As part of the European Commission's Gender Equality Strategy for 2020-2025, the European Commission is committed to promoting gender equality in research and innovation. This is alongside the well-established regulatory framework within the EU on gender equality which apply widely across the labour market including the research sector.
Because of the peculiarities of the research sector, specific action is needed to overcome persisting gender gaps. Many structural barriers to gender equality in research and innovation persist. These barriers within research have been typically addressed through:
- funding instruments such as Horizon 2020
- the European Research Area in collaboration with member countries and research organisations.
What we are doing at EUR
As a participating research organisation, Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) and its Executive Board (CvB) have supported these robust actions as part of our own commitment towards gender equality within our academic community and in the wider academic environment, it resides in.
Consequently, EUR has and continues to support the development of structures and targeted measures that enhance gender equality and social equity within our community. This is a key priority for us in the future also as an institution focused on delivering societal impact.
We have developed a multitude of structures and measures to address gender equality at EUR: from training opportunities, raising awareness on gender equality, the creation of equality toolkits and policy measures to ensure inclusive recruitment and career progression.
On this page, you can find the measures, activities and policies that have been developed and executed to support our wider aims. It also includes planned initiatives for the coming 2 years. These measures are part of the assignment given to the D&I Office by the Executive Board and form part of its focus and work.
The commitment of human resources and gender expertise to implement the Gender Equality Plan (in the course of 2021-2022)
This is available by means of a fully staffed D&I Office with a Chief Diversity Officer (a female Professor of Behavioural Change), a manager, a communications advisor, several project leaders on topics such as inclusive curriculum, engagement of students, and on monitoring and research.
We also have a dedicated D&I HR expert that works in both the D&I Office and the central HR policy unit. Amongst others, this expert had around €30.000 per year at her disposal to develop relevant D&I trainings. The D&I Office organises relevant events throughout the academic year to raise awareness and share knowledge on D&I topics and to create networks and communities. D&I Office supports student initiatives and a staff network specifically for women.
Furthermore, we have, in each faculty, faculty diversity officers that focus on promoting targeted measures at all faculty. In addition, the HR policy unit has dedicated resources (1,5 fte staff members) that focus on a safe and healthy work environment, which also entails the subject of social safety.
Data collection and monitoring
Sex/gender disaggregated data on personnel and students and annual reporting based on indicators (in the course of 2021-2022)
EUR collects data on and monitors sex/gender disaggregated data on personnel and students and annual reporting based on indicators in the course of 2021. At present (d.d. December 2020) a D&I monitor is being developed in which these data will be shared. Already, the Executive Board uses this data to have bi-yearly meetings with faculty and services to make agreements, set goals and monitor targets.
Work-life balance and organisational culture
EUR is aware that organisational culture and work-life balance are key components for establishing an environment where both men and women can thrive in and have equal opportunities in building a fulfilling career. Organisational culture and work-life balance is a broad thematic area that covers issues such as:
1. Gender-sensitive communication;
2. Childcare provisions;
3. Maternity/paternity/parental leave provisions:
EUR offers measures and will formulate targets on (use of) several topics such as a healthy work-life balance: We already offer a collection of services ranging from life balance coaches specific measures for starting a family, courses on stress management, mindfulness, time management, to support for healthy lifestyle, and gathered, in one brochure, all the measures that contribute to being a family friendly employer.
The EUR offers training opportunities to raise awareness on gender equality and trainings in unconscious biases for staff and decision makers. In the past 2 years, all top management of faculties and support services have received an implicit bias training. In the coming 2 years, the EUR will develop and offer training that gives tools and skills on how to avoiding/diminish the biases in regular work processes (such as inclusive recruitment and selection, inclusive communication, and a training such as active bystander).
The right to maternity leave applies both prior to and after childbirth. A pregnant employee is in any case entitled to 16 weeks of leave. Within certain limits, a pregnant employee may herself determine how many weeks of leave she will take before and after childbirth. Birth leave is also made available to partners. Birth leave is sometimes also referred to as paternity leave or partner leave. Following the birth of a child, the partner is entitled to paid birth leave equal to the number of hours worked in one week, starting from the first day after the birth of the child.
You are eligible for care leave at EUR if you have a partner, a parent or child who is ill and requires you to provide care or home care. Care leave is also possible if it involves brothers, sisters, grandparents, grandchildren, household members and acquaintances.
Lastly, EUR have policies for female assistant and associate professors that supports them in replacing some of their education/research tasks after pregnancy.
Measures & Targets: Gender balance in leadership and decision-making
EUR strives to be a gender-balanced institution, where its members have equal access to and a balanced participation in leadership and other decision-making roles.
We offered and will continue to offer training opportunities to raise awareness on gender equality and for unconscious biases for staff and decision makers. In the past 2 years, all top management of faculties and support services have received an implicit bias training. In the coming 2 years we will develop and offer training that gives tools and skills on how to avoiding/diminish the biases in regular work processes (such as inclusive recruitment and selection, inclusive communication, and a training such as active bystander. We also offer training for Academic Leadership which contains modules on how to become an inclusive leader. See our Training and development platform (https://www.eur.nl/en/working/training-eur/about-top) for all the trainings we provide for academic and professional support staff.
Gender equality in recruitment and career progression
As a higher educational institution, we at EUR have a say in who gets to build our future societies. Therefore we find it important that our educational environment is free of gender bias. In order to reduce bias in our research and education content, it is vital to take into consideration the equality dimension of gender, from biological traits and social features of both men and women.
Consequently, EUR conducts several measures to ensure gender equality in recruitment and career progression. We recently finalised our toolkit to ensure inclusive recruitment and selection, and are developing mini e-learnings on this topic which will be complete in 2021. Also, EUR is closely monitoring the proportion of female professors, and has agreed on reaching at least 25% in 2025. To this end we launched the 25/25 policy measure in 2019, and reached our target in 2021.
Measures & Targets: Integration of the gender dimension into research and teaching content
EUR strives to be a socially responsible institution that successfully integrates and proliferates gender conscious research and education.
We aim to integrate the gender dimension into research and teaching content via the implementation of a D&I monitor and via proposal on Inclusive Education. We will aim to structurally monitor diversity in grant applications and recommendations for awards (specifically regarding male/female ratio).
Measures & Targets: Against gender-based violence including sexual harassment.
At EUR we strive to cultivate an Erasmian community that operates fundamentally on the grounds of mutual respect between all its members. Consequently, gender-based violence is not tolerated within our institution. Dedicated structures have been set up to tackle this problem.
At EUR has developed several measures to eliminate gender-based violence such as sexual harassment within our community. We have a network of confidential counsellors and an ombudsperson who is there for student and staff members. In addition, EUR has developed guidelines on our intranet (MyEUR) for managers on how to handle undesirable behaviour, and formed a committee on dealing with undesirable behaviour.
HR is setting up a ‘Meldpunt Huiselijk Geweld en Kindermishandeling’ (Hotline Domestic Violence and Child abuse) and a ‘Meldpunt Agressie en geweld’ (Hotline Aggression)