Outcome of the GENERA interview series

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This report documents the outcomes of the analysis of interviews carried out with physicists working in 11 GENERA Consortium member institutions and in one institution having the status of an observer partner. It constitutes the Deliverable 2.3 of the GENERA project.

The goal of Task 2.3, carried out under the GENERA's Work Package 2 Status of research intensity advancing GEP activities in Europe's RPOs and RFOs and led by the Jagiellonian University's team of GENERA researchers, is to identify gender balance conditions in physics through assessing career paths of successful female and male physicists as well as the major challenges and obligations in their workaday life and evaluating the supporting and hindering conditions for career progress. Additionally, physicists' attitudes towards gender equality in science - including knowledge and evaluation of as well as support for institutional interventions aiming at counteracting gender inequality in physics - are explored. The main idea standing behind the study is to provide recommendations for Gender Equality Plans in physics.

The conducted interviews and their analysis have focused on three specific issues. First, the obligations and challenges in the workaday life of physicists are checked for their gender relevance. This analysis covers the problems of new emerging pathways and new challenges in the career paths, work conditions and work environment, mobility, networking and mentorship. Second, the interview results are examined to identify the dimensions of gender inequality in physics and compare views on their determinants. In particular the perceived reasons for domination of men in physics and existing barriers to women's success as well as personal experiences of unequal treatment are discussed. Third, the interview results are verified for strategies to overcome barriers and other system immanent limitations that hinder female researchers in their career development. This analysis covers physicists' opinions on the role of research institutions in fostering gender equality, their attitudes towards introducing special measures and their assessment of specific activities undertaken by their institutes to enhance gender equality.

The selection of themes in both semi-standardized and expert interviews have been supported with the findings from a comprehensive review of literature on gender aspects of science and academia (Report D2.2 on how to improve the research cultural environment).

The report is divided into 2 main blocks. In the first part we discuss methods that were used to conduct interviews and their main challenges. In the second part we present in detail findings from data analysis ordered in 8 major themes covered in the interviews. These themes include: Career paths, Work conditions, Mobility, Networks, Mentorship, Reasons for dominations of men, Experiences of discrimination, and Institutional aspects of gender equality. Additionally, the appendix consists in interview study methodological guidelines.

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