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Gender Equality in Engineering through Communication and Commitment

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - GEECCO (Gender Equality in Engineering through Communication and Commitment)

Reporting period: 2018-08-01 to 2019-10-31

Scientific and technological innovations are increasingly important in our knowledge-based economies. Today STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) is literally everywhere; it shapes our everyday experiences. With technologies we choose e.g. structures that influence over a very long time how people are going to work, communicate, travel, consume, and so forth. It is thus both a question of competitiveness and justice,to achieve gender equity within science and technology institutions, including policy and decision-making bodies.
GEECCO aims to establish tailor-made Gender Equality Plans (GEPs) in 4 European RPOs and to implement the gender dimension in 2 RFOs (funding schemes, programmes and review processes). All participating RPOs are located in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) field, where gender equality is still a serious problem and whose innovations are increasingly important in the knowledge-based economies.
GEECCO pursues the following objectives in order to enhance systemic institutional change towards gender equality in the STEM-field: (i) Setting up change framework and a tailor-made GEP for each participating RPO; (ii) Implementing gender criteria in the activities of RFOs; (iii) Setting up a self-reflective learning environment in and between all RPOs und RFOs to participate from existing experiences and match them with their specific needs and circumstances. (iv) Evaluate GEP implementation within the participating RPOs and RFOs with a quantitative evaluation using monitoring indicators and a qualitative monitoring to enhance and fine-tune implemented actions over the course of the project.
"Within the first reporting period, all work packages have started, two of them are already finished.
Within WP2 the project management structure has been set up, three project meetings (in Vienna, Barcelona and Krakow) took place. All official requirements have been fulfilled. WP3 had a duration of 7 months and was finished within that time frame. As a result, tailor-made GEPs for each of the 4 implementing RPOs were developed. These GEPs serve as a basis for the upcoming WPs. WP4, WP5, WP6 have all started on time and the first results – baseline documentations – were produced (see the resp. deliverables). WP7 deals with the RFO-perspective, preliminary work was conducted, and the first RFO-observer group meeting took place. Within WP8 all trainings were developed, some of them have already taken place. Furthermore, a help desk consisting of skype, face-to-face consultancy as well as remote supporting documents was implemented, which is continuously adapted to the partners’ needs. Within WP9 dissemination activities on both, national as well as European level, have been carried out. WP10 developed monitoring templates and the evaluation concept was developed.

Within the second reporting period, the work on the WPs except for those that have already been finished has been continued.
Within WP2, two project meetings (in Prague and Scilla/Reggio Calabria) took place. All official requirements have been fulfilled.
Under WP4 all RPOs have started actions at a different degree of achievement, depending on the context, the starting point and some changes occurred in the previous months (e.g. new elections and renewal of decision-making bodies at UNIRC and UPC; new legal framework at PK).
WP5 took a holistic look on the RPOs and also investigated the female students as well as administrative and technical female staff members. Within this WP, the human resources strategies for administrative staff, research and teaching staff, etc. are analysed and gender-sensitive and gender-specific tailor-made actions have been designed and implemented.
With the work conducted so far in WP6 the objective of implementing gender in research and teaching is clearly and directly targeted. The first step – the analysis of current curricula and research projects - aims to identify possible lectures as well as research projects that are appropriate for adding gender content/gender perspectives. Comprehensive literature reviews in the fields of mobility, energy, robotics and human-computer-interaction (HCI) have been conducted and an exhibition on ""gender in research"" has been developed. In addition to the literature reviews, two explanatory videos about gender & robotics and gender & HCI were produced and are available on youtube.
All 4 RPOs have (based on preliminary work under WP3 that was already reported in the Periodic Report No.1) further worked on their Gender Equality Plans (GEP). In the reporting period the first version of each GEP was updated as Deliverable 8.3 “Tailor-made GEP (version 2.0)”.
Within WP7 a RFO-network (including 2 partners and 5 observer group members) has been set up and several workshops and exchange formats to share knowledge and tools for enhancing the gender dimension in RFOs’ programmes and services have been carried out so far. The knowledge exchange is documented in Deliverable 7.1. Moreover, both RFOs actively promoted gender balance among applicants in some of their programmes – WWTF included a new sub-question in the category for the quality of the team in the evaluation sheet, TA CR improved its system of evaluation of gender balance in its programme ZÉTA.
WP8 has continued developing the materials to be used in the training sessions (scripts and slides), as well as contextualizing each training session’s content for their delivery in the respective partner organisations. The scripts and materials for a customized training session on gender in teaching have also been developed. Training materials were translated to the different languages for delivery of the trainings in the local language of each partner, except for Polish (CZ, DE, ES, IT). During the second reporting period, 18 training sessions have been delivered at all 4 RPOs. Monthly online helpdesk sessions, open for the RPOs as well as the RFO partners, have taken place. As from September 2018, each helpdesk session was devoted to a specific topic (e.g. status and actions regarding the Communities of Practitioners, learning loops, the WP5 gender training sessions, the updating of the GEPs, stakeholder mobilisation, …).
Within WP9 dissemination activities on both, national as well as European level, have been further carried out. WP10 worked on monitoring and evaluation of the GEP-implementing activities of all 4 RPOs and has submitted the resp. deliverable D10.4 in December 2019 (which is project month 32; after the second reporting period). However, as the report shows a clear picture on the status of all 4 RPOs the GEECCO project team will take the results and recommendation of the interim evaluation into account when shaping the project for the upcoming months and years."
All WPs – except for the two that are already finished – will be conducted as foreseen in the DoA. No major deviations are expected.
A promising collaboration with the sister projects CHANGE, TARGET and GRANTed was started. Especially the GEECCO results from WP 6 and 7 have met great interest from the other projects and will be rapidly disseminated to other RPOs and RFOs that are also working on a gender equality strategy.