Sustaining and Expanding Gender Equality Plans in RPOs from Faculty to Institution Level
Through a challenging 36 months period, EQUAL-IST project have addressed the issue of gender inequalities in Information Sciences and Technology research and institutions and influenced organizational structures through the enhancement of gender equality at six (6) Research Performing Organisations (RPOs), through the design and implementation of tailored Gender Equality Plans (GEPs) containing specific measures (activities/practices/interventions) to address gender imbalance. In order to maximise the project impact a dedicated sustainability plan was developed, to ensure the optimal use and institutionalisation of EQUAL-IST results and for ensuring that the GEPs design processes and implementation will be expanded from the Department-Faculty Levels to the whole Academic Institution. The EQUAL-IST project applied a sectoral approach to GEPs design and implementation: Faculties-Schools-Departments specialised in IST/ICT took the lead in initiating the process and achieved the goal to expand the GEPs since the initial steps of the process. In addition, balanced bottom-up and top-down design and implementation were carried out both ensuring engagement and commitment of highest hierarchical representatives (academic and administrative levels), taking into account needs and voices of employees, students and stakeholders at the involved research organisations. It has been impressive the fact that all RPOs designed their sustainability plans and secured the commitment of the higher management level, to continue the actions the next years.