Designing GEPs for sustainable institutional change

Structural change requires both short-term and long-term commitment. MINDtheGEPs is designing tailored gender equality plans (GEPs) for sustainable change in 7 European research organisations. Designing them to fit partners’ local context and targeting the areas where GEPs can make the biggest difference.

Informed by both quantitative and qualitative data from the MINDtheGEPs assessment of gender imbalances, we will tailor GEPs and the actions within them to the specific context of partner organisations. Priorities and measures to take may differ, but they will all target gender imbalances in decision-making, recruitment and career progression, and research and teaching.

Successful implementation and sustainability of GEPs requires buy-in. Within our joint framework, partners will take a participatory and cooperative approach to GEP development within their organisation. Partners will engage in mutual learning workshops and trainings, both among themselves and with others. Through the MINDtheGEPs forum, we will create and support discussion among researchers and stakeholders who want to share best practice advice and discuss the opportunities and challenges of implementing GEPs.

Building a strong team

Involving key individuals in positions of power who are committed to advancing gender equality is an important cornerstone of structural change. Each implementing partner organisation will build an implementing board consisting of STEMM and SSH representatives, as well as key decision-makers within their organisation that will support GEP design. To ensure organisational commitment, volunteers from inside each organisation can join the local MINDtheGEPs network. Key roles and bodies, such as a Gender Equality Manager or Gender Delegates Network, will be established to support gender equality also after the project ends.

Sustainable change also depends on political support, inside and outside of implementing organisations. We will rely on support from a collection of stakeholders and representatives from national authorities. Together with them, we will take stock of existing measures on the national level, and organise meetings to share information. With their support, we will be able to fine-tune the design of partner GEPs and seek future support for GEP sustainability.

Reaching a mutual understanding

Training will play an important role in raising awareness of the extent and causes of gender imbalances in partner organisations. To establish a common understanding of training aims and methodologies among all partners we will also adopt a “train the trainers” approach. These trainings will engage with the feminist debate on science, care and work: Covering topics such as equality in scientific careers, how to ensure gender balance in decision-making processes and bodies, how to integrate the gender dimension into research and innovation content, and how to counteract unconscious biases and provide new leadership models that make for more inclusive and family-friendly research environments.

Contact person

Lucio Pisacane

Lucio Pisacane is researcher at the Italian National Research Council (CNR). He is leading the MINDtheGEPs team at CNR designing the gender equality plan for systemic institutional change and supporting the management and implementation of the project. He is currently coordination the EU project, gEneSys, transforming gendered interrelations of power and inequalities for just energy systems. He is passionate about gender equality in science as a way to transform the research organisation towards inclusiveness, openness and diversity. In the belief that inclusive and diverse work environments nourish scientific work.

Contact: l.pisacane[at]

Ilaria Di Tullio

Ilaria Di Tullio is a researcher and gender expert at the Institute for Research on Population and Social Policies of the National Research Council. She obtained her PhD in methodology and social research from the “La Sapienza” University in Rome. She is active in the field of gender equality with a special interest in public policies about enhancing equal opportunities in public research organisations. She has experience in the management, collection, and analysis of statistical databases and the development of methodological social research tools. She was actively involved in the H2020-project GENERA and she is continuing her work with the GENERA Network. She is actively involved in the H2020-project RI-PEERS project. Through her work with OECD in Paris, she has collected experiences from several European organisations. She is also one of 20 experts chosen for the GEAcademy pan-European network of gender experts.

Contact: ilaria.ditullio[at]

Public deliverables & reports

Designing GEPs for systemic institutional change

This deliverable provides practical guidelines for putting gender equality plans into practice in organisations implementing Gender Equality Plans, with schemes on what key areas need to be addressed, what objectives have to be reached, what indicators are required in order to set targets, and the importance of a monitoring system. Guidelines and suggestions are based on the European policy framework but also on lessons learned and experiences gained from several European projects focused on implementing GEPs across Europe.

Di Tullio, Ilaria., Pisacane, Lucio., Marchesini, Nicolò., Cellini, Marco., & Tagliacozzo, Serena. (2023). MINDtheGEPs D3.1 – Guidelines for GEPs' implementation. Zenodo.

Designing GEPs for systemic institutional change

This report summarises the main advancements of the Gender Equality Plans (GEPs) of the MINDtheGEPs implementing partners after one year of the official approval of the strategic documents in each organisation. In addition, we analyse the steps of the implementation in each organisation highlighting facilitating and hindering factors of the ongoing structural change. The report provides an overall assessment of the progress, considering the entire process of structural change including context analysis, creating the transformative actors, and designing relevant GEPs for the identified challenges and gender balance. The report shows relevant steps forward in the implementation of the project GEPs although structural change actions will require far more than the 8 months covered by the report. The MINDtheGEPs project teams will follow working in the next 24 months to straighten and consolidate the GEPs measures.

Marchesini, Nicolò., & Pisacane, Lucio. (2024). D3.3 - Insights of GEPs improvement. Zenodo. DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.10512511

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MINDtheGEPs (Modifying Institutions by Developing Gender Equality Plans) has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no 101006543.

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