Behind the Curtain of EFFORTI’s 1st International Stakeholder Workshop

Behind the Curtain of EFFORTI’s 1st International Stakeholder Workshop

The first international stakeholder workshops of EFFORTI took place in the European Representation of the state of Saxony-Anhalt in Brussels on 19th October 2017. Nearly 40 participants from universities, research-performing organizations, research funding organizations and ministries gathered. The EFFORTI team gave insights into the current project progress and its challenges. Participants were offered the opportunity to exchange knowledge and to network across borders.

From the point of view of the European Commission, Dr. Anne Pépin (Senior Policy Officer for the Gender Sector at the EC’s Directorate for Research and Innovation) stressed the importance of an internationally applicable evaluation framework for GE measures in her welcome note. She commended that EFFORTI has set the goal of developing an indicator system which is equally applicable at the individual, institutional, regional and national level.

Subsequently, the EFFORTI team presented the conceptual approach of the EFFORTI toolbox. On the one side, it should comprise of ideal-type impact models for a wide range of GE measures. On the other side, it should sensitize policy designers and evaluators to consider social context factors and offer them ways to adequately do so.

The participants were asked to identify several continual challenges for gender equality in the European research and innovation system. Most frequently the demands were expressed to:

  • overcome gender bias in research organisations and research funding, e.g., in promotion and review processes,
  • give an understanding what the integration of the gender dimension in research concretely means,
  • overcome the leaky pipeline and to keep women within the research system after the PhD,
  • integrate GE as a part of the whole research evaluation process and not only in proposal evaluation.

The participants discussed a variety of strategies and context factors to successfully master the defined challenges and thus directly contributed to further developing the equality measures in the EFFORTI toolbox 2.0. Once again, the significance of the different national contexts, which are essential in the design and evaluation of GE measures, has been highlighted. While in some EFFORTI countries a political will to promote GE in the national R & I system has yet to be established, the latter is already clearly marked in countries such as Germany and Austria, but hampered by the high autonomy of the research system and federal governments. The EFFORTI-country with the best context situation might be Denmark, where neither political will nor autonomy are problematic.

The exchange with EFFORTI stakeholders will be continued at the national level in January / February 2018, when the development of the EFFORTI Toolbox will become more advanced. We look forward to your participation!