Gender quotas & positive action: An attack on meritocracy?


Tackling gender imbalances in research is vital for inclusivity and women's career progression. In this Open Forum, we will share and discuss the contents of our second policy brief – exploring the contentious topic of positive action, assessing arguments for and against, drawing insights from MINDtheGEPs' Gender Equality Plan development. 

When: Due to unforeseen challenges, we have been unable to proceed with this event as planned. We regret to inform that due to unforeseen circumstances, we are unable to proceed with this event as planned. We appreciate your understanding during these times. We are exploring alternatives, and we look forward to connecting with you at future events. To be notified of upcoming MINDtheGEPs activities, please sign up for the MINDtheGEPs newsletter

Where: Online

Speaker: Cristina Solera, MINDtheGEPs coordinator & Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Turin

Despite EU efforts, gender disparities persist in research institutions. Positive action is proposed to address the imbalance, but concerns about protecting the meritocracy are an obstacle to acceptance. However, evidence is challenging the notion that merit is impartial, revealing biases favouring men. With this policy brief and Open Forum, we target diverse stakeholders, emphasizing the need for consensus-building to efficiently introduce economic incentives for reducing gender gaps.  Decision-makers must engage in dialogue, negotiation, and discussions to navigate the complexities surrounding gender quotas and positive action. During this Open Forum, we will provide insights and recommendations drawn from some innovative actions implemented within MINDtheGEPs' Gender Equality Plans, including how to tackle resistances and risks. 

About the speaker

Cristina Solera is the coordinator of MINDtheGEPs. She is Associate Professor of Sociology at the Department of Cultures, Politics and Society at the University of Turin and an affiliate at Collegio Carlo Alberto. Her research interests include women's labour-market participation, work-family reconciliation, new models of motherhood and fatherhood, comparative social policies, gender, and class inequalities.

About MINDtheGEPs: More & more women are choosing research careers, but women are still underrepresented: as authors, as leaders, and in top positions. MINDtheGEPs will change this pattern, with 10 partners spending 4 years using gender data to identify the extent and causes of inequalities. We will change structures and cultures in 7 universities and research centres across Europe. With the goal to fix the system, not the women!

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Last modified: 2023-08-25