Gender Equality and Diversity Plan(GEDP) - Your vision of a gender-neutral world can become a reality¶
EIGE (European Institute for Gender Equality) defines gender equality as equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities for women and men. In this sense : "Gender equality does not mean that women and men will become the same, but that their rights and responsibilities and opportunities will not depend on being born as a woman or a man. Gender equality means taking into account the interests, needs and priorities of both women and men, thereby recognising the diversity of different groups of women and men. Gender equality is not a women's issue, but should fully address and engage both men and women. Equality between women and men is seen as a human rights issue and a condition, an indicator of human-centred development and democracy."
We know that developing a GE(D)P takes work and dedication, but one of the best parts of this process is that it makes us look inwards and understand whether the environment we create is a friendly one and everyone feels welcome, valued and listened to regardless of their differences. We will also need to identify the barriers we face and how we can overcome them to cultivate this culture of inclusion, and for this we will need to develop tools to measure and manage the gender gap of inclusion and diversity in the workforce.
The GE(D)P is a 3-year plan at the level of an organisation. This plan should identify actions to reduce gender gaps internally and is based on the belief that we need to learn to be a gender equitable organisation internally, which will be reflected in future activities, actions and programmes we undertake in our communities.
A GEDP should be seen as a project, representing an entity's long-term commitment to becoming socially responsible and embedding the principles of inclusion and diversity in its values and practices, but also it should be an official document made public on the organisation's website and social media pages, signed by senior management and actively communicated within the organisation. Therefore the GEDP is more than a document, it is a commitment to behavior and the establishment of a framework of internal rules, which will be subject to periodic improvement/adaptation.
Consult, Involve, Collaborate, Empower
You can start by analyzing internally the level of the gender gap by consulting identified internal and external stakeholders (people you want to implicate) through specific questionnaires or interviews to gather all thoughts and opinions on the topic.
After this first stage, you can start to involve them more actively in defining the problems and areas where intervention is needed, as well as developing potential solutions. How? Through meetings, workshops and discussions that provide a more detailed and elaborate description of your labs/organisation Gender gap situation. It is important to highlight the opportunities that community participation offers through concrete examples of positive transformation processes.
The third stage is one of structuring the basis of the GE(D)P through collaboration - work internally (but open to external stakeholders who have contributed so far) and start to put on paper what we have discovered about our internal and local context, what needs to be changed, how can we contribute to generate that change?
We can say that the hard part is over, we have a good draft of our Gender Equality and Diversity Plan. Almost finished! We now have to empower the team members and assign roles to them:
One first important step - at least one member of the team will have to do an accredited Gender Equality Expert course. Who will make the Gantt chart? Who will do the data collection and monitoring? Who is in charge of Dissemination and visibility What about reporting?etc
Empowering is not only about contributing to the implementation of the plan and assigning team members to take part in actions and activities but also about a walk the talk mindset in our daily lives. It all starts with you.
In our efforts to prepare a GEDP, we have used this official Horizon Europe Guidance on Gender Equality Plans produced by the EU Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, which provides step-by-step and very helpful guidelines for developing a GE(D)P. You can check it out here.
Let's be honest! It will take more than a few graphic videos or a webinar on the gender gap for your GP(D)P, but since you're here, you've already taken the first step and started researching! And just as they say it takes a village to raise a child, we can say it takes the whole team to make a good GE(D)P.