Following ten stakeholder workshops, two online open forum discussions, and three additional workshops with different target groups (national policy-makers, RFOs, and private sector organisations), the CASPER consortium, in May 2021, selected and developed for the validation phase three scenarios for a Europe-wide Gender Equality Certification or Award Scheme (GECAS) as well as a fourth no-action scenario.
The first scenario is the creation of a brand-new Europe-wide GECAS (also named “EUQUAL”). This scenario is the most ambitious. It could achieve higher impacts but also costs more to implement. The second is based on an existing European award scheme, the HRS4R, and is managed by the European Commission through Euraxess. In this second scenario a parallel and complementing scheme would be created (the “GES4R”) covering specifically the gender equality and intersectional aspects not sufficiently included in the HRS4R. Scenario three is the Europeanisation of an existing national scheme, Athena SWAN. This scheme has started an internationalisation process with various countries having adopted a national Athena SWAN scheme, including one EU Member State (Ireland), and other Member States are envisaging to do the same (Denmark and Netherlands). In the fourth scenario, which is a no-action scenario, no Europe-wide scheme would be developed but the recommendation to the EC would be to stimulate the creation of new national schemes and to enhance the coherence and common standards between national schemes.