Guidance to facilitate the implementation of targets to promote gender equality in research and innovation


Promoting gender equality in research and innovation


On 1 December 2015 the Council of the European Union ‘invite[d] Member States and institutions to strive for guiding targets for a more even gender balance for professors’ and ‘invite[d] relevant authorities to set up guiding targets, for example quantitative objectives, for better gender balance in decision-making bodies including leading scientific and administrative boards, recruitment and promotion committees as well as evaluation panels and encourage[d] research funding and performing organisations to reach these targets by 2020’ . The Council also ‘call[ed] on the Commission, in close cooperation with the Helsinki Group, to provide support for Member States to address policy challenges related to gender balance, including developing guidance to facilitate the implementation of guiding targets’ .

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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.

This guidance was prepared by the Helsinki Group and the European Commission in consultation with the European Research Area stakeholders.


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