VILNIUS RECOMMENDATIONS 2013 – Promoting Gender Equality in Research Organisations including universities
The fast development of knowledge-based economies has changed the role and place of science in society and consequently requires a revision of the research and innovation (R&I) policy. Gender equality in science is a major challenge faced when implementing ambitious strategies towards the creation of competitive and innovative economies based on scientific achievements. The growing pool of highly skilled women is not reflected in most R&I organisations; this calls for a modernisation of research institutions through structural changes, in order to ensure equal opportunities in careers, gender balance in decision-making and the integration of the gender dimension in research content where relevant.
The high-level conference “Structural Change Promoting Gender Equality in Research Organisations” was organised under the auspices of the Lithuanian Presidency of the EU with the financial support of the European Commission. The conference brought together research institutions, universities, funding agencies, scientific associations, researchers and policy makers to exchange the best practices and identify methods to promote gender equality in R&I.
- Taking into account the EU2020 Strategy and the reinforced role of the upcomingFramework Programme Horizon 2020,
- Supporting the EC European Research Area (ERA) Communication of 2012, especially priority 4 on gender equality in R&I, and the Horizon 2020 commitment to gender equality,
- Considering the position of the Helsinki Group to foster gender equality in the Member States and Associated Countries,
- Being aware of the multi-dimensions of such a task, and of the need for a joint effort from all the stakeholders, including women themselves, involved with a shared roadmap,
- Considering that evidence generated by integrating gender in research and innovation should be used to inform other relevant European policies,
- Stressing the responsibility of each stakeholder involved in the promotion of gender equality.
The Conference participants call on:
The Council of the European Union to:
- Engage Member States to remove barriers to gender equality and provide incentives for structural changes in their research organisations including universities;
- Remind the European Commission of its commitment and urge it to adopt a recommendation on structural changes;
- Monitor the progress made on structural changes and advance the agenda to promote gender equality under each EU Presidency.
The European Parliament to:
Monitor at appropriate time intervals the progress made on structural changes to promote gender equality in research and innovation.
The European Commission to:
- Adopt the recommendation announced in the ERA Communication of 2012;
- Monitor the implementation of the recommendation with the assistance of appropriate agencies/institutes (i.e. EIGE), including the development of robust indicators;
- Strengthen networks of gender-related stakeholders ensuring an efficient dissemination of information and the coordination of joint efforts;
- Ensure the sustainability of a dedicated structure for gender equality policy in research and innovation.
Research organisations, including universities, to:
- Develop strategies and policies in accordance with the gender equality objectives established at the EU level in the ERA and Horizon 2020;
- Modernize human resources management in order to remove gender bias and discrimination;
- Include the gender dimension in curricula and research activities;
- Monitor and evaluate the progress made on gender equality.
The Member States and Associated Countries to:
- Align and further national policies on gender equality in research and innovation to take account of the decisions made at the EU level on the ERA and Horizon 2020;
- Include gender aspects in the curricula of higher education establishments;
- Support interdisciplinary research in gender studies to strengthen gender knowledge and expertise;
- Link the evaluation, accreditation and funding of research organisations to their performance on gender equality;
- Monitor the progress made with robust indicators;
- Strengthen networks of gender-related stakeholders, ensuring an efficient dissemination of information and the coordination of joint efforts;
- Include gender equality actions in the research components of international and regional programmes (such as Eastern Partnership and Baltic Sea Strategy).
Research funding agencies to:
- Align and further their strategies and programmes to take account of the gender equality objectives established at the EU level in the ERA and Horizon 2020;
- Fund specific programmes and initiatives on structural changes for gender equality in research organisations;
- Identify and remove gender bias at all levels, particularly in practices and structures;
- Ensure gender balance at all levels, including boards and committees;
- Develop in-house gender expertise and briefings for decision makers and evaluators on gender bias;
- Monitor the progress made with robust indicators.
Professional scientific communities to:
- Raise awareness and develop expertise on gender in research and innovation;
- Increase the visibility of women in science, research and innovation, including as keynote speakers in conferences;
- Promote the gender dimension in scientific publications, including disaggregated gender data in research where applicable;
- Remove gender bias in their fields and increase the participation of female scientists in scientific publications, editorials, reviews and survey articles.