We have just had our annual Nordwit Centre meeting which also involves our Scientific Advisory Board members Prof Yvonne Benschop (Radebout), Prof Julia Nentwich (St Gallen) and Prof Thorgerdur Einarsdottir (Reykjavik). We had asked these first-rate people to give a 20-minute talk of their work in progress – and we had such lively and interesting discussions following on from this that we spent significantly more time than we had intended on this. They talked eloquently and wittily about ‘Gender practices in recruitment and selection of early career researchers’ (Benschop), ‘Leaders of equality: Male managers struggling with hegemonic masculinity’ (Nentwich), and ‘Gendering the money: GARCIA & ACT’ (Einarsdottir). Distinguishing between gendered practices and the gendering of practices, Yvonne showed how easy it is to introduce gender bias through how male and female candidates are treated differently in the post-interview discussions of the interview committee where, even when 6 selection committees had expressed preferences for appointing a woman, still 5 out of 6 appointed a man. Julia discussed how difficult men who profess to champion equality find it to deal with hegemonic masculinities, their own and others’. And Thorgerdur analysed how one might do gender budgeting in different and revealing ways. We all loved the talks and discussions formats, and are going to continue this – even if gender equality seems worryingly elusive. Still: steady drip hollows the stone!