No data, no policy: New project promotes gender equality action in 7 European research institutions
A new European research project prepares the ground for structural changes to promote gender equality in public and private research organisations. Led by the University of Turin, the four-year MINDtheGEPs project will identify good practice and help shape measures to reduce gender imbalances in seven research institutions and generate data to support the development of national and European policy for gender equality in research performing organisations.
The MINDtheGEPs team is a mix of EU institutions coordinated by the University of Turin. The project has partners from Italy, Spain, Ireland, Poland, Serbia, Sweden and The Netherlands. Seven partners: University of Gdańsk, the School of Electrical Engineering-University of Belgrade, Jagiellonian University, Munster Technological University, Automotive Technology Centre of Galicia (CTAG), National Research Council (CNR) and the University of Turin will set up and implement gender action plans. They receive support from the Italian National Research Council (CNR), Knowledge and Innovation (K&I), Uppsala University and Elsevier.
The gender equality plans developed in the project will include both cultural and structural aspects. This includes removing barriers to hiring and the career development for women in research, and to contrast gender inequalities within governing bodies and evaluation committees. This ensures actions are aligned with the European Commission’s objectives for gender equality in European research.
Stefano Geuna, rector of the University of Turin calls the funding of this project a “true success” “Our university considers applying gender equality policies an absolute priority. Despite strong efforts there still a lot of work to be done. MINDtheGEPs is a driver for us to take a decisive step forward. Together with the research community at the University of Turin, I thank CIRSDe, the board of Guarantee Committee for Equal Opportunities, Employee Wellbeing and Non-Discrimination at Work and all of the partners of the project”, says Stefano Geuna.
MINDtheGEPS will both map existing data and generate new datasets on sex and gender differences to support the development of policy on gender action. This qualitative and quantitative data collection will drive the implementation of effective gender equality plans that can be monitored and evaluated. This is made possible through a collaboration with PRIN GEA, also coordinated by the University of Turin. Furthermore, having a scientific publisher on board allows us to develop structures to collaborate with scientific journals and publishers on gender differences. We are also able to use existing data to analyze differences in relation to publication and authorship. Based on this data, MINDtheGEPs will be able to develop and share guidance on approaches to all aspects of research that takes sex and gender into account.
MINDtheGEPs will also organise a number of workshops on empowerment and gender education for both male and female researchers in the early to middle stages of their career. The project will also focus on measures to balance work and family life, also aimed at both men and women. The project will also design a set of key professional profiles that can act as experts on gender equality. These roles are meant to complement existing roles, for example Gender Equality Managers, and Gender Database Manager.
MINDtheGEPs (Modifying Institutions by Developing Gender Equality Plans G.A. 101006543) is coordinated by The Research Center for Women's and Gender Studies (CISRDe) at the University of Turin, Italy (CISRDe). The project is led by Prof Cristina Solera (sociologist at the Department of Culture, Politics and Society, and member of CIRSDe). The project is funded by the EU research and innovation framework program Horizon 2020’s Science with and for Society funding scheme. The project has been awarded almost 3 million Euro and will run for a total of 48 months. In addition to the multidisciplinary team, an Advisory Board composed of relevant political authorities and internationally recognized experts will contribute to creating significant change in the institutions that are of the project, and catalyse change in society around them.
News from MINDtheGEPs
CNR appoints gender equality Officer
The Italian National Research Council (CNR) has taken a significant step towards promoting gender equality by appointing their first Gender Equality Officer, Ilaria Di Tullio. The position is new, and was created as a result of the CNR Gender Plan: a policy document aimed at promoting gender equality within the Council and its institutes.
Women and Research in Physics: competition for Italian secondary schools
The National Research Council (CNR) and the National Institute of Nuclear Physics are organising the third edition of a competition on Women and Research in Physics: between gender stereotypes and professions of the future. On 29 May, the winner will be announced in connection with CNR's 10 year anniversary.
Open Forum: No data: No policies! MINDtheGEPs’ approach to evidence-based policies for Gender Equality Plans
Facts and figures helps us take the cultural and structural actions needed to achieve gender equality. MINDtheGEPs partners are developing and implementing Gender Equality Plans (or ‘GEPs’, built on data from across the organisation. On 12 May 2023, we presented results and policy recommendations from our mapping of the push and pull factors that are (de)constructing gender inequalities across a research career, and on different levels. Why? Because gender is a social structure that is characterized by multiple intersected barriers, requiring multiple intersected actions to be removed.
