Each LERU university has one/two member(s) in the LERU Policy Group Equality, Diversity & Inclusion. The members are experts on gender and in a broader sense on diversity issues with a senior position at the LERU universities. The activities are guided by a steering group.
The LERU Policy Group Equality, Diversity & Inclusion monitors gender issues, gender policy developments, gender equality and gendered research in EU affairs, EU research policy on gender and H2020 developments. The group is a forum for mutual learning and policy development on gender and diversity issues.
PG EDI promotes a vision of equality, diversity and inclusion as lived values, embedded processes and shared responsibilities that are of critical importance for research-intensive universities. The general objective is to ensure unbiased recognition of talent and merit-based access to resources.
From 2021-01-01 the group has been reinstated as a Policy Group. It is now focusing its work on the following areas, lead by work groups of members:
1) Training against unconscious/implicit bias: A pilot program of training of process-observers, in collaboration by the Science and Humainities/Theology Faculties and with funding from LU, in Lund is completed and will be evaluated. In December 2021 there will be a workshop in Lund where training is offered to representatives from LERU universities.
2) 2022 there will be a conference on harassment in Geneva, led by the host university, together with Strasbourg and UCL.
3) The group is continuing defining and establishing a framework for its extension of its focus to a wider definition of equality, diversity and inclusion. This is in line with its transformation from a group for gender equality, to a group for diversity. The focus will be on intersectionality in the first year.
4) The policy group is working on formulating recommendations for Gender Equality Plans (GEP), inspired by the requirements from Horizon Europe. A first version can be found here (pdf, 144kB).
At the meeting in December 2019, the following was discussed
– LERU and EU update Presentation by Katrien Maes (LERU Office) and the Steering Committee
– Results of LERU questionnaire and composition of the toolbox against bias
– Why does it seem training against bias is not having the effect we aim for?
– How can we make trainings against bias have more lasting effects?
– What are the results of bias observing?
– How can you use the results to act across the university?
Participants are invited to look at the GEAR toolbox developed by EIGE and to come up with suggestions as to what is missing there and needed at our universities.
– Inclusion at Oxford with input from other universities. Participants are asked to reflect, in advance of the meeting, on what measures their universities have for inclusion: are they successful, is there room for improvement?
– How to implement and continue work with the EDI position paper. Participants are asked to reflect, in advance of the meeting, on what measures (possibly regional ones) cam be organized in order to organize future work
– Future activities of TG EDI: 1) Third LERU gender conference, 2) Preparation for future activity 2021, 3) Action against harassment
The group was created in 2010 under the auspices of the LERU group for Research Careers as a forum for mutual learning and policy development on gender issues. The LERU Thematic Group Equality, Diversity and Inclusion is renamed from LERU Gender Thematic Group.
The group monitors gender issues, gender policy developments, gender equality and gendered research in EU affairs, EU research policy on gender and H2020 developments. The working group promotes and supports gendered research and innovation (GRI). The working group provides expert opinion on a variety of gender issues and collects examples of good practice from LERU universities, to learn from the exchange of experience as well as measures to counter unconscious bias.
The group is drafting a paper on the theme to facilitate the implementation of targets for professorship and gender balance in decision-making. These will be formuated as recommendations to member states and to research and HE institutions.
Gendered Research and Innovation (GRI)
The LERU universities recognise that potential sex and gender differences need to be considered in research and innovation, otherwisee impact and utility of research results may not be equally valid for all sexes and genders. More awareness needs to be raised about what Gendered research and innovation (GRI) involves, for the sake of good research, for the sake of improving lives and saving money, and for the sake of universities’ responsibility to society. It shows for examle through:
– The symptoms of a heart attack are different for women than for men
– Female and pregnant crash test dummies lead to better vehicle safety standards.
