Guidance to facilitate the implementation of targets to promote gender equality in research and innovation’
This guidance draws on the national action plans (NAPs) submitted in 2016 and on a survey carried out by the Helsinki Group on Gender in Research and Innovation (HG) on practices adopted at national level by national authorities. It provides recommendations to facilitate the implementation of guiding targets in research institutions and higher education establishments as requested by the Council of the EU. The HG survey shows that quotas or targets are mostly implemented through law or through wider national strategies for gender equality, and this enhances their effectiveness. Examples of existing national provisions are presented in this guidance. Quotas and targets currently tend to relate to boards of funding agencies, research organisations and universities. Evaluation or recruitment committees, which are important decision-making bodies signalled by the Council, are often not addressed and should also be covered. Monitoring appears to be a key driving factor for an effective implementation of quotas or targets. Monitoring mechanisms which comprise at least the collection of sex-disaggregated data should be applied both at the national and the institutional level. Incentives and, when necessary, sanctions are useful tools that can be applied at national level to motivate universities and research organisations to set up and implement guiding targets or quotas. Among them, national awards schemes for universities and research organisations are used in some countries with a particular impact. Experience shows that where targets and quotas are adopted and/or promoted at national level, their successful implementation and monitoring are contingent upon active support and commitment of institutional leadership. Transparency, namely in recruitment, promotion and nomination, is necessary and should be an integral element of human resources strategies. The successful implementation of targets and/or quotas implies a change in culture which should be accompanied with appropriate awareness raising and training, showing the benefits that institutions can draw from a better gender balance and a more equal treatment of men and women. Other national-level supporting activities, which are applied at the level of universities and research organisations, include initiatives to help women build their skills and capacity for leadership (such as mentoring, shadowing, trainings, coaching, etc.) This guidance was prepared by the Helsinki Group and the European Commission in consultation with the European Research Area stakeholders.