Gendering scientific publications – second MINDtheGEPs Train the Trainers workshop
Today, trainers from across MINDtheGEPs partner organisations are meeting in Belgrade to discuss gender in relation to scientific publication, covering both research themes and teams. The workshop will result in a set of guidelines for gendering scientific publications that will be made available to the European research community.
Policy brief on evidence-based gender equality plans now available in Serbian
The University of Belgrade’s school of Electrical Engineering, ETF, is one of the leading higher educational and research institutions in the field of electrical engineering and computer science in South Europe. They are co-leading MINDtheGEPs efforts to include the gender perspective in research and teaching. In preparation for our upcoming Train the Trainers workshop in Belgrade, the team has translated our recent policy brief to Serbian, offering recommendations for how to build an evidence-based foundation for gender equality plans.
Our approach to evidence-based policies for Gender Equality Plans in Spanish
MINDtheGEPs includes partners from seven European countries and aims to empower women in decision-making in research organizations. One of our partners, Automotive Technology Centre of Galicia, CTAG, is located in Spain and whose team will be contributing to the project’s efforts. With their help, we have translated our recent policy brief to Spanish, offering recommendations for how to build an evidence-based foundation for gender equality plans for all Spanish speaking countries!
Open Forum: The MINDtheGEPs approach to evidence-based policies for Gender Equality Plans
Facts and figures helps us take the cultural and structural actions needed to achieve gender equality. MINDtheGEPs partners are developing and implementing Gender Equality Plans (or ‘GEPs’, built on data from across the organisation. On 12 May 2023, at 10 CEST we present results and policy recommendations from our mapping of the push and pull factors that are (de)constructing gender inequalities across a research career, and on different levels. Why? Because gender is a social structure that is characterized by multiple intersected barriers, requiring multiple intersected actions to be removed.
Policy brief: MINDtheGEPs approach to evidence-based policies for Gender Equality Plans
Facts and figures strengthen our ability to undertake cultural and structural actions towards Gender Equality. The first in a series of policy briefs from MINDtheGEPs builds on data from 7 research organisations, providing evidence-based recommendations for how to build an evidence-based foundation for gender equality plans (GEPs) in research performing organizations, based on the assumption that without data, there will be no policy.
Women in physics – Springer Nature competition on diversity, equity and inclusion in Italian science
Despite good results in higher education, women are under-represented in STEM disciplines. This year, Springer Nature is partnering with the Italian National Institute of Nuclear Physics and the National Research Council (CNR) to put a spotlight on women in physics, organising in a competition to recognise the next generation of Italian researchers.
Scholarships for young researchers attentding "Breaking the Bias” summer school in Athens
Are you interested in gender data gaps, gendered innovations and social biases in research and innovation processes? Then the Voices summer school on “Breaking the Bias: Inspire Diversity in R&I” 5-7 July in Athens might be the place for you! Don't miss the scholarship application deadline: 2 April 2023.
Award for gender perspectives in research at University of Gdańsk
To promote gender-sensitive research, the MINDtheGEPs team at University of Gdańsk has instituted an annual award called I include gender in research. The prize is awarded the master and doctoral theses at the university from the last academic year that best include a gender perspective in their research.
Mentoring programme to support work-life balance at the University of Gdańsk
As a part of their MINDtheGEPs effort, the University of Gdańsk will offer individual mentoring for academics at different stages in their career. The mentoring programme, developed by the Centre for Teaching Excellence and Tutoring, will support planning of publications, grants, teaching and other career decisions in ways that take gender equality into account.
MINDtheGEPs Open Forum: Large scale international research infrastructures - inherently diverse?
On 21 March, we invite Antje Vollmer, Head of the Task Force IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Anti-discrimination) of LEAPS, the League of the European Accelerator-based Photon Sources. In the context of the MINDtheGEPs Open Forum, she will share two important aspects of diversity in research: activities and actions on inclusion, diversity, equity and anti-discrimination, and the role of science in lowering barriers for inclusive cooperation.
Using gender data to tailor equality measures in science and engineering
The University of Belgrade’s School of Electrical Engineering is the oldest and the highest ranking higher education institution in Serbia in the field of electrical engineering and computer science. It was also one of the first Serbian institutions that adopted a gender equality plan. Data collected in the initial phase of MINDtheGEPs have been crucial for developing a gender equality plan that is tailored to address challenges that are specific to STEM fields in general, and particular to the organisational structure and culture.
