The world is a place where everyone should feel equal and valued. The European Union is committed to equality in all areas of life, including research and innovation. With the new Horizon Europe program, part of the eligibility criteria is having a Gender Equality Plan. More specifically, it is required for public institutions. Also it is highly recommended for SMEs and is expected for large companies under the Horizon Europe program.
Gender equality plan: what is it?
The European Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025, announced in March 2020. Shows the Commission’s commitment to promoting gender equality in research and innovation. One of the objectives of this strategy is to strengthen the European Research Area (ERA) to ensure equal opportunities in a working environment. Where everyone regardless of gender, can develop their talents. Moreover, the strategy encourages the mainstreaming of the gender dimension in research projects. As a result, it is to contribute to the improvement of the quality of research and its importance for the society based on knowledge, technology and innovation.
In addition: five areas that the GEP has a particular focus on. Organizations can include them in their plan:
- Work-life balance and organizational culture:
GEPs aim to promote gender equality through a sustainable transformation of the organizational culture. Changing the organizational culture towards gender equality, giving women the same rights, opportunities for development in the workplace, including parental leave policy, flexible working hours and support in caring responsibilities.
- Gender balance in management and decision-making positions:
Increasing the number and participation of women in management and decision-making positions.
- Gender equality in recruitment and career development:
Promote equal gender opportunities and the treatment of candidates during the recruitment and career development stages.
- Incorporating a gender dimension into research and teaching content:
Incorporating gender equality analysis and research into the organization’s education program.
- Measures against gender-based violence, including sexual harassment:
The aim is to establish a culture of zero-tolerance against sexual harassment and violence and to provide all necessary assistance to victims.
Gender equality in Horizon Europe
The Horizon Europe programme facilitates cooperation and strengthens the impact of research and development programmes in the EU and worldwide. In addition, as we mentioned above, Horizon Europe takes an active part in the fight against gender inequality and therefore introduces strengthened provisions.
Three basic levels of gender equality:
- To promote gender equality in research teams, with the aim of reducing the gap between the number of women and men in these teams.
- Ensure a balance of gender representation at the decision-making level, and achieve a ceiling of 40% female participation in panels and discussion groups and 50% in advisory groups.
- Integrate gender equality in research and innovation to increase the quality of research, strengthen the social dimension of the knowledge, technology and innovation produced.
In many topics in the work program, applicants are asked to consider gender differences. Additionally, grantees must assume in their proposals that they will promote gender balance at the level of each R&D team, as well as at the level of the R&D management team.
Additional funding in:
- gender and cross-sectional research, in particular within cluster 2 of the Culture, Creativity and Inclusive Society programme
- developing an inclusive gender policy in support of the new European Research Area through widening participation and strengthening parts of the European Research Area programme, reforming and strengthening the European research and innovation system
- empowering women innovators, notably under the 3rd pillar of the Innovation Europe Programme and the European Innovation Council (EIC), by increasing the number of women in projects. the EIC has already made good progress. For the interview pitches for Accelerator funding, 50% of the jury members are women. Also, omen represent 42% of the business coaches that advise and mentor EIC supported startups
Let’s remember about new regulations and legal changes in the Horizon Europe program. Especially when applying for funding for our innovative project.
The gender equality factsheet: greater engagement under Horizon Europe summarizes key new provisions and requirements, with a particular focus on the eligibility criterion of the new gender equality plan.
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Our experts from QiEurope provide comprehensive assistance in the application process for various EU projects. They also have extensive knowledge about the Gender equality plan. The guidelines that we have to meet in order to apply for EU funding.
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