Gender Equality Academy (GE Academy)

Project funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme
Grant Agreement: 824585
Duration: 36 months
Start date: 1/01/2019
The project official website
The general goal of the GE Academy project is to develop and implement a coherent and high-quality capacity-building programme on gender equality (GE) in research and innovation (R&I) as well as in Higher Education (HE). GE Academy will develop and provide a series of comprehensive training formats and tailor-made training materials for trainers, practitioners and researchers, making these available to the widest possible audience in Europe and beyond. The GE Academy, with its full capacity-building programme including different training formats (Train-the-Trainers, physical trainings and interactive workshops, Summer Schools, webinars, online Distributed Open Collaborative Courses), will be built and executed in at least 15 countries.

Through its ambitious setup, the project aims at filling a gap in the current EU research landscape, marked by ongoing gender inequality in research organisations, the gender dimension of R&I being ignored or under-addressed, whereas needs in terms of gender awareness and capacity are recognised, but efforts to remedy the situation are still fragmented. The project will respond to the needs of those who contribute to and are involved in institutional change towards gender equality in R&I as well as in HE.

The GE Academy will both tackle issues of gender equality in research institutions and research teams through structural change and address the gender dimension of research contents, following the three main ERA objectives for gender equality in research. At the same time, a pan-European network of gender trainers will be established, trained, coached and upskilled for delivering gender training sessions to R&I and HE communities in Europe and beyond. Throughout the project’s lifetime, attention will be paid to seeking modalities and solutions for ensuring the sustainability of the GE Academy project beyond the EU funding period. GE Academy is a project coordinated by ViLabs and it is carried out by a Consortium of 12 partners from 11 countries.


Upcoming GE Academy training sessions

Four new training initiatives online are planned under GE Academy in May and June.

A training session titled “An introduction to the Gender Equality Audit and Monitoring (GEAM) Tool” will be held on May 11 from 10:00 to 12:15 CET. Its aim is presenting an open-access software – the GEAM Tool – conceived to implement gender audits (the diagnostic analysis of a research organisation or a university from the gender equality standpoint usually applied before the design of gender equality plants or initiatives) in an effective and standardised way without specific previous knowledge. Trainers will be Jörg Müller and Sergi Yanes (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya) and The registration form and more detailed information are available here.

Two hands-on sessions aimed at learning how to use the GEAM Tool will be held on May 14 from 9:00 to 13:00 CET (trainer: Jörg  Müller) and May 21 from 10:00 to 11:45 CET (trainer: Sergi Yanes). The sessions will allow participants to test the software and understand how it works in practice. Click here.

A Roundtable titled “Intersectionality and its sister approaches” will be held on May 31 from 9:30 to 11:00 CET. The event will focus on the interaction, both on a theoretical and methodological level, between the intersectional approach and two other approaches – the Gender+ and that centred on the concept of diversity – which place gender inequality in a broader perspective than those focused on the gender perspective alone. Three panellists will participate: Lise Rolandsen Agustín (Aalborg University, Denmark), Mieke Verloo (Radboud University, The Netherlands) and Victoria Showunmi (University College London, UK). Ea Høg Utoft (Aarhus University, Denmark) will facilitate the discussion. Click here for registration and information.

Another roundtable on intersectionality, titled “Intersectional practices in Academia”, is planned for June 2 from 14:00 to 15:30 CET. This second event will dwell on intersectional practices for institutional change in research organisations, on the basis of hands-on experiences in different research settings. Five panellists will participate in the event: Andrea D. Bührmann (University of Gottingen, Germany), Barbara Hey (University of Graz, Austria), Gemma Irvine (Maynooth University, Ireland), Ingrid Schacherl (Vienna Academy of Fine Arts, Austria), and Sofia Jabeen (London School of Economics, UK). Also this case, Ea Høg Utoft will serve as the facilitator of the meeting. Click here to register.

