Gender equality is a fundamental value and an essential part of European research and innovation policy. Since the first Communication on women and science in 1999 and throughout the first decade of this century, EU institutions have called to facilitate the involvement of women in the academic sector, with gender equality, now one of the five priorities of the European Research Area.
Devising and implementing Gender Equality Plans in higher education institutions or research centres is a formal requirement to enhance actions that favour real and effective equality between women and men. While this is a reality, its effectiveness is bound to a series of factors, like the suitability of the agents involved in its setting-up, the strategic alliances built, and the awareness raised on the potential resistances that are to be faced in its implementation and that prevent real structural changes in these organisations.
Every Gender Equality Plan should be understood as a process that is born out of the will to grow and become stronger so that equality between women and men can be promoted and legitimised.
GEARING-Roles is a four-year Coordination and Support Action project that will bring together a pan-European group of academics and industry professionals to collaborate and exchange knowledge, good practices, and lessons learned on designing, implementing, and evaluating 6 Gender Equality Plans (GEPs).
The project therefore, has a firm objective of challenging and transforming gender roles and identities linked to professional careers, and working towards real institutional change. This multi-disciplinary, multi-national, and multi-sectorial collaboration will be supported by training in this space, mentoring activities, awareness raising campaigns as well as bi-annual videos and podcasts and annual networking events.
GEARING-Roles targets the questioning and transformation of traditional gender roles at the micro, meso, and macro levels, with four main objectives:
Trilateral will be leading WP 8 (Dissemination and Outreach) which will seek to coordinate project-wide communication, dissemination and outreach activities to ensure project awareness, knowledge sharing and the uptake of GEARING tools and results. It will engage with key stakeholders online and offline, in gender and equality in research and innovation across Europe.
Trilateral will also optimise the reach and visibility of the project by disseminating practical information and guidelines on methods and instruments for institutional change on gender equality within and beyond the GEARING- Roles network. It will do so through the use of videos, podcasts, mentoring programmes, yearly conferences and campaign activities on University Campuses and online. Within its activities, Trilateral will also facilitate collaboration and information exchange with project partners, research organisations, and other projects and networks.
GEARING-Roles will implement six new tailored gender equality plans (GEPs) in 5 European Universities and work towards sustainable changes in institutional mechanisms, policies, practices and procedures that foster gender equality. This includes mechanisms for multilevel and multi-stakeholder consultations that are gender equal, mechanisms for collection, monitoring and evaluation of gender sensitive data, and changing mentalities through awareness-raising, training and dissemination and communication campaigns.
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The GEARING-Roles project – Gender Equality Actions in Research Institutions to traNsform Gender ROLES – has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 824536.