GENERA Roadmap - The basis

Engagement of Management and Leadership


In working towards institutional change in research organisations or higher education institutions, the engagement of management and leadership is crucial.1) Persons responsible for governing the organisation have the power and responsibility for the effective functioning of all its parts and are of highest importance in the implementation process of a GEP and approval of the needed actions and measures.

Gender equality can be a sensitive issue within science cultures that see it as separate from 'excellence'. Within GENERA, partners have undertaken to implement GEPs and this is the main basis for ensuring that the necessary top-level support is provided.

The specific roles2) of the management and leadership are:

  • to approve relevant documentation, procedures and activities for supporting the needed structural changes towards better gender equality in the organisation
  • to make available sufficient financial and personal resources to implement the customized GEP, and for the specific measures included in it
  • to instruct the relevant units/departments to provide information and data for designing the GEP, and for the continuation of progress towards agreed gender equality objectives
  • to demonstrate commitment to gender equality principles and the GEP, and promote legitimacy of the agreed actions and measures
  • to enable integration of the GEP into research activities
  • to become involved in the practical implementation of gender equality measures
  • to use internal communication channels for greater visibility of the benefits of implementing the GEP
  • to promote awareness of gender equality issues and benefits and of gender equality objectives within the organisation
  • and to make the organisation's gender equality objective and the role of the GEP visible to all employees.

Within GENERA, top-level managers and leaders can help make progress and ensure the success of the project by ensuring that all employees are supportive of the actions taken by the implementation. The process of change requires interaction between decision makers at all levels. Therefore, the Implementation Team should include an appropriate representative from the Human Resources department, ideally a person already concerned with gender equality matters, as well as key managers to ensure that the customized GEP is feasible and will be accepted within the organisation. Members of the Implementation Team should:

  • stay in regular communication (throughout the implementation process)
  • participate in the activities organised within the framework of the GEP
  • integrate gender equality within the organisation and embed it within all relevant existing structures
  • make the implementation process transparent and understandable to all employees and external stakeholders.

Key Actions

  • Share knowledge about gender equality and present the GENERA Project and its aim at all levels of the organisation
    Have you made all the relevant people aware of the GENERA Project and its purpose within the organisation?
  • Use GENERA resources about other research organisations that have already implemented GEP to identify relevant national and international benchmarks for the changes that can be achieved
    Are you informed about the work and successes in implementing GEPs in other organisations?
    Do you have meaningful figures to support the decision makers in your organisation?
    Have you developed a clear and persuasive explanation of what a GEP is and what benefits it can achieve?
  • Get to know the top-level of management and leadership and what their decision-making responsibilities are
    Who are the key leaders and decision makers in your organisation and what protocols are used to gain access to them?
    Who must be your contact persons on the management and leadership level during the implementation process?
  • Get to know the gender equality officer and other persons already responsible for gender equality
    Who will be your contact person in the gender equality office during the implementation process?
    If there is no gender equality office, perhaps there is another section that can take on that role: explain to the management why this is important to the implementation of the GEP
    Do you have a good explanation about the need and added value of a gender equality office?
  • Act top down and bottom up - get all levels involved to create the Implementation Team
    Does the Implementation Team include decision makers from all levels of the organisation?
    Who is (strongly) involved and why?
    Is there an appropriate distribution of tasks sensitive to each person's role in the organisation?
    Is it clear who needs to do what, when, how and with what result?
  • Present the GEP as a strategic document for pursuing greater gender equality within the organisation
    Did you establish clear expectations among the members of the Implementation Team regarding what the GEP is intended to achieve?
  • Organize a regular communication process between members of the Implementation Team, as well as with other key representatives of management and leadership
    What is your way of communicating with the relevant people?
    Do you produce weekly/monthly reports and updates via e-mail?
    Are there regular meetings, once a week or once a month?
  • Organize regular progress meetings of the Implementation Team to exchange experiences, discuss any problems, and agree on future actions
    Have you organized regular meetings with the Implementation Team and the leadership?
    When is the first meeting and where?
    What is the agenda and what are important first topics?

Hints & Resources

  • These efforts need to continue throughout the whole GEP implementation process
  • Keep on engaging actors in order to convince them of the benefits of a GEP for organisational performance
  • Organize training sessions, if required, for the members of Implementation Team and other actors directly involved in the process of change (managers, human resources staff, gender equality officers, etc.) to achieve common understanding of gender equality and to raise gender awareness, etc.
  • Further resources:
  • European Institute for Gender Equality - Gender Statistics Data Base & Gender Equality Index
  • Eurostat -The Statistical Office of the European Union (e.g. educ_grad5)

Individual Conditions

  • Use this section to identify the specific conditions in your organisation regarding the Basis: Engagement of Management and Leadership + Implementation Team.

Please record here (documentation of important steps, experiences, successes, challenges, solution approaches, etc.)

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