Working Group on Gender Balance
Gender mainstreaming is among the core principles of the ERC in the sense that each process within the ERC - from creating awareness about the ERC to grant signing – is designed to include both genders, giving equal opportunities to men and women.
An important goal of the first ERC Gender Equality Plan 2007-2013, reiterated by the ERC Gender Equality Plan 2014-2020 (adopted in June 2014 in Oslo), is to ensure that both male and female excellent researchers are fully informed and aware of the opportunities that an ERC grant offers. It is also essential to convey a clear message that fairness and equal treatment are fundamental in the ERC grant competitions. Moreover, the plan envisages closer monitoring of the gender distribution within the ERC’s peer review system, striving for balance.
In 2008, the Scientific Council decided to set up a dedicated working group to monitor gender balance. The group has drafted the ERC gender equality plan 2007-2013 - endorsed by the Scientific Council in December 2010 - based on the view that women and men are equally able to perform excellent frontier research. This is also the core of the ERC Gender Equality Plan 2014-2020.
The ERC Scientific Council Gender Equality Plan includes five main objectives. Those are:
- raising awareness about the ERC gender policy among potential applicants;
- working towards improving the gender balance among researchers submitting ERC proposals in all research fields and within the ERC teams;
- identifying and removing any potential gender regarding bias in the ERC evaluation procedure and monitoring possible differences in gender specific careers and academic posts following the ERC grants;
- embedding gender awareness within all levels of the ERC processes-from creating awareness about the ERC to grant signing- while keeping focus on excellence;
- striving for gender balance among the ERC peer reviewers and other relevant decision making ERC bodies, while taking into account the situation in the field of the action.
The Working Group on Gender Balance is also following up with two ongoing gender studies: ‘’Gender aspects in career structures and career paths’’ and ‘’ERC proposal submission, peer review and gender mainstreaming’’ (ongoing).
Working Group Members
ERC Executive Agency secretariat: Severina Shopova, Unit for Support to the Scientific Council