National Research Council of Italy builds capacity for gender equality


The National Research Council of Italy (CNR) is the largest public research institution in Italy. As a partner in MINDtheGEPs, the organisation is committed to implementing a gender equality plan. An effort that requires capacity building for staff across the organisation, and identifying advocates. In spring 2022, CNR leadership signed a first gender equality plan, and launched a call to identify individuals who could take on the role to train colleagues and to support implementation.

Lucio Pisacane
Lucio Pisacane, CNR

According to Lucio Pisacane, a researcher himself and leading the CNR efforts in MINDtheGEPs, the response to the call was greater than expected. In the end, eight motivated members in different roles and in different parts of CNR were selected. Together with staff from other partner organisations, they joined a MINDtheGEPs “Train the Trainers” workshop in Vigo, where 40 future trainers from different parts of Europe were equipped with the basic concepts and tools to promote organisational change.   

“We are delighted to receive this commitment and support from eight motivated colleagues. Over the next two years, they will be involved in activities aimed at promoting equality in scientific careers, ensuring gender balance in decision-making processes and governing bodies, and integrating the gender dimension in contents of research and innovation”. says Lucio Pisacane.

The workshop was appreciated by the CNR team. Coming from different parts of the orgnanisation, working with research, technical and administrative support, the all bring different perspectives. Which is also why they were selected: To represent different roles and responsibilities in the organisation. 

“Unfortunately, we weren’t able to offer this opportunity to everyone that expressed interest, but this is an important first step to prepare qualified personnel that can take on roles and work within the organisation as trainers. This is a first step toward the creation of a community of practices in gender equality at CNR: Structural change needs to be grounded on participation and shared competences”, says Lucio Pisacane.

Because CNR has a multi-level and multidisciplinary structure, it was important to the team to identify trainers with different scientific and professional backgrounds. Another aspect that CNR needed to consider was achieving a balance in the geographical distribution among trainers: CNR has 9,000 employees spread across several locations, in all Italian regions.

The trainers at CNR include Natalia Bruno (CNR-National Institute of Optics, Florence), Claudia Caddeo (CNR-Institute of Materials, Cagliari), Annalisa Delre (CNR- Institute for Chemical and Physical Processes, Bari), Monica Favaro (CNR- Institute of Condensed Matter Chemistry and Technologies for Energy, Padua), Martina Mattiazzi (CNR- Institute of Mediterranean Europe History, Milan), Luisa Neri (CNR-Institute of Nanoscience, Modena), Rosaria Puglisi (CNR- Institute for Microelectronics and Microsystems, Catania), and Melanie Timpel (CNR- Institute of Materials for Electronics and Magnetism, Trento).Their take-aways from the workshop were collected by CNR, and included in a video that has been shared across the organisation.

The next workshop aimed at training the trainers will be held in Rome on the 14th and 15th of November, this time specifically tailored to the needs of CNR: Building capacity for sustainable change!

By Josepine Fernow

News from MINDtheGEPs

Last modified: 2023-08-25