Online Roundtable on engaging men in gender equality work

On January 29, 2021, the Roundtable on “Engaging men in gender equality work” was held online, organised by K&I. The event was aimed at reflecting on benefits, opportunities, obstacles and strategies related to the involvement of men in gender equality work and, especially, in the design and implementation of gender equality plans in research funding and performing organisations. The panellists –all researchers with experience in the promotion of gender equality in academia – were Maroun El Moujabber (Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari), Tauseef Nauman (Charité Universitatmedizine Berlin), Marcel Kraus (Technology Agency of the Czech Republic, Prague), Jean-Michel Monnot (All Inclusive!, Gaillon, France), Henri van Luenen (The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam), and Franz Wong (Stanford University, California). Francisco Pais Rodrigues (free-lance trainer) facilitated the discussion. The event also offered the opportunity to test a new format – that of online roundtables – which could be particularly appropriate for transferring knowledge in areas lacking a consolidated set of practices to refer to and where, therefore, it is necessary to explore new approaches and techniques. More than 110 people attended the Roundtable.
The event is available on the project YouTube Channel.

Conclusion of the first iteration of training activities

In December 2020, the first iteration of GE Academy training activities has been concluded. In particular, under the series of workshops developed by K&I, three new initiatives have been held between November and December, respectively titled “Gender-sensitive leadership: What does it take?” (November 24; for more information, click here), “Understanding and facilitating change for gender equality in research and the academia” (December 14; click here for more information) and “Participatory methods to support institutional change for GE” (organised in two sessions, held on December 16 and 18; click here for more information). Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, all the initiatives have been organised online.

Fourth meeting of project partners

The GE Academy’s fourth project partners’ meeting was held on October 14 and 15, 2020. The event was organised online due to the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic. During the meeting, the development status of each WP was analysed, with a view to the conclusion of the first iteration of training activities, scheduled for the end of 2020, and the activation of the second iteration, which will last until the end of 2021.

Updating of the Inventory of key resources

In October 2020, a new updated version of the Inventory of key resources for gender equality in science (deliverable D2.1) was drafted by K&I and shared with the project partners. Compared to the version delivered in September 2019, the updated version includes a new section, devoted to intersectionality (thematic sections have risen to 14) while the resources scrutinised have gone from 284 to 328.

Webinar on intersectional perspectives in research and innovation

On July 10, 2020, the webinar “Applying intersectional perspectives in research and innovation – The cases of urban cycling and artificial intelligence” took place in the framework of the GE Academy training activities. The webinar, developed by K&I, was aimed at deepening the concept of intersectionality as applied to research and innovation processes and sensitising about the importance of designing research and innovation in an intersectional perspective. The initiative turned around the contributions by Tiffany Lam, consultant at the New Economics Foundation and Sarah Myers West, of the AI Now Institute of the New York University.
The webinar is available on the Project YouTube Channel.

Third meeting of project partners in Budapest

The third meeting of GE Academy partners took place in Budapest on December 9th and 10th, 2019, hosted at the headquarters of the Central European University. The meeting took place concurrently with the conclusion of the pilot training sessions that have taken place in recent months, and had the aim of taking stock of the situation and discuss emerging issues and critical points, in view of the launch of the actual programme, scheduled for January 2020. The discussion focused on the evaluation of the pilots, the identification and selection of trainers and participants, the extension of the geographical coverage of the sessions and logistical and coordination issues between the partners. Four working groups deepened the topics and structure of the next events, devoting themselves, respectively, to training sessions, interactive workshops, webinars, DOCC and summer schools jointly considered.
For Gender Equality Academy Training offer

The second Workshop of GE Academy was successfully held in Barcelona

After the first workshop in Dublin, the GE Academy completed another hands-on training session, this time in Barcelona, Spain. The workshop lasted two days, from 18thto 19th of November, and it was hosted by the Centre for Genomic Regulation. Titled “Dealing with resistances”, the workshop elaborated on identifying, analysing and addressing different types of resistances towards gender equality plans in academic fields.
Dr Lucy Ferguson, specialist in gender training with a profound research experience on gender equality topics, was the coordinator of the event. The workshop was participant-oriented as it sought to strengthen the capacity of attendees to explore their own reactions to resistant behaviours towards gender equality plans and assist them to handle them in abalanced and strategical way, tailored on the institutional context.
Agenda and overview of the workshop

