European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE)

This project aimed at:

  • Mapping and analysing legal and policy frameworks and other stimulatory initiatives promoting gender equality in research in the EU Member States
  • Identifying good practices for promoting gender equality in research and higher education institutions
  • Developing an online tool to assist research and higher education institutions in setting up, implementing, monitoring and evaluating gender equality plans

The fieldwork in the 28 EU Member States took place in the fall of 2015. An analytical paper was drafted to describe the main policies, legislative frameworks, and other initiatives to support institutional change for gender equality in academia and research institutions in the European Union. An opinion paper puts forward gender mainstreaming as an effective strategy to achieve gender equality in academic and research institutions. Country information sheets describing the legal and policy frameworks at national level, as well as relevant initiatives at institutional level were compiled and made available online.

With the goal of setting concrete examples that can inspire the work of others throughout the EU, during the fieldwork, one to three examples of interesting initiatives contributing to the promotion of gender equality in research and higher education institutions were identified in each of the EU Member States. From the 57 examples identified across the EU Member States, 10 good practices were selected in an expert consultation meeting held in Vilnius in November 2015. These 10 good practices have been documented in detail and uploaded on EIGE’s website.

Throughout the project, three physical meetings were organised to bring together experts in the field. Two online discussions were set up to allow for a broader consultation with experts and practitioners across and beyond the EU. Finally, a learning and dissemination seminar was organised to present and discuss the work that culminated in the GEAR tool (Gender in Academia and Research).

The GEAR tool was developed in close consultation with stakeholders from all over the European Union. Many experts and practitioners were invited to express their needs and expectations for such a tool, to share their insights and experiences in promoting gender equality in research and higher education institutions, and to test the online tool before its launch in October 2016. These feedback rounds were extremely useful to design a tool that covers the whole process of promoting gender equality in academia and research. To accompany the online tool, two short guides were compiled to summarise the step-by-step approach to set up a gender equality plan, and to enumerate the main success factors and obstacles when promoting gender equality work in research and higher education institutions.