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Gender Equality Standards for AHMSSBL institutions throughout Europe

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - EQUAL4EUROPE (Gender Equality Standards for AHMSSBL institutions throughout Europe)

Reporting period: 2020-01-01 to 2021-03-31

The EQUAL4EUROPE consortium consists of 6 Research Performing Institutions (RPI), one international association of universities and one consultancy bureau who all have a clear focus on arts, humanities, medicine, social sciences, business and law (AHMSSBL). Whereas in the past gender equality was especially recognized as an issue by science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) RPIs, as is evident in the large number of research projects dedicated to this subject, it is now also more and more being recognized by AHMSSBL institutions. Within this project, we will develop free knowledge, tools and best practices for AHMSSBL institutions related to:

- Removing barriers to the recruitment, retention and career progression of female researchers;
- Addressing gender imbalances in decision making processes; and,
- Integrating the gender dimension in research and innovation content.

More specifically, the six RPIs will develop and implement tailored Gender Equality Plans (GEPs) in order to realize sustainable cultural and institutional change. These GEPs will be informed by the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) GEAR tool that will be tailored appropriately to fit the individual work plans. The EQUAL4EUROPE participants will start by assessing their current situations in depth, identifying the main areas of intervention, developing and implementing GEPs and, finally, monitor their results using specific targets and indicators. Part of this project is moreover to establish a network for GE officers from AHMSSBL institutions across Europe.
The first fifteen months of the EQUAL4EUROPE project have been dedicated to establishing the baseline work for the generation and implementation of the Gender Equality Plans, which will begin in month 16 (objectives 3-5). This has involved extensive in-depth analysis to establish measurable gender equality indices (GEI), surveys of faculty, staff, young researchers and students at each of the six research performing institutions (Esade, EUR-RSM, Comenius, IEDC, ESMT and INSEAD), and identifying a series of SMART objectives which will orientate our Gender Equality Plans.
The participating institutions aim to make an impact in the following fields:

1) Increase in the participation of women in research and innovation and improvement of their careers prospects
With the EQUAL4EUROPE project we want to address the phenomenon of the leaky pipeline, i.e. we want to increase the percentage of women where necessary, but especially in higher positions. Organisational and cultural practices in academic and scientific research institutions demonstrably lead to gender inequality in science and research. The result is a shears effect - a rapid decrease of women in higher qualifications (professors, PhDs) and in decision positions (deans, directresses, chairwomen), large gender differences in the concentration of women and men in different scientific fields and research as well as continuing income differences between women and men that hold the same positions. In order to address this phenomenon, a variety of activities will be implemented related to e.g. family support, work-life balance, gender pay gap, removing biases, improving recruitment processes, female support programmes. These activities can be grouped into activities related to HR policies, budgeting and organisational culture. Clearly the cause for gender inequality is complex and needs careful analysis. Every institute will identify a set of activities tailored to improve their specific situation. On the medium to long term, every participating institute will demonstrate an improved balance (%) in terms of female/male.

2) Improvement of gender balance in decision-making bodies in research organisations
If we look at the She Figures related to women in decision-making bodies, there is still a lot of work to do. In addition, almost all participating institutions recognize the fact that women are underrepresented in decision-making. Changing these figures will require specific activities and patience, since this is not something that can be changed on the short term. What we aim to achieve within the EQUAL4EUROPE project, is to increase the awareness on this topic, especially among higher levels. In addition, we want to establish policies and quotas to effectuate actual change. On the long term we want to increase the percentages, so that they are up or above EU average. The final aim is of course a 50% / 50% balance in all decision-making bodies.

3) Inclusion, where relevant, of the gender dimension in research content and increase in the quality and societal relevance of produced knowledge, technologies and innovations
The EQUAL4EUROPE project aims to generate optimum impact by means of harnessing the creative power of sex and gender analysis to take research in new directions, and new heights. Knowledge is the basis on which future generations will build their societies. It is therefore crucial that the knowledge which is created through research and transferred through education is free of gender bias. Thus, as this project demonstrates, research and innovation activities need to critically examine both gender differences and inequalities. The added-value of integrating gender dimension into research and innovation allows:
Ensuring excellence and quality in outcomes and enhancing sustainability;
Making research and innovation more responsive to social needs;
Developing new ideas and fostering innovation;

Concrete measures will be developed to ensure the inclusion of the gender dimension in research. This is especially for AHMSSBL focused institutions of great importance.
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