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GENDer equality in the ERA Community To Innovate policy implementatiON

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - GENDERACTION (GENDer equality in the ERA Community To Innovate policy implementatiON)

Reporting period: 2018-07-01 to 2019-09-30

Gender equality is one of the five priorities of the European Research Area. It is today recognized that actions and policies must focus on legislative and especially institutional levels (cultural and institutional change) rather than seeing gender equality as something that concerns women and is up to women’s choices and behaviours. This shift from “fixing women” to “fixing institutions” and “fixing knowledge” marks an important recognition at policy level of the systemic barriers and disadvantages women face in research and innovation and the importance of the gender dimension in research and innovation.
It is also clear that actions must be taken by multiple actors beyond the European Commission: notably Member States, Research Funding Organizations (RFOs) and Research Performing Organizations (RPOs) and other stakeholders. Without sustained efforts by all these actors, gender equality will be difficult to achieve. National authorities in the Member States play a crucial role in this endeavour as they are responsible for creating the legislative and institutional environment.
This is where GENDERACTION comes into play. Funded by Horizon 2020, GENDERACTION is an innovative policy community set to advance the implementation of the gender priority in the ERA until 2020 and beyond. We are doing this through providing policy advice and recommendations to relevant stakeholders at the EU and national levels as well as networking, sharing good practices and policy solutions and providing trainings to relevant stakeholders. We are a network of national representatives from EU Member States and Associated Countries.
In GENDERACTION we recognize that we are at different stages of gender equality implementation in Europe. We want to learn from these differences but also push for further advancement so that gender equality actions do not focus on partial topics that are perhaps less controversial such as work-life balance but also on the more comprehensive approaches embodied in the concept of cultural and institutional change. Cooperation with the ERAC Standing Working Group on Gender in Research and Innovation (SWG GRI) is a high priority for us, and some of the SWG GRI members are partners in the GENDERACTION consortium or act as members of the Advisory Group on ERA Priority 4 Implementation.
Our target groups for trainings, mutual learning, policy advice and communication include: national authorities and bodies related to ERA implementation and EU R&I policy, relevant members of the European Parliament, National Contact Points (NCPs), H2020 programme committee members, ERA Stakeholder Platform Organizations, EU-funded projects promoting gender equality in research organizations, European Institute for Gender Equality, European Platform of Women Scientists, and the research community overall.
The project was launched on 1 April 2017 and two major actions were launched immediately. Work package 3 aims at benchmarking the implementation of the ERA Roadmap and specifically Priority 4 gender equality and gender mainstreaming. For this purpose an analysis of the published National Action Plans (NAPs) in Priority 4 was carried out, followed by a questionnaire survey distributed among members of the Standing Working Group on Gender in Research and Innovation, to map NAPs implementation. The analysis of NAPs implementation was updated in 2019 and shows continued differences in approach and levels of implementation of gender equality policies in Member States. The analysis also shows that the current indicator to measure progress in the European Research Area toward gender equality is not appropriate and can, in fact, be misleading. The members of the consortium are using these results to bolster the message that gender equality must be retained as one of the priorities for the future of European Research Area after 2020.
GENDERACTION also contributes to building capacity to develop gender equality as a policy priority, and to this end delivered four trainings and three mutual learning workshops (MLW) as well as a host of webinars which are available at the project website. One of the MLWs addressed structural change as the main instrument to promote gender equality at institutional level. The results of the MLW were translated into a policy brief with recommendations, which was delivered to the Finnish Presidency and discussed at the Finnish Presidency Conference on new parthways for gender equality in research and innovation.
Gender equality is also an important component of Europeean Framework Programmes for Research and Innovation and GENDERACTION has contributed to the negotiations of the next Framework Programme, Horizon Europe, by providing recommendations on gender equality on a variety of aspects. These Horizon Europe Policy Brief series was a major output of the project in 2019 and were used both by national authorities as well as the European Commission. GENDERACTION also prepared two position papers on Horizon Europe which were submitted to the Commission.
In spring 2019 GENDERACTION also delivered its vision of the future of gender equality in the European Research Area at its mid-term event attended by approximately 70 policy makers and gender equality experts.
We are also currently working to assess gender equality in international cooperation in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI), both at the EU MS level and outside Europe. To this end we have built a network with Gender&Science-related structures, including national and supranational Governmental structures, transnational women's associations, national and supranational research performing and funding organizations and supranational scientific committees and networks. We also identified sister projects on gender in STI in other global regions. This extended database includes more than 100 organizations around the world.
GENDERACTION is highly active online. Our website had 6,135 users and 25,291 page views between September 2018 and September 2019. In the same period, we posted 172 tweets on our @GENDERACTION_EU account with 207 retweets, 190,015 impressions, 3,785 engagements and 1,041 likes.
The findings generated by GENDERACTION on the implementation of the ERA Priority 4 at national level are vital for our understanding of the ways in which gender equality policy in the EU Research and Innovation (R&I) is implemented and identified what needs to change for the next iteration of the ERA. These findings will continue to be communicated to policy makers at the EU and national level to inform the policy process, including the ERA Progress report preparation.
We also continue to engage with relevant stakeholders as the negotiations of Horizon Europe continue, to ensure a robust presence of gender equality measures in how Horizon Europe will be implemented. In the final stage of the project we will now focus on gender equality in ERDF and ESF funds. Our work on gender in international cooperation in STI shows that this topic continues to be poorly addressed, despite the call on member states to do so. In the last stage of the project we will deliver an analysis of how gender equality is addressed at the moment, and will deliver recommendations. Our advice was presented and discussed at two major events, the EU Research and Innovation Days in September 2019 in Brussels and at the Finnish Presidency conference in October 2019.
First Mutual Learning Workshop on NAPs implementation
Workshop on gender in Open Science and Open Innovation
Mutual Learning Workshop on structural change in Berlin in March 2019
ERAC co-chair Christian Nazcinski opens the Second Mutual Learning Workshop in Vienna in March 2019
Mutual Learning Workshop on structural change in Berlin in March 2019
Mutual Learning Workshop on structural change in Berlin in March 2019
Consortium at the kick-off meeting in Prague
openining of Mid-term conference in Brussels
Panel discussion at Mid-term conference with Mina Stareva, Head of Gender Sector at DG RTD