Workshop: Developing European Benchmarks for Gender-sensitive Working Conditions


Conducting a two-part webinar for researchers and policy officers concerned with gender equality and intersectionality in research organizations. The webinar will take place on 14 April 2021 from 2.00 pm to 6.00 pm as part of the 21st European Gender Summit in Munich.

In 2020, the European Charter for Researchers published by the European Commission was 15 years old. Since then, the paper has been endorsed by numerous research organizations in all EU and associated countries. Firstly, the Charter sets professional standards for researchers. Secondly, it formulated expectations for employers and funding organizations to counteract discrimination and to support their research staff in developing a sustainable professional profile in various ways.
Since then, the European Charter for Researchers has not remained the only effort to improve working conditions in the research system. The work and objectives of the European University Association as the representative of the university management, Eurodoc for early career researchers, the EURAXESS platform for the promotion of mobility of researchers or Science Europe as the representative of the research performing and funding organizations in Europe are complementary.
The initiatives have in common the pursuit of the creation of a fair and sustainable - gender-sensitive - research culture. However, there is a lack of benchmarks and regular, internationally comparable monitoring with regard to gender-sensitive work conditions of the research system. Furthermore, the initiatives do not holistically address gender-sensitive issues in the broader discussion of research culture: What is a good culture from a gender perspective? Although there are a number of surveys on the work climate in individual research institutions, surveys very rarely allow cross-border comparisons of the situation of scientists and provide data that is difficult to compare due to very variable survey designs.
There is a variety of different bottom-up approaches to benchmarking and standardized surveys on individual aspects of research careers on which to build. Examples for the domain of gender equality are the Female Achievement Index, the EIGE Gender Equality Index or the Gender Equality Audit and Monitoring Tool of the ACT project. What is lacking, however, is a comprehensive, integrated concept for obtaining internationally comparable data on the work conditions of researchers in Europe.

The aim of the two-part webinar is to exchange information about survey standards for the assessment of work conditions in the research system and to discuss in detail aspects of gender and intersectionality. Recommendations for minimum requirements regarding content and interoperability of corresponding surveys will be developed or guidelines for the development of a standardized questionnaire will be formulated. The results of the discussion and the feedback from the audience will be written into a concept paper that will be communicated at the 21th European Gender Summit. 

Dr. Lidia Borrell-Damián, Secretary General, Science Europe, Belgium


Part 1: State of the Art
14th April, 2.15 pm - 3.45 pm

Session input (10mins):
The More4-surveys: what current data tell us about gender and research work conditions
Dr. Lidia Núñez López & Dr. Agnes Kügler

Dr. Stephane Berghmans
Director of Research & Innovation, European University Association, Belgium
Dr. Marcela Linková (Casper-Project)
Head of the Centre for Gender and Science, Czech Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic
Dr. Lidia Núñez López (MORE3-4 Projects),
Senior Consultant Innovation & Competitiveness, IDEA Consult, Belgium
Dr. Agnes Kügler (MORE3-4 Projects)
Senior Economist, WIFO, Austria;
Dr. Claartje Vinkenburg
Independent expert consultant and researcher, Netherlands

How can gender-sensitive work conditions in academia and research be operationalized? Which dimensions should a comprehensive survey approach have (core constructs)?
What standards currently exist for measuring the individual dimensions of gender-sensitive work conditions?
What are currently the biggest challenges for the creation of cross-organizational European benchmarks on gender-sensitive work conditions in academia and research?
What follows? How can benchmarking be integrated into existent and developing European certifications for good work conditions and gender equality?

3.45 pm – 4.15 pm: Break

Part 2: Aspects of gender and intersectionality 
14 April, 4.15 pm -5.45 pm:

Session input (10mins):
Constructing high-quality questionnaires to assess gender equality in research organizations – the GEAM tool
Dr. Jörg Müller

Dr. Jörg Müller (GEAM Tool)
Senior Researcher, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Spain
Agnès Parent-Thirion
Senior Programme Manager, Working conditons at Eurofound, Ireland
Dr. Clemens Striebing
Senior Researcher, Center for Responsible Research and Innovation at Fraunhofer IAO, Germany

How can we measure gender-based disrcrimination in research organizations and, especially, its consequences on career progression?
How would you consider intersectionality in a survey on work conditions in academia and research?
How to go beyond a perpetrator-victim model for measuring gender-based harassment and discrimination? How can the processual and systemic dimensions of harassment and discrimination be taken into account?