On 3 September 2020 we had a seminar on GE Policies in Research and Academia organised by the ACT Consortium team from Jagiellonian University (Marta Warat, Ewa Krzaklewska, Paulina Sekuła). The seminar was convened within the framework of the European Network for Social Policy Analysis (ESPAnet) Seminars (https://espanet.org/phdseminars/).
In the context of the increased initiative to develop gender equality policies and measures at the higher education institutions and research organizations, the topics of the seminar included the potentials and limitations of institutional solutions for gender equality in research organizations in Europe, the regional and sectoral variations in response to gender equality initiatives, the role of transfer of knowledge through participation in European projects on gender equality as well as the theoretical bases for policy design.
Basing on the results for the Community Mapping survey conducted within the H2020 ACT project ACT (https://zenodo.org/record/3247433#.X1Cg5dQwjDf) Marta Warat, Ewa Krzaklewska, and Paulina Sekuła from the Jagiellonian University in Krakow presented paper “Lagging behind or refusing for a good reason? Gender equality measures in Central and Eastern European higher education and research institutions”. They examined the current status of gender equality policies in Central and Eastern Europe, focusing particularly on Gender Equality Plans in higher education institutions. While the level of institutionalization of gender equality in CEE research organisations is low, the potential for developing GEPs seems to be high, as there is general belief that they are important to introduce and some efforts for their implementation are already taking place. To reduce the constraints for developing gender equality in higher education and research, receiving funding from international grants as well as enhancing gender expertise were identified as important facilitating factors.
Lidia Żakowska and Zofia Bryniarska from Cracow University of Technology discussed the issues of “Gender equity needs in transportation education, research and engineering policies” (with Anton Pashkevich as a co-author). They demonstrated that the two main gender-based gaps in transportation include a difference in travel behaviour between men and women and the employment gap with women constituting only around 20% workers in the sector of transportation. Therefore the OECD recommended to integrate women into the policy making, decision-making, and planning of public transportation, incorporate the gender-based solutions into policy making and transport planning, take actions for increasing the share of female employees in the transportation sector, and consider gender dimension in statistical research and data collection. The authors also discussed the developments of gender equality policies in Cracow University of Technology being implemented under the framework of the GEECCO project (http://www.geecco-project.eu/home/).
Last but not least Magdalena Żadkowska and Natasza Kosakowska-Berezecka from University of Gdansk presented the outcomes of the study conducted among Polish scientists who were awarded the Fondation L’Oreal ‘For Women in Science’ scholarship ("The role of awards in STEMM. Do we need the special prize for women?”). The authors discussed the role of the prize as an important trigger making the scientific career smoother and more planned. At the same time they argued that introducing the awards for female scientists is not a sufficient measure to enhance gender equality in research and academia. Female role models as well as engaging men in support for gender equality are needed. Accordingly, the authors discussed the issues of cultural and individual factors having impact on men’s support for gender equality, which had been studied in an ongoing project Towards Gender Harmony (https://towardsgenderharmony.ug.edu.pl/).
All three papers were presented by the representatives of the higher education institutions participating in the GEinCEE CoP. The members of our CoP were as well present among the audience. The presentations (available as attachments to this post) were followed by a very lively debate.