Six European research institutions for the first time design and implement tailored Gender Equality Plans and acknowledge the principles of the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers that support gender equality, diversity, and work-family balance.
The EQUAL-IST project (“Gender Equality Plans for Information Sciences and Technology Research Institutions”) draws on the European Union policy guidelines, as well as the theoretical and empirical findings on gender equality in research organisations. The project targets Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) and Information Sciences and Technology (IST) research institutions, where gender imbalance is especially acute. The project aims at fostering permanent institutional changes through the design and implementation of tailored Gender Equality Plans (GEPs).
The following research institutions participating in the EQUAL-IST project considered the principles of the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers (Charter & Code) during the design of their GEPs:
1. Germany: Department of Information Systems at the University of Münster (WWU)
2. Italy: Department of Engineering “Enzo Ferrari” at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (UNIMORE)
3. Portugal: University of Minho (UMINHO)
4. Lithuania: Faculty of Informatics at the Kaunas University of Technology (KTU)
5. Ukraine: Information Systems Department at the Simon Kuznets Kharkiv National University of Economic (KhNUE)
6. Finland: Information Systems Science (ISS) Unit at the Department of Management and Entrepreneurship, Turku School of Economics, University of Turku (UTU)
The Charter & Code was developed in 2005 by the European Commission Directorate-General for Research. These documents contain general principles and recommendations of good practice for researchers and their employers. The Charter defines the roles, responsibilities, and entitlements of researchers and their employers, while the Code is focused on the recruitment of researchers.
The following principles of the Charter & Code support gender equality, diversity, and work-family balance and were acknowledged in the GEPs designed within the EQUAL-IST project:
● Non-discrimination: “Employers of researchers will not discriminate against researchers in any way on the basis of gender, age, ethnic, national or social origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, language, disability, political opinion, social or economic condition.”
● Working conditions: “Employers […] should aim to provide working conditions which allow both women and men researchers to combine family and work, children and career. Particular attention should be paid, inter alia, to flexible working hours, part-time working, teleworking and sabbatical leave, as well as to the necessary financial and administrative provisions governing such arrangements.”
● Gender balance: “Employers should aim for a representative gender balance at all levels of staff, including at supervisory and managerial level. This should be achieved on the basis of an equal opportunity policy at recruitment and at the subsequent career stages without, however, taking precedence over quality and competence criteria. To ensure equal treatment, selection and evaluation committees should have an adequate gender balance.”
● Recruitment: “Employers should […] facilitate access for disadvantaged groups or for researchers returning to a research career, including teachers (of any level) returning to a research career […].”
● Selection: “Selection committees should bring together diverse expertise and competences and should have an adequate gender balance […].”
● Variations in the chronological order of CVs: “Career breaks or variations in the chronological order of CVs should not be penalised […].”
An overview of how these principles were acknowledged in the GEPs designed by the research institutions participating in the EQUAL-IST project is presented at https://equal-ist.eu/euraxess/
Further information about the EQUAL-IST project can be found at https://equal-ist.eu/
This work is part of the EQUAL-IST project (“Gender Equality Plans for Information Sciences and Technology Research Institutions”) that has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement Nr. 710549.