– Highly skilled women have a higher risk of involuntary part-time employment than the general population
– Research on fruitflies shows sex-specific differences in the neural circuitry of aggressive behaviour
– The effects of maternal smoking on the unborn child have been shown to be different in boys and girls
– Eating disorders in young men are underdiagnosed and undertreated
– Gender and other factors have an impact on how we respond to climate change
LERU advice paper, Gendered research and innovation, integrating sex and gender analysis into the reserach process is a paper about the need to integrate a gender analysis into the research process. It formulates recommendations to universities, policy makers, funders and journals to act upon.
Press release Gender and sex matter in research, Twenty recommendations from Europe’s research universities 2015 09 14
The university leadership needs to put this on the agenda within the university and with others outside the university with whom they interact. Researchers, who may or may not be aware of this issue, need to be informed so they can assess whether or not GRI is important in their research and act accordingly. The Advice LERU paper gives recommendations:
- Governments should include a GRI dimension in research policies and programmes.
- Research funders should create incentives for researchers. They can look to the EU R&I funding programme H2020 as a model.
- Research journals should set standards for including GRI information, with clear guidelines for authors.
- concerted and systematic efforts to raise awareness of and provide training on GRI to members of all research stakeholder communities.
- links to and integration with other gender equality initiatives at all levels: through inclusion of GRI in government policies and strategies, funders’ programmes, universities’ gender equality strategies or action plans, research activities and researchers’ Projects.
The Gender working goup is collecting examples from the LERU members on:
- Managing and funding maternity leave for research staff. The legal entitlement to maternity leave and pay in the country, the legal entitlement to paternity leave and/or shared parental leave, major national funding bodies reimburse the costs of maternity (and paternity) leave for staff employed on their grants?
- Unconscious bias (UB) – to share of what does or does not work in UB training activities or guidance for staff in whatever roles that require sensitivity to UB.
- the number of female/male full professors, the number of female/maleERC grantees awarded in the various schemes. A qualitative and interpretative analysis of the data will be done during 2016.
- Experiences of gender in teaching and Learning or examples of what is done at the member universities.
LERU Gender paper presented at the Rectors Assembly in May 2015:
Gendered Research and Innovation presentation at the LERU Rectors Assembly May 2015
In 2015 the Gender WG works on the impact and evaluation of gender equality measures at LERU universities.
PRESS RELEASE Gender equality we are definitely not there yet 2015.09.30
LERU has worked actively with its universities and with EU policymakers over the past five years, arguing that strong leadership on gender equality issues is a key driver for change. LERU propose a set of guidelines for developing gender equality action plans at universities should include:
a) measurable or quantifiable goals and targets to be reached within specific time limits and leading to improvements along the entire career spectrum,
b) a clear plan for their implementation throughout the university and integration in operational practice,
c) a transparent assessment and monitoring system, whose outcomes have consequences for future strategic planning,
d) processes by which communication, awareness raising and training activities will contribute to their effective uptake.
Conference “Gender and Excellence: Challenges in Research Funding” at the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) in Bern (Switzerland) on 21 June 2016 is open now. At this stage we already have more than 50 registrations.
Note from the European parliament, Gender Indexes
Article, Gender contributes to personal research funding paper
Report, University of Edinburgh Report on Evaluation of Unconscious Bias
The EU policy regarding the gender dimension in research and innovation as an aspect in European Research Area (ERA) and Horizon 2020.
GENDER NET National plans and initiatives promoting gender equality and structural change
GENDER NET Plans & initiatives in selected research institutions aiming to stimulate gender equality and enact structural change
GENDER NET Analysis report on existing gender equality awards and corresponding stimulatory initiatives
The GENDER-NET ERA-NET www.gender-net.eu is a pilot transnational research policy initiative funded by the European Commission under the Science in Society workprogramme of the 7th Framework Programme, designed to address the common challenges still facing European countries and their research institutions in achieving gender equality in research and innovation. The GENDER-NET defines priority areas for transnational collaboration with the aim to implement strategic joint activities.
The GENDER-NET ERA-NET scheme’s main objective is to help reach a critical mass of ministries, research funders, universities and research institutions across Europe engaging in gender equality initiatives and fostering the integration of sex and gender analysis in research contents.