Gender equality: what are the challenges?

The European Research Area is committed to gender equality and to facilitating the involvement of women in the academic sector to promote equality between women and men in higher education institutions and research centres.

At present, there are a number of Gender Equality Plans in place in these organisations. However, structural gender inequality is perpetuated by attitudes, beliefs, and practices that implicitly assign stereotyped roles to men and women in organisations, universities and society at large, preventing real structural changes in these institutions.

Transforming gender roles in research institutions

How can we uphold gender equality in higher education institutions and research centres?

The Gearing Roles project will design, implement, and evaluate 6 Gender Equality Plans (GEPs) to challenge and transform gender roles and identities linked to professional careers, working towards real institutional change.

The Gender Equality Plans will focus on improving:


  • Female Career Progression: by removing barriers to female recruitment and devise Personal Career Development Plans
  • Leadership and Decision Making: by addressing gender imbalances in the representation, processes and promotion of leadership
  • Education and Research: by providing alternative references in traditionally male dominated areas (STEM), and in those where women are majority but kept under glass ceilings (Health & Care, Hum, Law, SSCC)
  • Promotion of Gender Equality in Research organisations for the reinforcement of equal rights: by disseminating the common framework and outputs for institutional gender assessment, planning, monitoring and evaluation

Enhancing Impact: creating a gender equality network

Trilateral works on enhancing the project findings by creating a network including policy makers, government officials, NGO leaders, socially innovative companies, senior and middle managers at universities and research institutions, student and labour union leaders and advocacy groups.

Trilateral’s work amplifies GEARING-ROLES’s results within this network through the use of videos, podcasts, mentoring programmes, yearly conferences and campaign activities on University Campuses and online, encouraging the uptake of the project’s Gender Equality Plans to challenge and transform gender roles, promoting and legitimising equality between women and men.


For more information and updated please visit the project website and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.

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The GEARING-Roles project – Gender Equality Actions in Research Institutions to traNsform Gender ROLES – has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 824536.

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