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Baltic Gender Report Summary

Project ID: 710363
Funded under: H2020-EU.5.b.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Baltic Gender (Baltic Consortium on Promoting Gender Equality in Marine Research Organisations)

Reporting period: 2016-09-01 to 2017-11-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Marine Science and Technology is traditionally a male-dominated field, with a significant lack of women in leadership positions. There is an urgent need for harvesting the whole capacity of men and women alike at all levels of research and in the technology teams to tackle the various challenges lying ahead in the marine environment.
Baltic Gender brings together eight scientific institutions in five countries around the Baltic Sea to work on reducing gender inequalities in Marine Science and Technology. Acting as a platform for the exchange of institutional practices and the transfer of know-how between the consortium partners, Baltic Gender will work towards the establishment, implementation and advancement of Gender Equality Plans (GEPs) in its partner institutions.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

In its first reporting period, Baltic Gender worked on supporting the career advancement of women and promoting a balanced work and family life of the employees in its partner institutions, on reviewing the existing structures and procedures that influence structural changes and on integrating gender analysis into the research content of Marine Science and Technology. Besides, Baltic Gender fostered the implementation of GEPs via actions: (i) at the level of the project by examining the status quo of gender equality in the consortium and by reviewing the national legal frameworks for gender equality; and (ii) at the level of the institutions by engaging in negotiations with stakeholders to integrate the outcomes of Baltic Gender in strategic planning and decisions.
Career advancement of female scientists and technicians were supported via promoting their visibility, professionalizing their academic portfolio and strengthening their networks. A blog series entitled “Women in Marine Science and Technology” portrays the career paths of women at different stages of their profession and highlights their achievements as a role model for others. Independent reviewers provided informal feedback to the academic portfolio of selected female scientists from the partner institutions in order to support their future career path. In addition grass-root networks, which were established in all partner organisations, contribute to the career support of early career female scientists via organizing seminars / trainings and giving possibilities for networking. A first round of an international mentoring program for female marine scientists has started to bring early career scientists together with senior scientist to support networking and career-oriented coaching.
Baltic Gender works toward the nourishment of a family-friendly working culture that would lessen the conflicts between work and family in its partner organisations. A blog series entitled “Work and Family: sharing the caring” portrays the experiences of female and male researchers in sharing the care of children and elderly in the family (e.g., between working parents). After analysing institutional best practices and national legislations that have been collected from partners using a questionnaire, recommendations on how to improve family friendly strategies will be provided for the employees of the partner institutions in the second reporting period.
Structural change was addressed via the review of existing structures and procedures on recruitment, decision-making and allocation of resources that encourage or prevent the participation of female scientists at the partner institutions. One general and one partner-specific questionnaire were filled out by each partner organisation in order to identify specific gender-biased and the gender-equal examples. An internal database was set up to gather the best practice examples and studies regarding gender equality in higher education.
A method protocol is in preparation for the integration of gender analysis into the content of Marine Science and Technology research projects. The draft method protocol will be tested and further developed by the help of test case projects, which have been identified from the partner organizations. Besides, Baltic Gender produced a report and an associated leaflet on “gender equality plans in research projects” that outlines a set of actions, which research projects can commit to, in order to achieve gender equality.
Baltic Gender has been preparing toward GEP implementation, which will commence in the second half of the project. In the first reporting period, the status quo of gender equality at each partner institution was examined via a comprehensive questionnaire on career advancement, work and family, structural changes and gender in research content; the resultant report comprising non-numeric (process-based) information is available for the project partners. In addition, gender-segregat

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

On the one hand, Baltic Gender strives to engage in a dialogue with and to give recommendations to the stakeholders at the partner institutions to lead the way to institutional changes via GEPs. On the other hand, it seeks to initiate trainings, networks and guidance (in the form of blogs, brochures, list of best-practices, recommendations, check-list, handbook) to establish a more attractive and bias-free working environment for women in Marine Science and Technology.
In the second reporting period, Baltic Gender will provide institute-specific recommendations (actions, targets) for the implementation phase of the GEPs. These recommendations will be based on the analysis of gender sensitive indicators, the status-quo of institutional practices as well as the national legal frameworks. Baltic Gender will also develop a design for the monitoring and evaluation of GEP implementation and will deliver one formative evaluation during the implementation phase and one summative evaluation at the end of the project.
Baltic Gender is also working on a new methodology for identifying and incorporating gender questions in the content of marine research. This methodology can have important implications for how research programmes and projects are developed in Marine Science and Technology.

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