Gender equality at the heart of the RESET European project
The University of Bordeaux, in partnership with 6 other European universities, has been selected for the RESET project aiming to make gender equality central to scientific and academic excellence. This major project will start in January 2021 and last 4 years.
RESET means Redesigning Equality and Scientific Excellence Together, an issue that has been a key concern of the European Union for many years, with equality between men and women being a major objective.
It is an issue that is also of great importance to the University of Bordeaux, which wishes to reaffirm its commitment to this cause through RESET. A first version of the project was proposed in April 2019 as part of Horizon 2020, followed by a successful attempt in July 2020, when RESET was ranked first in the “gender equality” category, a source of great pride for our 6 partner European universities.
“Under the guise of neutrality, scientific excellence can be unfavorable to women”
“Our initial project has been redesigned and fine-tuned and we are very proud of this success”, says Marion Paoletti, project officer for the “equality and diversity” program at the University of Bordeaux, and manager of this ambitious program. “Since 2015, we have been working on a University of Bordeaux “gender equality” master plan which is now bearing fruit. As an example, in 2014, the percentage of women among professors was 16%. Today, it is 20%. The RESET project is an opportunity to maintain our momentum and conduct new actions to promote gender equality. We have noted that women teachers and researchers are in more precarious situations than men, and this is also the case within administrative teams”, she says. “Through this project, our aim is to encourage an egalitarian and inclusive academic and scientific world.”
"The university must be the catalyst for inclusiveness and a driving force for society”
RESET benefits from a total budget of €3 million over 4 years, including €547,000 for the University of Bordeaux, the project coordinator. This large amount will enable the co-creation of new processes and the development of new tools for hiring without stereotypes, such as training staff, and also to pay close attention to gender in research. “Typically, gender dimensions are rarely considered in research projects. They should be, right from the start of the project,” says the project officer. Good practices booklets, films and other specific action plans will be put in place to “raise awareness of gender in teaching and research”.
All these actions are planned as part of the EU’s “Gender Equality Plans”. They will be developed in many European universities, including Bordeaux, between January and June 2021, through a participatory approach which will involve many representatives from different types of university staff (institution management, research representatives, department representatives, administrative services in charge of recruitment), and which will combine group work and discussions around the theme of equality at university on the Agora platform.
“RESET is a matrix for structural change which is based on two principles: an intersecting approach taking account of the different kinds of inequalities, and co-design via a participatory approach,” explains Luce Chiodelli, a policy officer at the Directorate for Institutional Strategic Planning (DiPSI), who is supporting Marion Paoletti in coordinating the project.
It is a profound change which of course has its place within the “sustainable development and social responsibility” policy of the University of Bordeaux.