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Transforming organisational culture for gender equality in research and innovation - GENOVATE

  • Published on January 12, 2018
GENOVATE, an action-research project involving seven European universities was based on the implementation of Gender Equality Action Plans (GEAPs) in six universities supported by on-going participatory evaluation undertaken by one university. It brought together a consortium with diverse experience with gender equality mainstreaming approaches, varying institutional and disciplinary backgrounds and located in different national contexts.
GENOVATE covered three common areas for intervention: i) recruitment, progression, and research support; ii) Working environment, work-life balance, and institutional culture; and iii) Standards and diversity in research excellence and innovation. Each partner addressed these areas through their individually tailored GEAPs that built on existing structures and policies where relevant, or developed new systems and practices where appropriate. This contextualised approach was supported by an on-going knowledge-exchange system and shared learning for all partners. Despite the general advancement of equality principles and policies in Europe, an examination of the career paths of academic researchers highlights a persistence of career patterns and outcomes that differ for men and women. Attention to the issue in Europe has been given a new impetus since the Lisbon Agenda in 2000. The creation of the European Research Area and the recognition of the contribution it can make to Europe’s knowledge economy has encouraged a new awareness of the strategic value of gender equality. When looking at the area of research and innovation gender equality is strategically valuable because it is now recognised that research excellence requires accessibility, resources and advancement opportunities for the best researchers, irrespective of gender; and innovation demands the diversity of perspective and input that is possible from a truly diverse research resulting in a sustainable society. Greater diversity and equality of opportunity are crucial to enhancing excellence in research and innovation. The higher education sector is a key axis of the European research sector: universities are the foundation of researcher development and a focal point for original research and innovation. The project’s emphasis on research in the academic sector is a strategy that targets the heart of the research and innovation enterprise as a whole. Policies for gender equality have had limited success, and there is a need to address the policy-outcome gap through more contextualised approaches. The importance of addressing the policy/outcome gap is reflected in recent calls for strategies that can actually be implemented, that will be implemented and that will achieve real outcomes to promote gender equality in the research and innovation sector. GENOVATE sought to bridge the gaps between policies and outcomes through the production of an accessible body of knowledge. Participant no. Participant organisation name Participant short name Country 1 (CO) University of Bradford UNIBRAD United Kingdom 2 University College Cork UCC Ireland 3 Lulea University of Technology LTU Sweden 4 Ankara University AU Turkey 5 Università degli Studi di Napoli UNINA Italy 6 Trnava University in Trnava TU Slovak Rep 7 University of Madrid UCM Spain Project approach - Activities were organised in three Strands and eight work packages (WP) which facilitate delivery and monitoring of progress. GENOVATE Consortium management was provided through WP1 (Lead UNIBRAD); Strand 1: Model Development (WP 2 Lead TU and UNIBRAD); Strand 2: GEAP Implementation Roadmap (WP3 Lead UCC; WP 4 Lead AU; WP 5 Lead LTU with UCC providing overall coordination for Strand 2); and Strand 3: Evaluation, Reflections and Outputs (WP 6 Lead UNINA, WP 7 Lead UCM, WP 8 Lead UNIBRAD). GENOVATE project involved the development of two overlapping processes - at the micro/institutional level linked to the implementation of Gender Equality Action Plans (GEAPs) in the six implementing partner institutions with the exception of UCM which led WP7 and supported the GEAPs’ evaluation, and at the macro/Consortium level linked to the development of eight different Work Packages. Both were conceived of as crucial processes for developing the GENOVATE model of gender equality in research and innovation. GEAP Implementation at institutional level - Reviewing and refining institutional Gender Equality Action Plans - Mapping actions - Evaluating and reflecting on actions - Specifying learning - Summary of institutional GEAP implementation Contact Professor Crina Oltean-Dumbrava
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