Day 1: November 25, 2021

(1:20pm) Keynote speech by Marcela Linková "Taking an EU-wide look at GEP implementation"

Gender Equality Plans (GEP) have become the dominant instrument for promoting institutional changes to advance gender equality in research and higher education institutions at the EU level as well as in many member states. In the talk the different approaches to GEP implementation across EU member states will be presented, together with continued challenges and barriers and new areas for action. These will be considered against the current policy developments at the EU level such as the ERA policy agenda which is currently under development and the Ljubljana Declaration presented in July by the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU.

(2:00pm) Session "Designing, Implementing and Monitoring a Gender Equality Plan - Practical Insights for Change Agents"

In our presentation, we would like to share with the participants what conclusions we have made based on our own experiences regarding the successful design and implementation of gender equality plans. What aspects should be considered and who should be involved? Why does communication play an important role in the implementation process and why should change agents not forget to take care of themselves?

(2:25pm) Session "It is all about power! - Gender and intercultural awareness in East-West-EU-Project cooperation"

We need to understand the differing power structures to find the right formula for individually tailor-made Gender Equality Plans. That is why we see gender and intercultural awareness as two vital ingredients of one dish - when working together as partners in EU-Projects.

(2:50pm) Session "Supporting and Implementing Partners in SPEAR - different but same same?"

In their session, SPEAR partners from the University of Southern Denmark (SDU) and the University of Rijeka (UNIRI) give an insight on what is special about the SPEAR project. They illuminate the challenges they as SPEAR partners face in GEP implementation. Finally, reflecting on contextual differences encountered in SPEAR, they will discuss whether the East-West divide has implications for GEP implementation work within EU gender equality projects.

(3:30pm) Panel discussion "Culture eats strategy for breakfast? Perspectives on Gender Equality Plan (GEP) implementation from short-, long-term and associated EU member states"

The panel discussion will bring together the different perspectives on the implementation of the Gender Equality Plans (GEP) from different EU sister projects and will discuss the central question of whether national and organisational as well as institutional culture actually eats the strategy, i.e. the GEP, for breakfast. They will in turn elaborate on the ways in which GEPs can influence organisational and institutional cultures and what the conclusions are for GEP implementation and gender equality work, both within EU-funded gender equality projects and for universities and research institutions across Europe.


Day 2: November 26, 2021

(9:10am) Talk by Katharina Scharrer "Career and cultural enhancement at Fraunhofer - Insights into measures and programs to promote equal opportunity"

Science, business and politics are currently at a turning point where they need to change the cultures of organizations and their framework conditions in order to create equal career and development opportunities for women and men. The study "Equal Opportunities at Fraunhofer" provides information on the key strengths and development areas for promoting equal opportunities at the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. In addition, this framework can be used to derive concrete starting points through which research organizations can anchor equal work, career and development opportunities more firmly in their culture. Central measures and programs for the promotion of equal opportunities could be, for example, an accompanying offer for Fraunhofer institutes or an unconscious bias e-learning platform.

(9:40am) Talk by Ulla Weber "European Superfood: How to empower national structures"

It seems to be two different universes: temporary EU projects including gripping intercultural discussions, moments of great cross-national visions of gender equality on the one side and the steady, persistent, often exhausting and small-scale everyday gender equality work in national research organizations and their institutes on the other. The prerequisite for sustainable gender equality-oriented progress of both worlds is to link the different discourses. This happens only rarely. Why is that? How can collaboration succeed?

(10:10am) Talk by Maren A. Jochimsen "Towards a gender-sensitive scientific culture - Key elements of lasting progress"

Supported by national and European research policies, efforts to improve gender equality in science and research by promoting women in science and fostering structural change in research institutions have led to considerable progress. But so far, implementation and achievements often lack sustainability, and gender inequality in academia remains a pressing problem. The talk addresses this situation by presenting key elements of a forward-looking, integrated approach to promoting equal opportunities in research and innovation. Using examples from engineering and technology, particular focus will be on the role of the gender dimension in research and innovation and the crucial contribution of gender research to creating a gender-sensitive scientific culture.

(11:00am) Workshop 1 "Informal career mechanisms as obstacles for gender equal careers"

Gender research on networking practices as one informal career mechanism in organizations have shown that these practices are gendered and produce inequalities. Lack of awareness towards these informal and at the same time usually taken for granted practices is seen as an important explanation for the persistence of structural gender inequalities in science. Moreover, informal career mechanisms produce discrepancies between institutional employment and career development guidelines that are implemented in research organizations with the aim to increase transparency in these procedures. And, it seems difficult for change and transfer agents to counter these informal practices. In the workshop we will reflect on informal career mechanisms in scientific careers and will discuss gender equality strategies that are seen promising to counteract inequality through these mechanisms.

(11:00am) Workshop 2 "Time is money! How career trap academic housekeeping reflects on gender budeting"

Academic housekeeping concerns any task which is low-status, mostly invisible, time-consuming and still essential for the organization. Literature has demonstrated that Academic housekeeping is largely ascribed to women, because of gender stereotypes on caring attitude, of a discriminatory academic culture and of a distorted approach to the competition dynamics. This different quality of tasks undertaken during the academic working time represents a barrier to women’s careers, besides a loss of talents and potential of research as well as a worse quality of the Research Performing Organizations' (RPO) budget in terms of productivity and efficacy.

In recent years, the Gender Budgeting (GB) methodology has been experimented in RPOs as a monitoring tool for a more gender-equal distribution and use of resources. This workshop presents a framework of connecting the GB methodology and the academic time use, with a specific focus on the gender imbalance of academic housekeeping, including an exchange on possible ways of implementation.