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Gender Debate in the European Research Area

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Striking a gender balance in R&D

For the success of the European Research Area (ERA) it is vital to attract the best researchers and ensure equitable gender representation. This can be achieved by changing recruitment strategies and approaches to career development.

Climate Change and Environment

To this end, the project 'Gender debate in the European Research Area' (GENDERA) gathered and made available valuable information on the topic. The material is accessible through an online database for use by all partners in a range of national contexts. Researchers first produced a manual for assessing gender equality initiatives in research and development (R & D) organisations. GENDERA identified such initiatives in their countries, and systemised best practices according to barriers and career stages being addressed as well as strategies for implementing change. The results have been included in a Synthesis Report that also compares GENDERA countries with respect to gender equality and their innovation system. To increase awareness, National Task Forces were established and a framework of collaboration was proposed as well as a plan of activities. This shaped the programme for each country's national workshop. Furthermore, an international roundtable was organised and guidelines were elaborated regarding gender policy for research organisations. The latter are available in the form of a booklet in nine languages. GENDERA efforts and deliverables ensured that project countries put the subject of gender on their agenda. To achieve this, project members sought out exchange with leaders of research organisations, and relevant stakeholders and policymakers. Communication channels (e.g. TV, press, print, radio) and personal exchanges/events were also leveraged for increasing awareness. The project's Policy Brief of recommendations summarises the knowledge gained, while the database offers a good source for analyses and identifying problems. Overall, findings highlight the need to better focus on issues affecting the process of implementing gender equality initiatives in R & D organisations. Knowing more about what hinders the successful implementation of such initiatives will help all involved adopt better approaches and enhance their potential for positive impact. The tools developed during GENDERA are valid beyond the project's duration and can be used to support improvements in gender balance in R & D organisations.


Gender balance, recruitment, career development, gender equality, research and development, gender policy, research organisation

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