Advancing RTD through Gender-Fair Recruitment and Retention Strategies
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Particpants at the genSET Capacity Building Workshop, ViennaLocation:  Campus of the University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
Date: 19th - 20th May 2011
Interactive Preparation Phase: December 2010 – April 2011
Support Phase: June – Autumn 2011

icon Briefing Document: Advancing RTD through Gender-Fair Recruitment and Retention Strategies

icon Capacity Building Report: Advancing RTD through Gender Fair Recruitment and Retention Strategies

icon Poster: Workshop: Advancing RTD through Gender-Fair Recruitment and Retention Strategies


Gender Action Plans do not help women only. They can establish procedures and structures that reduce bias and inequality in the recruitment and promotion of researchers, improve the working climate, and reduce brain drain by retaining highly qualified and motivated personalities. It can be challenging to transfer Gender Action Plans across research organisations because each has to be tailored to the specific circumstances of the institute and adapted to national laws and research structures. What works and what does not and how to measure their success must be considered as part of the process. Recruitment, promotion and retention procedures often favour a social group or disadvantage others, and the mechanisms leading to this inequality are not always obvious, guidelines can be circumvented, procedures can have unintended effects. The target group of this workshop was research institutions all over Europe, who want to implement new or improved Gender Action Plans at their organisations. Participants were representatives of science organisations who have the responsibility for the implementation of gender policies. This workshop went beyond usual debates on gender policies. It built on the participants' experienced or anticipated problems in the context of gender policy implementation. Participants and organisers drafted the workshop agenda interactively (Interactive Preparation Phase December 2010 – April 2010). In the preparatory phase of the workshop, participants were asked to bring their ideas, requirements, and questions and to actively take part in the development of the workshop programme, which was tailored to their specific needs.

The workshop offered:

  • extensive information on Gender Action Plans, general and in respect to individual requests
  • exchange of experiences and ideas with other research organisations
  • intense support by highly qualified gender experts
  • discussions of special questions live and in online fora

There was an interchange between the participants and gender experts with the aim to developing specific and feasible Gender Action Plans which participants took back for implementation at their organization/company.

icon Gender Policies in RTD - Report from the Field (Prof Richard Gamauf)

Richard Gamauf's presentation, on not only policies but the shortcomings and problems of gender legislation in RTD at Austrian Universities. Prof Gamauf is chair of the Equal Opportunities Working Group of University of Vienna.

icon Making gender/diversity equality happen: Recruiting, retaining and follow-up (Dr Alison Woodward)

In addition to the event, the workshop comprised of communication and exchange of experiences by web conferences and Skype meetings on specific topics, so that institutions with similar questions had the opportunity to exchange ideas. The organisers convened small-group online discussions with highly specialized and renowned experts on specific topics, selected according to the specific requirements of participants (Support Phase June – Autumn 2011). They gave advice on tangible problems and helped to evaluate available evidence in the light of the participants’ own institutional circumstances.