July 3, 2022

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Few Women in Science: A “seal” is needed to certify virtuous universities and organizations

(Photo: National Cancer Institute on Unsplash)

There is still a few Women in Search. And there are fewer of them in decision-making positions and high-level jobs. a The gender gap In Europe, which is clearly evident from the report It’s the numbers for 2021, the document that collects statistics and indicators on the differences between women and men, from course selection to the world of work. The European Commission reaffirmed its commitment in this area and called on all public bodies wishing to have access European financeto own A plan to achieve gender equality (jab), which is a fairly detailed plan, which includes training courses on the topic of gender discrimination, work-life balance policies, and actions that can promote equality. Not all countries are progressing at the same speed, and even if action is taken, it is still not clear which one is most effective. We need a strategy at the European level. European project Kasperwhich has just concluded and which sees, among other things, the two Italian partners, smart gun And the knowledge and innovationargued the importance of a European Certification System FromGender equality for universities and research institutions (Gecas), also identifies three possible scenarios for its realization. The European Commission will now have to choose the common path that is most suitable for all member states.

Three scenarios for gender equality in Europe

Maria Sangiulianoresearcher, project manager and trainer on gender and innovation at Smart Venice, said A Galileo The three scenarios that emerged from the project. The first envisions an entirely new European-level certification system that would assess both the process and results of implementing GEPs. It will work with a progressive enrollment system and will require certification renewal every four years.

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The second scenario suggests instead using a simple system of Approval / rejection of the research organizationmainly taking into account the process that has been put in place to achieve the goals of gender equality, without evaluating the results.

The most ambitious but also the most effective first scenario is the first advocated by countries like Germany and Sweden that have a supportive infrastructure and long tradition of gender issues at their disposal. Conversely, a second, more moderate solution would find the support of countries such as Hungary and Poland that openly refuse to intervene on gender equality or provide resources and support.

There is also a third proposal, however, that proposes to use an accreditation system that has already been developed in the UK, named Athena Swanand converting it into an accreditation system at the European level. This scenario may be similar to the first scenario, with advantages and disadvantages, that result from using a system that has already been validated, but was born in a reality other than Europe.

Project concluded KasperThe European Commission is currently evaluating the proposals. According to Sangiuliano, it will be difficult to predict the scenario that will be implemented: the commission can even decide not to take direct action, leaving all responsibility to the national authorities and playing only a supporting role.

Data in Italy

Also in Italy, all organizations involved in research and innovation proceed to formulate jab. The goal is not to exclude it from European funding and the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR . number) which provides for the allocation of 40% of the funds allocated to new appointments in the field of research Women. It is also envisaged that contribution subsidies and public financing be provided to small and medium-sized enterprises implementing initiatives in their favor gender equality.

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The hope is that these works will not reveal themselves alone pink, But they can fight the barriers that still limit participation looking womanStereotypes, harassment, feelings of mistrust, and increased family responsibilities. The need for change in Italy is real: according to the latest findings reported in are the numbers, Italian women make up only a third of research workers, in line with the European average. In the highest job positions, the presence of women has shrunk to less than a quarter. A greater proportion of women work part-time, especially with children and have precarious contractual forms. Only about 10% of patents are filed by Women, which represents less than 25% of the members on their boards of directors in just 7% of cases, well below the European average of 24%. Finally, less than 10% of research or university bodies are headed by it Womenversus the higher, albeit not very encouraging, European average of 18%.

Reference: Kasper; University of Uberta de Catalunya

Image credits: National Cancer Institute on me Unsplash