Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS



Project ID: 36688
Funded under: FP6-SOCIETY
Country: Germany

Mentoring for more gender equity in the sciences

An EU-funded initiative furthered the concept of mentoring as an instrument to promote women in science. Project outcomes contributed to increased awareness and sensitisation of gender and equality issues.
Mentoring for more gender equity in the sciences
The project 'Establishment of an international strategic development between leading European technical universities with the aim of increasing the number of female professors' (Tandemplus idea) worked to realise a better gender balance and gender mainstreaming in the scientific fields. The goal was to increase the number of women professors and scientists that can serve as positive role models. This approach targets not only enriched networking opportunities but, ultimately, an increased number of young women entering these fields.

Tandemplus idea was structured as a modular mentoring and personal development scheme to further the development of gender-oriented human resources. Project partners, through mentoring, training and networking modules, supported 16 highly qualified women scientists in their preparation for an academic leadership position or international career in science.

Project activities, which succeeded in establishing a functioning network of female scientists, were also aimed at increasing the number of female professors as another means of ensuring greater gender equality. Such an accomplishment will eventually translate to having more diverse perspectives incorporated into research and teaching in scientific fields.

The evaluation of this pilot project focused on adapting the programme to participant needs as well as further developing its concept to be recognised as a model of best practice for a mentoring programme. Tandemplus idea thus also contributed to the ongoing discussion regarding the development of quality standards for mentoring as a career planning and development instrument.

Participating mentees and mentors successfully showcased the potential for such a programme to promote equal opportunities in science. As such, project outcomes effectively made a first step towards improving on the current status of gender issues in the natural and technical sciences.

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