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The role of women in Trilateral: how we integrate gender sensitivity in our work culture, research and innovation

Women have made significant progress in making structural inequalities visible to society and their movement has inspired and encouraged the resistance against many forms of injustice. However, we are still reminded of the impact of gender differences and discrimination in our daily lives.

At Trilateral, we believe in the strength of a diverse, gender-balanced environment with a positive work-life balance, and value the passion and talents of our team.

In celebration of International Women’s Day (IWD), we want to highlight why it is important to consider gender sensitivity in the workplace but even more so in our work and, in particular, in research and innovation striving for an equal and just society. It is also an opportunity for us to celebrate the important achievements of Trilateral’s women and how we consider gender issues in an impactful way across the company. It is important to note on this day that we do not see gender as binary – being male or female – but recognise that gender is a spectrum and there is a diversity of issues and perspectives to consider.

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Why do we still need to consider gender discrimination?

As we approach International Women’s Day, media reports and events across the world remind us of the persistent gender gaps in the workplace in relation to task distribution, roles, and responsibilities. A report by Fana, Villani and Bisello for the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission examining the case of France over a period of 25 years regarding gender differences in tasks performed at the workplace, showed a tendency for women to perform different tasks to their male colleagues and be less involved in intellectual tasks and in particular management and coordination. This is in line with recent research by LinkedIn that highlights how women’s career progression is being impacted by an entitlement gap resulting in women being socially conditioned to feel less deserving than men.

Gender gaps are visible in all aspects of our everyday life which is increasingly dependent on technology. In a technologically advanced world, gender bias is amplified as the technology industry is dominated by white, middle-class males. This means that gender bias is inherited in data, design and the implementation of algorithmic systems that can have further consequences. Our society is becoming increasingly data-driven which means that the inherited gender bias in algorithms leads to poor decision-making that amplifies discrimination and silences the voices of vulnerable groups.

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International Women’s Day raises awareness on how gender inequality influences every aspect of our lives, our society and our future. IWD is an important reminder of the persistent gender issues and strives to create role models that encourage girls and women to chase their dreams and change the normalised gendered discrimination of our societies.

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What is the role of women across Trilateral teams?

In Trilateral, we recognise the importance of a plurality of voices across the company for creating a culture where people can feel equal, respected and appreciated and encourage them to develop personally and professionally. To ensure diversity in practice, it is also important to understand the different needs and integrate best practices in the work environment and processes. Through continuous training, Trilateral’s staff creates and aspires to inclusivity. The very structure of the company is gender-sensitive with no strict hierarchical order encouraging all staff members to freely express their opinion and take initiatives as well as to discuss their experiences and challenges. Women in Trilateral hold key roles across the different teams creating role models and inspiring the junior staff members. In this line, Trilateral ensures that female colleagues’ achievements are meaningfully celebrated recognising their hard work.

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How is gender sensitivity integrated into Trilateral’s work?

Trilateral’s culture on issues of equality and gender balance is also reflected in our work. We consider research and innovation a key force for addressing societal inequalities. The male dominance in the science and technology sector results in the amplification of gender discrimination in our society. Therefore, at Trilateral we recognise our responsibility to develop knowledge and technological advancements that consider gender issues and promote equality. Indeed, we welcome the efforts on including gender sensitivity in research and innovation on a European level.

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Trilateral has been long addressing gender issues in projects promoting gender equality already in the formation of the consortia. Furthermore, Trilateral’s framework on ethical and societal issues highlights gender issues as well as those that might emerge from the technological developments, framing them in the context of human rights. Our researchers promote gender issues to be included in proposals promoting equality and thus, striving for a gender-balanced society.

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It is crucial to increase awareness around gender issues in every space of our society. Trilateral aims to integrate gender sensitivity in our workplace and reflects this culture on our work recognising how research and innovation shape the future of society.

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Especially in the challenging times of the pandemic outbreak, it becomes urgent to understand the different needs emerging and make their organisations resilient to changes and inclusive ensuring that women keep on thriving.

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