EUR begins project to promote gender equality at academic research centers
Funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme, EQUAL4EUROPE aims to develop gender-equality plans for European research and higher education institutions to apply in their management strategies and diversity plans.
Over the next four years, the project will pursue several lines of research, involving all levels of each institution, including students, faculty, researchers and general management. This will make it possible not only to diagnose and improve the situation, but also to raise awareness of gender equality within each group.
According to Anna Ginès, coordinator of EQUAL4EUROPE, ‘The higher the position at European universities and research centres, the fewer the women who hold it.’ ‘It is like a leaking pipeline’, she warned. ‘Women go from accounting for 47% of PhDs to 33% of researchers to 20% of full-time lecturers. With regard to management bodies, only one in five European institutions in the field are headed by women.’
“Closing the gender gap is crucial for widening the talent pool of universities,” comments Dr Joana Vassilopoulou, Project Lead, Erasmus University. “We will develop programmes, policies and measure to support our universities to harness the untapped female working potential.”
These sentiments are echoed by EUR's chief diversity officer, Prof. Semiha Denktaş, who sees EQUAL4EUROPE as “an important opportunity for EUR to create evidence-based Gender Equality Plans that engender actual change and thus amplify the day-to-day impact of ECWO and D&I@EUR within our institution and beyond.
The project, coordinated by Esade, will also serve as a forum for sharing and disseminating knowledge and findings and will enable the creation of a European network of gender equality officers in which all the Union’s research and higher education institutions can share their experience with the practical implementation of the project’s plans and recommendations.