GEARING Roles’ second annual conference will be held November 9 – 11 – hosted online by Sabanci University.



Registration is free and available here.


We hope to see you there!


Our conference theme this year is Gender and Leadership in Higher Education and Research. The GEARING Roles project is designing, implementing and monitoring 6 Gender Equality Plans at European higher education and research institutions – domains where gender equality in leadership and career paths is increasing, but still has not been achieved. The conference will build on lessons learned thus far in the project, and explore new directions in current research on inclusion, leadership, and challenges.


The conference schedule is below. All times are Istanbul time (GMT+3):


November 9, 5-7 PM


  • Welcome addresses 
  • Keynote speech 
  • “Doing the Work of Leadership to Transform Institutions” Mangala Subramaniam, Professor & Butler Chair and Director, Susan Bulkeley Butler Center for Leadership Excellence | Purdue University 
  • Discussant: Ayşe Kadıoğlu, Former President (2016-2018) | Sabancı University


November 10, 11AM- 1PM

Where are women and LGBTI+ on Wikipedia? Digital Activism Marathon (WORKSHOP FOR UNIVERSITY STUDENTS) 

  • How to find accurate and non-sexist information online? Gülin Çavuş, Chief Editor |
  • How to edit Wikipedia?  | Wikimedia User Groups


November 10, 2PM- 4PM

Gender Equality, Decision Making and Participation in Civil Society and Urban Governance 

  • Moderator: Ayşegül Bayar, Programs Coordinator | Sabancı Foundation 
  • Aysun Gezen, Co-Chair | Confederation of Public Employees’ Trade Unions 
  • Gülseren Onanç, Chair | SES Association  
  • Yasemin Öz, Attorney at law | Kaos GL & KA.DER
  • Hatice Temir, Board Chair | YUKADER  
  • Zelal Yalçın, Social Policies Coordinator | Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality


November 10, 5PM- 7PM

Gender Equality Action Plans: Equality and Inclusion in Universities and Research Organizations 

  • Moderator: Zeynep Gülru Göker, Researcher | Sabancı University Gender and Women’s Studies Center of Excellence (GEARING Roles)
  • Ayşe Ayata, Political Science and Public Administration Department Chairperson | Middle East Technical University (EGERA)
  • Mary Lou O’Neil, Director | Kadir Has University Gender and Women’s Studies Research Center (SAGE)
  • Nurseli Yeşim Sünbüloğlu, Gender Equality Specialist | Özyeğin University (PLOTINA) 
  • Ayşe Gül Altınay, SU Gender | Sabancı University (GEARING-Roles)


November 11, 10 AM- 11.30 AM

Gender and Leadership in Higher Education and Research: Institutional Challenges and Resistances

  • Moderator: Inge Bleijenbergh, Institute of Management Research | Radboud University
  • Gender Equality Leadership Analysis in the context of GEARING Roles Project Jon Pizarro Perez and Leire Gartzia Fernandez | Deusto University
  • Karin Jaanson, Executive Director | Estonian Research Council
  • Fuat Keyman, Vice Rector for Institutional Affairs and Social Impact and Director of the Istanbul Policy Center | Sabancı University
  • Roman Kuhar, Professor of Sociology at the Faculty of Arts and Dean of the Faculty of Arts | University of Ljubljana
  • Simonetta Manfredi, Associate Dean for Research and Knowledge Exchange for the Business School | Oxford Brookes University
  • Mário Vale, Director of CEG, Geographic Institute and Spatial Planning | University of Lisbon
  • Eduardo Ruiz Vieytez, Vice Rector for Community Strategy | Deusto University


November 11, 1PM – 3PM

Gender and Leadership in Higher Education and Research II: Actions, Strategies, Solidarities

  • Moderator:  Yeşim Arat, Former Vice Rector for Academic Affairs and Professor of Political Science and International Relations | Boğaziçi University
  • From ‘he for she’ to  ‘we for she’;  strategies and solidarities that support leadership for an equitable  future!. Melsa Ararat, “Director, Corporate Governance Forum | Sabancı University
  • Maria Lucinda Fonseca, Professor of Human Geography and Migration Studies | University of Lisbon Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning
  • Milica Antić Gaber, Professor of Sociology at Faculty of Arts | University of Ljubljana
  • Octavio Salazar, Professor of Constitutional Law | University of Cordoba
  • Zehra Sayers, Former President (2018) and Professor of Biophysics | Sabancı University 
  • Astrid Schloerscheidt, Pro Vice Chancellor and Dean of the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences | Oxford Brookes University



Dr. Mangala Subramaniam

The conference’s keynote speaker, Mangala Subramaniam, is Professor of Sociology and Butler Chair and Director of the Susan Bulkeley Butler Center for Leadership Excellence. In her current administrative position, she oversees all activities of the Butler Center focused on faculty. This includes offering opportunities to enhance leadership skills and professional development for faculty. Since 2017, the center’s efforts have revolved around two key strategies. The first strategy is focused on events and conferences as part of professional development and leadership and on fostering a climate of inclusion for faculty, particularly for women and underrepresented minorities. The second strategy emphasizes research and recognition that provides insights for workshops, interventions, and university policymaking in ways that will enable the success of women faculty. Her research focuses on gender and its intersections with race/ethnicity and class. She has published three gender-related books and a fourth and most recent one on environmental justice.