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RFOs Community of Practice meets second time

26 December 2022

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At the November meeting of RFOs CoP, recommendations of the GENDER-NET Plus policy brief on promoting gender equality in funding were presented and discussed. The document underlines the importance of GEPs in RFOs, monitoring and the overall need for transparency in all activities. It also stresses the measures to achieve more gender-balanced evaluation bodies, decision-making and support for increasing the number of women among grant applicants.

After the presentation of Carl Jacobsson of the Swedish Research Council, the CoP members debated the potential tensions that can arise when RFOs try to achieve a gender balance in research teams or evaluation bodies and be at the same time as open as possible to non-binary people, along with taking a gender+ approach. Such an approach can make the achievement of a gender balance in teams difficult. In some countries, this may run against the obligation to collect and present gender-segregated data.

There was a consensus that it was not enough to count numbers, and that other aspects must be considered than mere representation. Other levels of inequality must also be taken into account. On closer inspection, a gender-balanced team may reproduce many inequalities in its functioning and the division of responsibilities. Therefore, it is necessary to go beyond the numbers and ask about the roles of people in a project, how much time they spend on it, and how resources are distributed within the team.

The CoP also touched briefly on how to contribute to creating more gender-balanced evaluation bodies in its member organisations. Lastly, FORGEN CoP shared the news about a just-released report Advancing the sex and gender dimension in the research and innovation funding process which will be an important source to work with in the future.