At the end of last year, GÉANT published it’s Gender Equality Plan. The plan was put together by a working group of staff within the organisation supported by the GÉANT Executive and a Gender Equality Committee has been formed to ensure that the plan is not a tick-box exercise, but a living document with true commitment to the objectives and targets defined. We have set very ambitious targets and hope to make good progress towards those targets in 2023.
As well as focusing on gender equality within the GÉANT organisation, as a membership body we have a responsibility to support diversity within our wider community. Silvia Fiore recently led a gender equality roundtable at TNC and discussions at the event made it clear that our NRENs and partners support that ambition.
One of the challenges that the GÉANT Gender Equality Committee faces is that we have no benchmark data to work from – we have never asked gender information from our event attendees as there was no defined process for using that data, and we respect and support data protection across all our services. To address this, we have recently added an optional gender question to all events within our event management system. The committee has sought advice in framing the question as sensitively as possible, and we fully intend to use the data collected to inform a baseline on representation at our events. The question will be asked for a short period of time (until end December 2023), and then this exercise will be repeated at an appropriate point in the future to see if our ideas and efforts to improve gender diversity have been successful.
If you are interested in supporting or following this work, you can help us by completing the question as an event attendee if you feel comfortable doing so and reading up on our work within the community on gender equality. You can also follow our discussions on creating Gender Equality Principles that can be supported and reused by our member organisations.