Lessons from the Open Forum: How to use advocates and allies to change structures and processes
The Advocates & Allies programme adapted by the THRIVE (Towards Hiring, Resources, Inclusion, Value, and Excellence) project at East Carolina University aims to change the institution’s structures and processes by educating privileged faculty members about equality and equity matters. At the MINDtheGEPs Open Forum on 14 December, the Advocates & Allies programme leadership shared how they implemented the programme, building a cohort of advocates and allies that were likely to bring their individual transformation to an institutional one.
Pioneering gender equality in the Spanish automotive industry
Back in 2013, Centro Tecnológico de Automoción de Galicia, also known as CTAG, was one of the first Spanish organisations to establish a gender equality plan. CTAG is now looking to update the plan, adding insights and actions from the MINDtheGEPs project.
Developing a transformative mentoring programme: MINDtheGEPs joins forces with the Re-UNITA project
A good mentor can help young researchers decipher the inner workings of academia, and support career choices. Mentors can also help navigate the gender assumptions and logics behind hiring and promotion processes, how academic excellence is defined, and how the university and departments work. Together with the Re-UNITA project, MINDtheGEPs is launching a mentoring programme at the University of Turin. The programme is open to both men and women in early stages of their career and forms part of the university’s gender equality plan.
Engaging discussions about equality, diversity and inclusion at the first Open Forum
On 20th October MINDtheGEPs held its first Open Forum, where Oxana Mishina from MINDtheGEPs partner CNR presented the equality work at the Quantum Flagship project. The Open Forum series invites MINDtheGEPs members as well as the public to listen to experienced keynote presenters and engage in discussions. The hope is to inspire participants to exchange knowledge and share insights, and Oxana Mishina’s presentation did just that.
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.
MINDtheGEPs Open forum on leveraging privilege
One very common experience among those working to promote gender equality is that the work is predominately driven by women. Sustainable change requires having everyone on board. On 14 December, MINDtheGEPs is organising an Open Forum on leveraging privilege, advocates, allies and gender equality in universities. Allison S. Danell, Stephanie M. George, Andrew T. Morehead Jr. and Kristen Myers from the THRIVE project at East Carolina University will share findings from their approach to engaging privileged faculty and campus leaders.
MINDtheGEPs Open Forum on equality, diversity and inclusion in quantum technologies
MINDtheGEPs hosts a series of Open Forum discussions on gender equality in the academic and research & innovation sector. The aim of the forum is to facilitate knowledge exchange and mutual learning among scholars, practitioners and professionals supporting gender equality polices and measures. The first in the series is focused on equality, diversity and inclusion in quantum technologies, with a keynote presentation by Oxana Mishina, theoretical physicist from the National Research Council of Italy, Institute of Optics (CNR-INO). Remember to mark your calendars for an opportunity to listen, learn and discuss on 20 October between 12-13:30!
Representation at the top: University of Gdańsk appoints new vice rector for Cooperation and Development
The gender distribution varies between career stages at most European universities. The lack of women at the top is one of the key areas addressed by MINDtheGEPs gender equality plans. The University of Gdańsk recently appointed a new Vice Rector for Cooperation and Development, Professor Sylwia Mrozowska, bringing gender balance to the Rector’s Collegium.
Pioneers, researchers, leaders: Women of Gdańsk science
This summer, prominent women in science from universities in the Daniel Fahrenheit Association in Gdańsk have been featured in the exhibition Pioneers, researchers, leaders: Women of Gdańsk science. The aim of the exhibition is to inspire more women to pursue careers in science, looking towards the future through a historical lens.
Role models for female leadership at the University of Belgrade
Supporting women in their decisions to take on leadership roles is crucial in order to achieve gender equality in decision making bodies. The University of Belgrade’s School of Electrical Engineering recently appointed Assistant Professor Aleksandra Krstić Vice-Dean for Academic Affairs. In addition to the competence and capacity she will contribute to the School of Electrical Engineering, this appointment supports the gender mainstreaming efforts at the University of Belgrade – where female leaders will also play an important role as models to inspire others.
University of Gdańsk opens playroom to improve work-life balance
Balancing the many expectations that come with an academic career and raising a family can be challenging. In an effort to support their staff in finding a balance between private and scientific life, Professor Natailia Trzonkowska the Director of the International Centre for Cancer Vaccine Science (ICCVS) at University of Gdańsk recently opened a children’s play room – a direct result of the university’s commitment to the MINDtheGEPs project and Gender Equality Plan for the University of Gdańsk.
