GEARING-Roles: First Annual Conference on Recruitment, Retention and Career Progression of Women in Academia

November, 27, Lisbon, Portugal

Like many other careers, careers in academia are full of challenges that are often hard to overcome. Balancing research activities and teaching duties, the limited number of positions available, and the ever-fiercer competition to receive funding are just some examples of the difficulties faced. Women often account for more than half of the students within a research institution and while their representation in academia has been growing for decades, they still represent less than half of the teaching staff. Additionally, it often takes them far longer to reach positions of leadership where they remain to this day severely underrepresented.

In order to debate the recruitment, retention and progression of women in academia, the Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning of the University of Lisbon (IGOT-ULisboa) is hosting the First Annual Conference of the GEARING-Roles project on the 27th of November of this year. This event will be open to everyone at no cost and will be a meeting point for policy makers, academics and students to discuss ideas, raise questions and propose solutions to gender inequalities in higher education institutions.

Besides the presence of the Portuguese Secretary of State for Citizenship and Equality (Rosa Monteiro), the President of the Board of Directors of the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT) will also be in attendance. Additionally, there will berepresentatives from the universities governing bodies and the student unions. Among the keynote speakers there will be Dr. Marloes Van Engen from Tilburg University who will discuss her research on gender. More specifically, her talk “About good intentions and uneasy questions: reflections on gender equality interventions” will discuss leadership family life when pursuing a career and the careers of women and men in academia. Her talk will be an excellent opportunity to learn from good practices and policy failures and a source of inspiration for the design and implementation of Gender Equality Plans in academia.

The GEARING-Roles project will also present the data gathered by each Gender Equality Plan (GEP)-implementing partner in order to conduct its institutional assessments on gender equality dimensions. The data will thus, provide a very up-to-date picture of the present situation including but not limited to: national contexts, university policy and practices, gender in university governance and careers, promotions, research content, output, curricula, pedagogical practices and marketing. This session will help to reflect on the design of Gender Equality Plans which will be implemented in each of the participating institutions.

The event also includes two round tables. The first roundtable will address gender inequalities in Portuguese academia focusing on the challenges and strategies to overcome resistances. It will bring together academics who have long-standing careers in gender-related issues, sister projects on gender equality in academia (SAGE, SUPERA PLOTINA), and individuals who have worked on implementing gender equality plans in higher education institutions. The second roundtable will focus on promoting gender equality in the public, private space as well as among and civil society organisations by highlighting good practices and lessons learned. This round table will bring together different stakeholders from outside academia including the President of the Commission for Citizenship and Gender Equality in Portugal, representatives of local authorities distinguished with the Living in Equality Municipal Award and from the Portuguese Platform for Women’s Rights.

For those wanting to showcase their work, as part of our first annual conference, we are issuing a call for posters to identify innovative initiatives supporting the promotion of women in STEM careers and fostering female vocations. In particular, we welcome poster presentations on the promotion of gender equality in research and innovation.

We invite those interested in gender equality debates and practices in academia to join us in the beautiful city of Lisbon at this exciting event.

You may find more information by following the link:

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