Thursday, December 8, 2016

The positive impact of gender mainstreaming in academia and research institutions VII/VII

Based on the findings from the national fieldwork at EU Member State level, the following main impact drivers for effective gender mainstreaming in research and higher education institutions were identified:
• Senior leadership and management support
 • A well-equipped and well-located gender equality body
• Involvement of different categories of stakeholders (inside and outside the organisation) • Embedment into existing structures and management procedures
• Setting clear targets and practical objectives
• Flexibility and resilience
 • Availability of sex-disaggregated data
 • Developing competences
• Monitoring and evaluation practices

Promoting institutional changes to achieve gender equality brings benefits at different levels, such as in terms of decision-making procedures, career management schemes, research evaluation procedures, stakeholder cooperation, and research performance. This project concluded that gender equality is understood as essential to the further development in research as well as contributing to the organisation’s competitive edge, as regards attracting talents, securing funding, enhancing research quality and the validity of its potential applications. The benefits of gender equality change in research and higher education institutions relate to the organisations’ visions of a sustainable society and sustainable growth through research and education.

Nevertheless, more efforts are still needed to provide evidence of impact of gender equality initiatives in research and higher education institutions. Institutional changes to achieve gender equality and bringing a gender dimension in research content require a longer timeframe to measure their effectiveness. Both short-term and long-term impacts should be pursued to ensure the mobilisation o f research and higher education institutions over time and to make qualitative and quantitative evidence more noticeable. The development of thorough monitoring and evaluation strategies is therefore crucial to link more systematically qualitative and quantitative improvements to the positive impact of gender mainstreaming and show evidence and benefit of the adopted approaches and transformation.

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