Online workshop on strategies, negotiating and sustainability for gender equality
On Monday 20 June, we welcome you to an international workshop on gender equality in research performing organisations, focusing on strategies, negotiation and sustainability. The event is organised together with the LeTSGEPs project and will take place both in Belgrade and online. The event his hosted by the Mathematical Institute of Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (MI SANU) and University of Belgrade, School of Electrical Engineering, partner in both projects.
Training the trainers to sustain change
Last week, MINDtheGEPs organised a two day training workshop to build capacity for sustainable change in partner organisations. Between 7-8 June, Around 50 people met in Vigo to discuss basic concepts and tools to promote organisational change, and how situated knowledge can support the implementation of gender equality plans.
A gender perspective on working conditions in academia during the pandemic
Working from home puts stress on families, and affects men and women in different ways. Preliminary data from a qualitative study on working conditions in academia during the pandemic from the Jagiellonian University were presented at the recent Social Boundaries of Work international conference held in Lublin, Poland. The data indicates that Polish academics experience ambivalences that stem from competing demands for them as professionals and care givers.
University of Gdansk plans gender equality measures for 2022-2023
University of Gdansk is introducing and monitoring the implementation of an antidiscrimination policy, building an academic community based on a science culture of equality and devising and implementing a coherent system for monitoring progress made in the direction of gender equality. According to the MINDtheGEPs team at University of Gdansk, the gender equality plan is an important part of the university’s strategy for 2020-2025.
Gender audits & our gender equality vision: Second newsletter issued!
Our detailed and diverse approach to data collection uses a mix of qualitative and quantitative instruments at national, organisational and individual level (what the researchers call macro, meso, and micro level). Partners have put in a lot of work. Both the core teams at each partner organisation and the administrative officers involved to support their work. Learn all about it in our latest newsletter!
Knowledge sharing to set the foundation for gender equality
MINDtheGEPs partners share the common challenge of modifying their institutions. This includes taking action to counteract the structures and cultures that currently uphold gender imbalances in each partner organisation. This will be achieved by implementing gender equality plans. And for those plans to work out, we need capacity-building on gender equality within partner organisations. The 7 MINDtheGEPs partners implementing gender equality plans will offer training in their organisation. In June, we meet in Vigo, Spain, to transfer knowledge between partners, and educate our respective local trainers to ensure a common vision.
Key findings from the MINDtheGEPs gender audit
MINDtheGEPs is made up of many different kinds of research organisations: public and private, big and small, STEM and SSH. All embedded in different national and regional contexts. According to Cristina Solera, MINDtheGEPs coordinator and professor of Sociology at the Department of Cultures, Politics and Society at the University of Turin, the MINDtheGEPs gender audits have allowed us to figure out our differences and similarities.
Producing data to take successful action
Gender is performed at all levels and in all parts of an organisation. To capture how inequalities are formed and reproduced, we need many different kinds of data. MINDtheGEPs is about to conclude its data collection process. We have looked at the national, organisational and individual levels, using qualitative and quantitative methods, at seven partner organisations. We talked to MINDtheGEPs coordinator Cristina Solera about the findings so far.
Consequences of the work-from-home mandate at Italian universities
The pandemic forced a reorganisation of work. With researchers and teachers working from home, many universities found themselves facing new challenges. As did their staff. The results from a large online survey study from members of the MINDtheGEPs team at University of Turin reveals the realities of 6 000+ people working at Italian universities forced to work from home during the pandemic, and the real-life consequences of the pandemic on work in the academy.
The MINDtheGEPs vision for gender equality in research
MINDtheGEPs partners share the common challenge of modifying their institutions. With our detailed and diverse approach to data collection, with a mix of qualitative and quantitative instruments at national, organisational and individual level (what the researchers call macro, meso, and micro level), partners have put in a lot of work. Both the core teams at each partner organisation and the administrative officers involved to support their work. But neither data collection nor data analyses and policy development are neutral: to design successful Gender Equality Plans (GEPs) for real change, you need a certain vision for gender equality in research.
Joining forces with GenderSmart for effective gender-based violence & sexual harassment policies
MINDtheGEPs is joining forces with Gender-SMART for the third MINDtheGEPs forum. On 28 February, Nathalie Wuiame, a member of the Gender-SMART consortium and Yellow Window trainer, will offer a training on effective policies to prevent gender-based violence and sexual harassment in research organisations.
Paving the way for quality in research: First newsletter issued!
Today, 11 February, is the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. We celebrated by sending our first project newsletter to show how MINDtheGEPs unites 10 organisations working to create the prerequisites for women and girls to become and exceed as researchers and innovators.
