Lessons learned from tailored Gender Equality Plans: classification and analysis of actions implemented within the EQUAL-IST project.
Sangiuliano Maria, Canali Claudia, Gorbacheva Elena
Gender Equality Plans (GEPs) represent a comprehensive tool to promote structural change for gender equality in research institutions. The Horizon 2020 EQUAL-IST project (“Gender Equality Plans for Information Sciences and Technology Research Institutions”) supports six Informatics and Information Systems Departments at universities across Europe to initiate the design and implementation of GEPs. This paper is focused on project outcomes of the first iteration of GEP implementation (October 2017 - May 2018). Based on the internal reports provided by the involved research institutions, we classified the implemented actions as ‘structural change actions’ or ‘preparatory actions’ (following the study by Sangiuliano, Canali & Madesi, 2018) and as ‘internally-oriented actions’ or ‘externally-oriented actions’. The implemented actions were analyzed across such intervention areas as Institutional Communication, Human Resources and Management Practices, and Teaching and Services for (Potential) Students. The conducted study addresses the need to investigate the peculiarities of GEP implementation in the Information Sciences and Technology (IST) and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) disciplines, where the gender leak in the recruitment pipeline often starts at universities already, with extremely low numbers of enrolled female students. We therefore aim at understanding if the notable amount of actions to attract more female students, which were initiated within the EQUAL-IST project during the first iteration of GEP implementation, implies a risk to bend the process towards more externally-oriented actions, which are less likely to impact internal power structures, at least in the short run. The second purpose of the paper is to explore, whether structural change actions, which have the potential to go beyond mere raising awareness on the topics at stake, tend to be concentrated in the Human Resources and Management Practices area.
Gender Equality Plans (GEPs); structural changes; research organizations; implementation; Information Sciences and Technology; sustainability