GE Academy completed its first workshop in Dublin

On Tuesday November 5th, the GE Academy organised its first live training session, a workshop in Dublin,
Ireland. The title of the workshop was “Gender Action Plans: getting them right and making them happen”
and it was organised in cooperation with the Trinity Centre for Gender Equality and Leadership, Trinity
College Dublin. The session’s aim was to provide participants the opportunity to cultivate approaches for
overcoming challenges related to developing and implementing gender action plans; and the facilitator of
the event was an experienced gender training expert, Dr Maxime Forest.
Based on a participant-centred set of interactive approaches the facilitator guided the participants through
collaborative activities to render them more informed, enabled and equipped to develop gender action
plans that are strategically relevant and appropriate to their academic setting. GE Academy’s first workshop
focused on delivering a dynamic, peer learning experience for the participants.
Agenda and overview of the workshop

An inventory of key resources for gender equality in science

To feed the training design process of GE Academy sessions, an inventory of key resources relevant to
gender equality in science has been created by K&I researchers. The inventory includes 284 recent
resources (77% produced in 2014 or later), of which 270 publications and 14 dynamic resources (videos,
online training modules, etc.). The inventory is organised according to GE Academy thematic areas of
interest, i.e.:
1. Gender, career and decision making
2. Gender and diversity in research
3. Gender dimension in research contents
4. Gender in curricula and teaching
5. Institutional change, gender analysis and assessment
6. Gender bias in recruitment, selection and promotion
7. Organisational culture and work/life balance
8. Setting indicators, monitoring and evaluation
9. Sexual harassment and gender-based violence
10. Advocacy and dealing with resistances
11. Gender-sensitive communication
12. Making change sustainable
13. Other topical issues.
For each area, a variable number of topics have been identified. Overall, 99 topics are considered in the
inventory, each comprising a number of resources. After review from the European Commission, the
inventory will be made public as a useful tool to support dissemination and implementation of training and
other activities in the field of gender equality in science.

GE Academy quality standards booklet finalised

In the framework of GE Academy Work Package 3, and under the direction of the K&I team, an analysis has been conducted of existing quality criteria for gender training, intended to support the creation of a set of relevant standards to be applied within the project’s training activity. The identified standards have been selected, customised, and presented to eight international experts for their feedback. The resulting standard booklet, finalised in August 2019, includes:
− The list and synthetic description of the 9 feminist principles which have guided the identification and selection of the standards
− A list of 40 training standards classified by training phase and format
− A list of 19 criteria identifying an ideal gender trainer profile
− The sources which have been used.
At the end of the project, the standards will be reviewed based on experience and published as a contribution for future gender training activities.

Second meeting of the Gender Equality Academy in Paris

Project partners met for the second time in Paris from 24 to 26 June 2019, hosted by CNRS. The meeting coincided with the conclusion of most of the preliminary activities planned in the project, aimed at taking stock of existing experiences, tools and resources. The results of the analyses on the state of the art of capacity building for gender equality in research and on most innovative and relevant training technologies with respect to project issues have been presented. The progress of two products aimed to support the design of the training activities offered within the GE Academy were also presented: the review of gender training quality standards, and a navigable inventory of key resources for gender equality in science. Finally, the results of the survey aimed at analysing the training needs of potential beneficiaries were presented and discussed.
GE Academy website

Meeting in Antwerp to discuss and coordinate firts project activities

On February 26, 2019, after attending the 1st International Synergy Conference of the ACT project in Brussels (February 24 and 25), some of the partners involved in work packages 1 and 3 got together in Antwerp, hosted by Yellow Window, to discuss first activities and preliminary results. The meeting was attended by Lut Mergaert (Yellow Window, scientific coordinator), Maxime Forest (Yellow Window), Isabelle Daussun (CNRS), Marina Cacace (K&I). As for WP3 (Quality standards for gender training), Marina Cacace presented the status of the situation as concerns the review of existing standard sistems, as well as collection, classification and selection criteria and procedures. In the discussion, relevant decisions where made about the common work to be conducted and next deadlines.

Kick-off Meeting of the Gender Equality Academy in Athens

On January 15 and 16, 2019, the Gender Equality Academy was kicked off in Athens. The agenda of the meeting was defined considering the need to establish effective cooperation and exchange processes for the many and interconnected tasks of the project. After a presentation from the project officer Christopher Niehaus who, among other things, presented the main features of the new EU Single Electronic Data Interchange Area (SEDIA), all work packages have been reviewed, starting from the most current ones. Each presentation included general information about WP activities and objectives, but also open issues and collaboration profiles of each. Jörg Müller, Advisory Board member, presented good practices and insights about the GENPORT and ACT projects. Possible synergies with the Gender Academy have been discussed.