The GENERA GEP process: ‘from physics for physics’
1.Raising awareness of gender issues in physics
GENERA developed a scheme for RPOs and RFOs to raise awareness of gender issues by holding Gender in Physics Days (GiPD). The scheme includes a catalogue of topics, guiding principles, and a format that has been tested by GENERA partners. In general at national GiPDs, national physics managers, HR managers and gender equality officers meet with senior and early career physicists to review the status quo and formulate recommendations for improving the gender balance with high priority. Also international physics research organisations such as CERN, ESO and NordForsk follow the same scheme for international GiPDs.
2. Identifying what data are needed for GEPs
GENERA partners have examined existing examples of gender equality plans or similar gender equality audits to identify which categories of data are commonly collected. The result is the Common Framework for Collecting Gender Relevant Data, which organisations can use as a template and a working tool.
3. Verifying what data are available within the institution
GENERA created a questionnaire for organizations to check what gender data are actually collected and are accessible, considering that many types of data are collected for different administrative but may not be directly accessible, e.g. because of privacy issues. The questionnaire also helps collecting evidence on the factors hindering or facilitating collection of gender relevant data in organizations, and identifies actions to improve availability and accessibility of gender relevant data for monitoring activities.
4. Building on scientific evidence of common gender issues
A comprehensive literature review was conducted to identify successful gender equality measures and conditions for improving a research cultural environment like physics research. A collection of ‘best in class’ examples of gender equality measures was derived.
5. Understand perception of gender issues by researchers
GENERA produced guidelines for conducting interviews with individual researchers and experts working in the institution to identify issues that are most important to them, and how these can be tackled through GEPs.
6. Understanding perception of gender issues by management
As part of an ex ante evaluation guidelines for interviews with representatives relevant for the implementation of GEPs in physics was prepared. Typically, representatives comprise (science) management, HR management, gender equality officers and group leaders.
7. Tailoring GEPs to local conditions and needs
Recognising that institutional conditions and cultures may vary and features of GEPs will need tailoring for a given research environment, GENERA produced a “roadmap for implementing GEPs in physics” providing a basic structure for the implementation of customized GEPs. The scope and content of the current roadmap will be adjusted following the implemenation processes by the GENERA partners.
GENERA also developed a “toolbox” for the implementation of GEPs for physics. Currently, the toolbox comprises 65 proven 'for physics by physics' measures and actions spanning eight different target groups and six Fields of Action. Over time, the toolbox will be adjusted and further expanded with additional effective measures provided by the physics community.
8. Sharing experience and knowledge through a sustainable long-term monitoring network of RPOs and RFOs in physics
An inventory of major physics-related RPOs and RFOs in Europe was produced as the beginning of building (future) international GENERA network of institutions implementing GEPs for physics. This network will form a platform for sustainable long-term monitoring the performance of the GEPs and will be enlarged to promote systematic adoption of GEPs in physics.
9. Creating ERA-wide impact through major stakeholders
Collaborative connections with important stakeholders in science endeavours have been established and include EURAXESS, Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions, European Institute for Gender Equality, other Horizon 2020 projects implementing GEPs, physics institutions participating in COST Actions, European Parliament, GenPORT portal, and organisations participating in Gender Summit.