Mainstreaming Gender Training Activities in French ...eige. . Maxime Forest... · Mainstreaming Gender…

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  • Mainstreaming Gender Training Activities in French

    Research and Higher Education Institutions

    EIGE Conference on Gender Mainstreaming, Vilnius, 14.11.2012

    Maxime FOREST, PhD. Lecturer and researcher at Sciences Po PRESAGE Gender Expert and technical Advisor

  • Introduction

    In May, 2012, the French Ministry for Higher Education and Research,

    launched a full gender training scheme, targeting every category of agents

    in research and academic institutions, including academic boards,

    researchers, administrative and technical workers in every field. To date,

    about 6 training actions have been carried out, using experienced-based

    and participatory methodologies. With the support of the newly

    established Womens Rights Ministry, these actions are likely to be

    brought soon to a larger scale.

    This contribution firstly aims at describing the institutional background

    against which these actions have been implemented (1: diagnosis / 2.

    Actors). Then, it presents the training scheme and its implementation

    roadmap (3.) Lastly, it will conclude with remarks on the challenges of the

    contribution of gender training to effective mainstreaming strategies.


  • Following the outputs of the EU-funded QUING project (2007-2011), more specifically of its OPERA stream on the setting of minimum quality criteria in gender training, the Gender Equality unit of the French Ministry for Higher Education and Research (MIPADI) set up a working cluster on gender training in April, 2011. Fed by discussions within the EU-group set up by the MIPADI, where recent policy and scholarly developments with respect to women in science issues at the EU level are discussed, our reflection led to emphasize: - That France has failed to implement effective gender mainstreaming strategies, due to negative path dependent features such as strong centralization, sectional policy approach, low policy evaluation culture, and institutional resistances - That there has been both limited institutional resources and limited expertise, to carry out structural change to support gender equality, and that policies usually lacked continuity and consistence, in the absence of a true policy paradigm.

  • Beyond these two general assessments, it has been underlined that: - Major changes as concerns the increased autonomy of universities

    (2007), and the new legislative spur in favour of gender equality (2006-), in the form of the adoption of positive actions also in the public sector (2012), were providing a new window of opportunity to implement gender mainstreaming strategies.

    - Gender training actions offer an efficient (both in terms of impact and

    mobilized resources) lever to provide actors in research and higher education with appropriate concepts and instruments to develop tailor-made, transversal, equality strategies

    The diagnosis draws upon available data on the strong sex segregation that still prevails vertically (Fig. 2-4) and horizontally, throughout disciplines (Fig. 4 & 5). It also relies upon qualitative data collected by the MIPADI and the Womens unit at the CNRS, regarding the low institutionalization of gender studies, the low expertise on gender available out of this field of study or the gender-blindness of newly established evaluation & funding structures.

  • Fig. 1

  • Fig. 2 Proportion of Men & Women in French universities

  • Fig. 3

  • Fig. 4 Proportion of Men & Women among full professors,

    per disciplines (National University board sections)

  • Fig. 5

  • Stereotypical career patterns do apply

    If not specified, academic excellence may discriminate women

    Strong budgetary constraints and competition differently affect men and women scientists

    Gender blind-evaluation culture

    Unequal access to scientific & Academic


    Still a minority among researchers + Leaky Pipeline

    Strong segregational patterns among disciplines

    Sticky Floor and Glass Ceiling still prevail

    Gender unfriendly Environments and work


    Low but growing - institutionalization of gender studies

    Weak gender expertise available to carry out structural changes

    Makes difficult to implement gender mainstreaming

    Low gender expertise alters competitiveness on EU-funded projects

    Strengthening EU and

    Domestic legislative constraints

    Lack of gender expertise

    Gender Equality enforced by the EU treaties and 13 directives Since 2001, continuously strengthening domestic legislative framework Paradigm shift > introduction of gender quotas in 2011 Multiplication of soft instruments (charters, labels)

  • 2. ACTORS

  • The main public actors of research and innovation Public research activities are carried out by 4 main categories of actors: 1. EPST, a category grouping 7 research institutes and the CNRS, which covers all disciplines, acting as the 4th largest research institution worldwide: 30.000 researchers (Men: 58% : Women : 42%) 2. More than 80 Universities, which have gained self-governing capacities since 2007 but have more limited ressources for research. Those are encouraged to merge to form bigger academic players, and/or to gather into Excellence Poles 3. EPIC, which notably comprises major applied research institutions as the CEA (Atomic Energy Commission) or the CNES (National space research center) 4. The Grandes Ecoles, higher education institutions opened upon selection (with specific status as the ENS, Polytechnique or Sciences Po) and schools of engineers. Also carry out relevant research activities.

  • Gender equality in research & innovation: policy instruments Sauvadet Act, voted in March, 2012, introduces new obligations for public institu-tions to comply with GE. EPST (including the CNRS) requested to appoint at least 40% of women in administrative and governance boards. COMEGAL: Since 2011, this committee gathers main policy actors of GE in Science under the supervision of the Minister in charge of higher education and research

    CNRS: Since 2001 : Mission pour la place des femmes (Equality unit)

    Ministry of Higher Education and Research: Since 2007 : MIPADI

    Board of deans (CPU): Charter for Gender Equality (2009)

    Universities: Since the mid-2000s: institutionalization of GE agents / units. Currently: 35, grouped into the National Conference of Equality Offices

    Grandes coles, Engineering Schools : Since late 2000s, creation of GE agents

    AMUE : Universities Mutualisation Agency: provides support to training activities


  • Transferring easily usable knowledge

    Making it operational

    Creating synergies between available training skills

    Drawing upon actors experience

    Objective 1 :

    Enhancing and building competences

    Assuming a coordination role

    Monitoring and evaluating training actions

    Mainstreaming good practices

    Integrating training actions into a mainstreaming strategy

    Objective 2 :

    Coordinating and strengthening gender equality in research

    Addressing multiple discrimination

    Making training instruments transferable

    Identifying and preventing all the situations of discrimination

    Objective 3 :

    Fighting any form of discrimination

    Integrating gender equality in HRM

    Developing a gender perspective in research / curricula

    Improving the quality of projects submitted to FP7 / Horizon2020

    Objectif 4 :

    Strengthening scientific excellence

  • Strategic seminars (2hrs)

    Human Resources

    Module HRM Module HRM


    Communication & Dissemination

    Public relation


    Scientific knowledge dissemination module

    Deans, Dir. of Services Funding & Evaluation

    Agencies Heads of Research Institutes

    (CNRS) Recruitment and promotion


    Specialized functions

    Gender Equality Units

    Module 1 AR Tools

    Training of Trainers module

    Module 2

    Strategic tools

    Issue-specific modules

    EU projects national contact points,

    project managers, researchers

    Gender in Research Module

    National Contact Points module

  • Inclusive

    Adopts a transversal perspective on gender equality in research and higher education

    Includes other inequality strands where appropriate

    Addresses not only GE in the workplace, but also gender in academic curricula and research contents

    Intends to provide tailor-made training activities for all categories of actors, including HR, administrative, technical pers.


    Draws upon existing instruments at the EU level

    Multiplying effect: training tools to be adopted and adapted by institutional actors in research and higher education

    Experience through test-modules to be capitalized in the form of toolkits

    Includes evaluation and monitoring instruments


    Encouraging 2 days long training sessions, using participatory and experiential methodologies

    Combination of brief theoretical or methodological communications with exercises, role plays

    Aiming at the transfer of ready to use, operational knowledge, to be validated through experience feedback.

  • 01-06/2012


    Conception and approval of the full training scheme

    3 on-site gender training sessions organized, using the gend