International Day of Women & Girls in Science: #DreamItBeIt!
On 11 February we celebrate the International Day of Women and Girls in Science by joining our fellow sister projects in a campaign sharing stories to encourage women and girls to pursue a career in research and innovation. We invite you to join us under #DreamItBeIt!
Ewa Łojkowska awarded Johannes Hevelius Award 2021 of the City of Gdańsk in life science
We are proud to announce that professor Ewa Łojkowska, who leads the MINDtheGEPs work at University of Gdańsk, has been awarded the Johannes Hevelius Award 2021 of the City of Gdańsk in life science. This is the most important scientific distinction in Pomerania, and it was awarded to Ewa Łojkowska for her outstanding scientific achievements in the field of phytopathology, especially genetics and diagnostics of bacterial plant pathogens.
MINDtheGEPs representation in EC expert group
The European Commission is launching a new expert group on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on gender equality in European research and innovation. The group’s mission will be delivering a study on the pandemic and its containment measures on different aspects of gender equality. Looking at the institutional, national and EU levels. MINDtheGEPs consortium member Lucio Pisacane is joining the work.
Happy holidays & MINDtheGEPs in 5 languages!
We are celebrating the holiday season by sharing the MINDtheGEPs project video in five different languages. Showing the diversity of our consortium that unites 10 partners from 7 EU countries in the quest to close the gender gap in research and innovation. Ensuring work-life balance for all, and increasing women's participation in research!
Expert panel on implementing gender equality plans in academia
As part of the SEA-EU alliance (European University of the Seas), University of Gdańsk organised an online experts panel on implementing gender equality plans in academia with University of Cádiz, Spain; Université de Bretagne Occidentale in Brest, France; University of Kiel, Germany; University of Split, Croatia; and University of Malta, Malta. The recording is now available and features several MINDtheGEPs members.
Launching our project video!
More and more women are choosing research careers. But despite this, women are still underrepresented as authors of peer-reviewed papers, leaders and in top positions at research institutions. We work to change this pattern. 10 MINDtheGEPs partners will spend 4 years changing structure and changing culture to achieve gender equality in research. We have described this vision in our recently launched project video.
Second MINDtheGEPs forum complete!
On 29 September 2021, Maxime Forest joined our second MINDtheGEPs forum to talk about framing and institutionalising change and what the path towards sustainable gender equality plans might look like. Covering the pre-requisites, or drivers, and principles for effective structural change.
Social responsibility & women in science at University of Gdansk
The University of Gdańsk is the largest university in the Pomorskie Region of Poland. The University of Gdańsk has been implementing structural change for several years through the realization of numerous projects from HORIZON 2020, like STARBIOS2 and RESBIOS, referring to responsible research and sustainable development goals. In a recently launched video series, MINDtheGEPs colleagues share their experiences.
GEinCEE open webinar: 'Towards Inclusive Gender Equality Plans'
Gender equality in higher education and research policy is given increasing attention as the data confirms persisting gender inequalities in science. Also, researchers themselves demand more engagement on the level of organisations for assuring equal treatment of all employees. At the same time institutional commitment to assuring gender equality becomes a prerequisite for prestigious awards, like HR Excellence in Research, and an eligibility criterion for Horizon Europe grants. Moreover, the new European Research Area Communication underlines both the need to continue efforts to address gender gaps, and to address the intersectionality and diversity in science.
Project flyer in Spanish!
With their help from MINDtheGEPs partner CTAG – Automotive Technology Centre of Galicia, a private non-profit research centre located in Galicia in northwest Spain, we have been able to translate the MINDtheGEPs project flyer to Spanish! Now available for download!
Presenting the MINDtheGEPs project!
MINDtheGEPS will reduce gender imbalances in European research institutions and generate data to support the development of national and European policy for gender equality in research performing organisations. Our project flyer & key areas infographic are now available for download!
Europe’s road to gender equality in research: recordings available!
16 June 2021 RELX, Elsevier, and MINDtheGEPs brought together leading experts from the world of policy, research, and education to discuss Europe’s road to gender equality, and what we can learn from the European leader – Portugal. The recordings from this event are now available.
First MINDtheGEPs forum complete!
On 22 June 2021, we held our first MINDtheGEPs forum. Keynote speaker Flavia Zucco spoke on moving from discrimination to successful inclusion and the specificities of discrimination in science, and mechanisms of discrimination such as stereotypes about women and science, evaluation criteria, resource allocation, transparency, and family burdens.