Gender Equality Actions in Research Institutions to traNsform Gender ROLES




Gender equality is a fundamental value and an essential part of European research and innovation policy. Since the first Communication on women and science in 1999 and throughout the first decade of this century, EU institutions have called to facilitate the involvement of women in the academic sector, with gender equality, now one of the five priorities of the European Research Area.

Devising and implementing Gender Equality Plans in higher education institutions or research centres is a formal requirement to enhance actions that favour real and effective equality between women and men. While this is a reality, its effectiveness is bound to a series of factors, like the suitability of the agents involved in its setting-up, the strategic alliances built, and the awareness raised on the potential resistances that are to be faced in its implementation and that prevent real structural changes in these organisations.

Every Gender Equality Plan should be understood as a process that is born out of the will to grow and become stronger so that equality between women and men can be promoted and legitimised.


GEARING-Roles is a four-year Coordination and Support Action project that will bring together a pan-European group of academics and industry professionals to collaborate and exchange knowledge, good practices, and lessons learned on designing, implementing, and evaluating 6 Gender Equality Plans (GEPs).

The project therefore, has a firm objective of challenging and transforming gender roles and identities linked to professional careers, and working towards real institutional change. This multi-disciplinary, multi-national, and multi-sectorial collaboration will be supported by training in this space, mentoring activities, awareness raising campaigns as well as bi-annual videos and podcasts and annual networking events.

GEARING-Roles targets the questioning and transformation of traditional gender roles at the micro, meso, and macro levels, with four main objectives:

  •  Female Career Progression: To remove barriers, to female recruitment and devise Personal Career Development Plans
  • Leadership and Decision Making: To address gender imbalances, in the representation, processes and the promotion of leadership in research institutions.
  •  Education and Research: to provide alternative references in traditionally male dominated areas (STEM) and in those where women are majority but kept under glass ceilings (Health& Care, Hum, Law, SSCC in general) by strengthening the gender dimension in research programs and methodologies, fostering gender- knowledge and scientific production in relation to gender and feminist studies, and by reinforcing women researchers’ careers.
  •  Promotion of Gender Equality in Research Organisations and key stakeholders for the reinforcement of ERA: disseminate the common framework and outputs for institutional gender assessment, planning, monitoring and evaluation to establish commitment to gender equality in major European stakeholder organisations and build a sustainable long-term network of organisations advancing gender equality.

Our Role

Trilateral will be leading WP 8 (Dissemination and Outreach) which will seek to coordinate project-wide communication, dissemination and outreach activities to ensure project awareness, knowledge sharing and the uptake of GEARING tools and results. It will engage with key stakeholders online and offline, in gender and equality in research and innovation across Europe.

Trilateral will also optimise the reach and visibility of the project by disseminating practical information and guidelines on methods and instruments for institutional change on gender equality within and beyond the GEARING- Roles network. It will do so through the use of videos, podcasts, mentoring programmes, yearly conferences and campaign activities on University Campuses and online. Within its activities, Trilateral will also facilitate collaboration and information exchange with project partners, research organisations, and other projects and networks.



GEARING-Roles will implement six new tailored gender equality plans (GEPs) in 5 European Universities and work towards sustainable changes in institutional mechanisms, policies, practices and procedures that foster gender equality. This includes mechanisms for multilevel and multi-stakeholder consultations that are gender equal, mechanisms for collection, monitoring and evaluation of gender sensitive data, and changing mentalities through awareness-raising, training and dissemination and communication campaigns.



GEARING-Roles will:

  •  guarantee effectiveness of GEPs as transformative interventions, through mutual learning and shared knowledge, in order to generate gender expertise and increase the implementation of GEPs throughout Europe;
  •  establish a set of evaluating and monitoring indicators and an external evaluation scheme;
  •  contribute to the increase of women participating in research by fostering their career progression through mentoring and training activities, analysing possibilities for diversifying professional paths, and promoting open, transparent and merit-based recruitment processes
  •  increase awareness about causes and consequences of female leaders limited representation decision-making boards and selection committees on leadership, highlighting examples of best practices in European institutions.

For more information and updates visit the GEARING-Roles project website and follow us on Twitter @GearingRoles, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.


Please contact our team for more information:

Olivia Ianelli, Senior Research Analyst at Trilateral Research


The GEARING-Roles project – Gender Equality Actions in Research Institutions to traNsform Gender ROLES – has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 824536.

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