The IGTP is working on promotion of gender equality in the European research area

- Institutional

The IGTP signed the memorandum of understanding to join a community of practice (CoP) in August 2019, to formalize the agreement, and members of the Working Group Women in Science (WiS) have been participating in activities since then. The WiS group was set up by the IGTP and includes members of institutions from all over the campus, it has been working for the last two years to put questions of gender in research on the table. In February this year the WiS organized a mini-symposium to celebrate the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, in which the Principal Investigator of the European ACT Project participated.

The Life Sciences Community (LifeSciCoP) is one of seven that have been set up by the Gender and ICT Research Group at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC), led by Jörg Müller under the ACT Project (Communities of PrACTice for Accelerating Gender Equality and Institutional Change in Research and Innovation across Europe). ACT is a Coordination and Support Action project funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 Programme designed to help organizations that fund and carry out research to advance gender equality.

The Life Sciences Community of Practice (LifeSciCop), of which the IGTP is a member is coordinated from the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) in Barcelona. Within the group, representatives of 15 research centres share ideas, training and work on tools to help their own and other institutions institute changes. Monthly meetings are held, either in person, or by teleconference. 

"Although our institutions are very different, they share some fundamental problems in matters of gender equality," explains Julia Garcia-Prado, PI at IrsiCaixa and Scientific Director at the IGTP. "Being part of the group means that we can not only discuss the difficulties, but also take advantage of powerful tools provided by the ACT Project that is supporting us."

So far two members of the WiS have attended the workshop "Dealing with Resistances" and all the group have had the opportunity to give feedback on a staff survey being prepared by ACT for all the institutions to use.

"Staff surveys are key parts of monitoring gender equality in institutions," says Garcia-Prado. "In fact we are obliged to administer one under our commitment to the European Commission Strategy for Human Resources in Research (HRS4R) and being part of the CoP means that we will be able to use a professional survey prepared by Social Scientists for free." The IGTP plans to administer the survey early in 2020.

The working group: Women in Science, which includes the Head of Human Resources of the IGTP, will continue to work with the CoP for the next year and a half and transfer ideas, activities and tools to the IGTP to support the advance towards gender equality. The next WiS mini-Symposium will be held on 10 February 2020 at the IGTP.

About the LifeSciCop

The objectives of the LifeSciCop are to increase awareness of unconscious bias; to overcome resistance to Gender Equality and to include gender aspects in evaluation processes.

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About ACT

ACT has started up a European network of 7 Communities of Practice (CoPs) in research organizations and will provide them with tailor-made mechanisms for new learning and practice, such as an online Hub for knowledge sharing, an adaptable instrument for monitoring and evaluating gender equality, toolkits and training materials in participatory methods, or thematic videos addressing shared needs.

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About the Working Group: Women in Science

The Working Group: Women in Science (WiS) is a voluntary group made up of members of staff from different institutions on the Can Ruti Campus. The group acts as an observatory and advisory capacity and organizes activities for researchers on the campus within the Open Science Programme. In 2019 the group successfully organized the first Celebration of the International Day of Women and Children in Science on Can Ruti in February and the seminar "Positive actions to empower Women in Science: the two sides of the coin" by Dr María García-Parajo of the ICFO.

Read more on the IGTP intranet