcela Linkova (chair of the ERAC Standing Working Group on Gender in Research and Innovation). The conclusions of the three days of the Conference will be addressed during the roundtable on gender equality policies in R&I moderated by the head of the Women and Science Unit. This panel includes high-level profiles at the European level, including representatives from EU institutions, civil society and academics.

The organizers hope that this interesting and inspiring program due to the high-level contributions received from the gender & science community and practitioners will contribute to reinforce the knowledge production on gender equality policies in R&I and will motivate further steps at national and supranational levels. Last but not least, the Conference discussions will be enriched by the participation of researchers, practitioners and students as attendees to the Conference. All of them are invited to learn as much as possible from the oral communications, posters and workshops/symposia as well as to make new professional contacts taking advantage of the online networking space provided by the online platform. One of the objectives of this Conference is also to enhance the European Network on Gender Equality in Higher Education, precisely in times of difficult connections and gendered impacts of the global health emergency at all levels.

For more information about the XI GEHE Conference visit the website and the Twitter profile.

Using social media to raise awareness on resistances against gender equality

Resistances against equality in research organisations: how to counter them? Many strategies can answer to this question and we at SUPERA, in a joint initiative with the sister projects GEARING Roles, GEAcademy, CALIPER and GENDERACTION, tried to collect them by launching in June a social media campaign

#COUNTERIT is a communication initiative designed to encourage people and organisations to share their thoughts and experiences about the resistances to gender equality in research and academia. The main goal of this awareness campaign was to create a social brainstorming on the topic, focusing on methods, tips and examples to counter any form of resistance.  

Each sister project started the campaign with a different approach: GEAcademy focused on highlighting the valuable suggestions of other sister projects and research organisations; Caliper firstly shared the direct experiences of its partners about the methods to counter resistances; GENDERACTION engaged its community with questions and useful resources developed in the framework of the EU funded projects; Gearing Roles preferred to adopt a step-by-step approach introducing people to the topic gradually with definitions and quotes about resistances and their features; last, but not least, we at SUPERA started with some practical advices to deal with this problem in academia, suggesting specific initiatives and a focus on gender-sensitive communication. 

Both individual and institutional experiences have been shared during the campaign. This variety of approaches was essential to analyse the problem of resistances through different points of views and support people and organisations in this process towards gender equality. Indeed, as the various contributions showed, resistances can take many forms: they can consist of a complete denial of the problem, disinterest in the issue, inaction or even complete ideological opposition. They could be cultural or social resistances, individual, institutional, implicit and explicit: raising awareness of the topic is only the first step. 

 

        

Some of the tweets published on the SUPERA’s account

We want to say THANK YOU! to all the people, networks, organisations and projects that joined us for this campaign. If you missed the campaign, please visit the SUPERA, GEARING Roles, GEAcademy, CALIPER and GENDERACTION Twitter profiles or search the hashtag #COUNTERIT

The impact of the pandemic on gender equality in Academia: three case studies

On June 9th 2021, the online event “How COVID-19 impacted on gender equality in research and academia” provided the SUPERA core teams from the University of Coimbra, the University of Cagliari and the Complutense University of Madrid with the opportunity to present the preliminary results of three studies on the gendered impact of the pandemic on the academic and research communities

The research focused on working conditions, time usage and academic production of the academic staff at UC, UNICA and UCM during the COVID-19 health emergency. The reports containing the preliminary results of the surveys have been released between February and March on the SUPERA website: see here for more details.  

The official presentation of the research results has been introduced and commented by two components of SUPERA’s international advisory board: Jörg Muller, expert in concepts and methods for researching the impact of gender diversity on research performance (Open University of Catalonia), and Nicole Huyghe, expert in data analytics from a gender perspective, CEO and founder of Boobook

Mónica Lopes, researcher at the Center for Social Studies, opened the following presentations with the results from the UC; Barbara Barbieri, Associate Professor at the Department of Political and Social Sciences, illustrated the evidences from UNICA; María Bustelo, Associate Professor of Political Science and Public Administration – and SUPERA coordinator -, closed the session with the presentation from UCM.

The slides used during the event are online on Slideshare with a CC Attribution-ShareAlike license:

The recording of the event, including the final session with the Q&A by the participants, is available on the SUPERA’s YouTube channel at this link.

2021-07-22T11:12:27+02:00July 20th, 2021|Tags: , , , , , , , , |