Experts from Danube region and Western Balkans were invited to Training and Mutual Learning Workshop on Gender Equality (GE) on 10th and 11th of March 2020 at the University of Belgrade. Purpose of the meeting was to include gender aspects better into national and international programs and into development of funding actions.
Roxana Boboruta, Steinbeis Project Manager, participated in the workshop and contributed with insights relating to entrepreneurship in Research and Innovation.
Conclusions could be summarized as follows:
- What are the most important topics to address GE?
- Awareness campaingns relating to GE issues and explaining benefits (GE awareness could make the difference for funding decions in any EU-funded program when 2 project ideas are equal)
- Female archetype in different regions for building reliable strategies (such sociological studies and conclusions could offer solutions for GE policies especially in Eastern Europe)
- Best practices transfer (bet on the power or example in international consortiums).
2. What are barriers to GE in R&I?
- Worst forms: no BA, MA or PhD programs on gender issues are available at universities.
- Soft resistance: gender equality building as a competence cannot be certified by educational responsible bodies (both private and public).
3. What is needed to put gender equality onto agenda in a specific country (mainly Eastern Danube region)?
- Best practices transfer
- Actions towards bodies responsible for minorities issues, and consequently for policies (mainly in Eastern Europe). EU integration baseed on democracy values is directly connected with respecting rights of minorities (as one of the most sensible issues in EU history). Gender equality is a cross-cutting issue relating to reliable women long-standing representation and trusting the expertise provided.
Mainly, where there is no official position relating to GE as an academic competence, it is included in programs relating to minorities. Which is sufficient.
Economy is a beneficiary of society progress and innovation relates on Business Enterprise Sector (according to OECD definition).
Roxana Boboruta introduced ongoing project “ifempower” as a best practice example what results from international collaboration of higher education instituions and business actors. ifempower tackles GE by promoting female entreprenurship.
From another approach, Steinbeis network itself and promoted transfer model could be seen as a solution for more representation of females in research. Descentralized network of Steinbeis gives female researchers easy access to projects in R&I.