EU motivating the work for gender equality in small sized academic research institutions

This week, Heidi Holt Zachariassen from the Kif committee (Committee for gender balance and diversity in research) visited our institute, Western Norway Research Institute, to present the new qualification requirement of gender equality plan for obtaining funds from Horizon Europe. The already established national requirements for working actively, purposefully, and systematically with gender balance and diversity by means of an action plan target organizations with more than 50 employees. With the new eligibility criterion from Horizon Europe, national requirements will also encompass all academic institutions regardless of how many employees the institution has.

There is a considerable difference in how different types of academic institutions work actively with gender equality, newly conducted research by the Kif committee shows (2021). Smaller institutions, and specially research institutions have limited resources dedicate to work for gender equality, in particular for establishing action plans or coordinator group. Kif’s study shows similar tendencies that we have seen in our research on gender equality in ICT organizations in research, innovation and development (Corneliussen & Seddighi 2020). The differences between research institutions and universities can also been seen in another recent study on gender balance among researchers in Norwegian academia (2020), which clearly shows that the leaky pipeline starts much earlier in research institutes than other academic institutions. The eligibility requirements from Horizon Europe sets the agenda to further investigate the contextual variables influencing leaky pipelines in small institutions, and the importance of national requirements for gender equality plan to change the condition.

Gilda Seddighi

Corneliussen, H. G., & Seddighi, G. (2020). Employers’ Mixed Signals to Women in IT: Uncovering how Gender Equality Ideals are Challenged by Organizational Context. In P. Kommers & G. C. Peng (Eds.), Proceedings for the International Conference ICT, Society, and Human Beings 2020 (41-48). IADIS: IADIS Press.

Tica, S (2021). FRA VISJON TIL PRAKSIS Komité for kjønnsbalanse og mangfold i forskning En surveyundersøkelse om likestillings- og mangfoldsarbeidet ved forskningsinstitutter, høyskoler og universiteter

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