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Gender Equality Actions in Research Institutions to traNsform Gender ROLES

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - GEARING ROLES (Gender Equality Actions in Research Institutions to traNsform Gender ROLES)

Reporting period: 2019-01-01 to 2020-03-31

Gender equality is one of the key challenges facing today's society. Worldwide, it manifests itself in many ways, including wages, employment opportunities and access to education. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) seek to address some of today's most important global problems, and SDG 5 aims to address the issue of gender equality. Ending all forms of discrimination against women and girls is not only a basic human right, but is also crucial to accelerating sustainable development.
Still today, by arranging women and men in hierarchically separate roles, the way scientific knowledge is created, implemented and transmitted into society is not free from the regional and systemic structure that creates gender inequalities. Research indicates that the perpetuation of overt and indirect sex and gender inequalities and inequalities in study output is minimal, and that instead inequalities are the results of more covert mechanisms such as biases, stereotypes and gender roles. In any case, working towards gender equality matters because it is not only a matter of social justice, but can also lead to increased success and effectiveness.
Through the implementation of 6 Gender Equality Plans (GEPs), GEARING-Roles aims at challenging and transforming gender roles and identities linked to professional careers, and work towards real institutional change. The project's main objective is to promote structural change in the 6 GEP implementing institutions, questioning and transforming traditional gender roles at the micro, meso, and macro levels. The main tool for promoting institutional change is the implementation of 6 GEPs following the methodology described in the GEAR Tool.
In addition to the general aim of promoting structural change in the GEP implementing institutions, GEARING-Roles holds four specific objectives:
1. Female career progression: To remove barriers to female recruitment and devise Personal Career Development Plans (PCDPs).
2. Leadership and decision-making: To address gender imbalances in the representation, processes, and the promotion of women leadership in research institutions.
3. Education and research: to provide alternative references in traditionally male dominated areas (STEM) and in those where women are majority but kept under glass ceilings (Health & Care, Hum, Law, SSCC in general) by strengthening the gender dimension in research programs and methodologies, fostering gender knowledge and scientific production in relation to gender and feminist studies, and by reinforcing women researchers’ careers.
4. Promotion of Gender Equality in Research Organisations and key stakeholders for the reinforcement of ERA: disseminate the common framework and outputs for institutional gender assessment, planning, monitoring and evaluation to establish commitment to gender equality in major European stakeholder organisations and build a sustainable long-term network of organisations advancing gender equality.
During the first reporting period, the first stones towards the setting up and the approval of GEPs have been laid. WP1 ensured that the data collection for institutional assessment was performed according to ethical principles and that data protection measures were in place. The guidelines and ethical standards were captured in Ethical deliverables submitted in M1 and DMP submitted in M6. Under WP2, the basic guidelines for the consortium functioning have been developed. Besides, the Kick off Meeting, two Institutional Pairing Events, as well as the First Annual Conference and a Consortium Meeting were organised.
In the context of WP3, common guidelines for conducting the institutional assessment reports have been agreed. Then, partners have gathered their own data, and information ending up with a detailed picture of the current state of affairs at institutional level, baseline for the drafting of actions.
WP4, WP5 and WP6 addressed the different specific objectives of the project, collaborating in the drafting of GEPs by providing actions regarding their area of expertise. Furthermore, several resources for the inclusion of gender perspective in the career progression and in teaching and research (gender mainstreaming) have been developed. In the context of leadership and decision-making processes, several inspiring initiatives have been identified, and training actions with current and potential leaders of the institutions are proposed and implemented.
The entire process of collecting data and drafting of GEPs has been accompanied with capacity building activities and workshops on participatory techniques, both for enlarging the knowledge of the task forces and giving them tools for involving the academic community in the change process the GEP envisions. Moreover, a helpdesk has been constituted, to give support to implementing institutions with their particular difficulties.
During this first reporting period, a dissemination strategy has been designed. The website of the project and the social media networks have been launched, and the algorithms for the identification of relevant actors to engage in the context of the dissemination campaigns (to be developed during RP2) have been developed. GEARING Roles has released 29 blogpost, participated/launched 4 shared campaigns with sister projects and was featured in the 2nd issue of the Project Repository Journal focused on gender equality. Project website has 3742 new users and project´s social networks are performing excellent, with 810 followers in twitter, 116 in Facebook, 118 in Instagram, and 374 connections in Linkedin. For all this, GEARING Roles was highlighted as a best practice in dissemination by Europa Media in one of its training courses held in Vienna.
Finally, all the process of design and implementation of GEPs is backed by an external evaluator, whose main inputs during this first reporting period has to do with the continuous monitoring and evaluation of assessments and GEP drafts.
During this first periodic report GEARING-Roles has achieved a significant impact already, both at the project level and in global terms. GEPIs have devoted great attention to understand the context of their institutions and to identify key stakeholders that will help to achieve project mail goal: the implementation of 6 GEPs and the achievement of structural change. These stakeholders have been incorporated to project task forces. GEARING-Roles has made a great effort to map and establish relations with equality projects and key stakeholders in Europe. As proposed, the project has been disseminated and its outcomes have been communicated to relevant parties. Social media has been a strong tool to this end and has been successfully growing during the project's first year.The Twitter account has earned 878 followers (at the time of writing 31/03/2020) and this number grows day by day; various campaigns were launched and engaged with followers during key dates such as the 25th of November and the 8th of March. Moreover, as stated in the GA, GEARING-Roles has developed an engagement plan to connect relevant actors and stakeholders and create a strong community around the topic of gender. To that end, UDEUSTO has developed a PageRank algorithm that will identify relevant nodes to broader the impact of our dissemination campaigns