HR Award - A thematic workshop brought the issue of gender equality closer to the heads of departments

Among other things, they learned about statistical data on the participation of women in science. They also discussed the need to change the workplace culture and improve conditions for women scientists returning to work.

29 Sep 2022

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On 12 September 2022, the heads of academic departments of FF MU participated in an online workshop on Gender in Research. The workshop was led by the lecturer Mgr. Nina Fárová, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow at the National Contact Centre - Gender and Science at the Department of Sociology at the University of Hradec Králové, where she teaches qualitative methodology and gender studies.

After an introductory theoretical part devoted to basic concepts and statistics of gender issues, a discussion followed in which the 34 participants had the opportunity to ask and discuss current gender issues in universities. During the discussion, the lecturer answered questions about gender stereotypes not only in the workplace but also in families, support for employed parents with young children, gender-sensitive language, etc.

After the workshop, 17 participants completed a short survey, which showed their clear interest in gender equality issues:

  • 65% of the participants considered it essential for FF MU to organize workshops on gender equality issues
  • over 58% of participants considered the workshop to be useful
  • the majority of participants are interested in workshops on other gender equality topics

The topics of most significant interest are the ones we suggested, "sexual harassment and other forms of gender-based violence" (over 76% would attend, another 11% would consider attending) and "incorporating a gender dimension into the content of research and innovation" (53% would attend, almost 30% would consider attending). However, the participants themselves suggested topics of their interest, and there was a consensus among them to focus mainly on a practical approach and the implementation of concrete measures, for example:

  • presentation of gender equality in public space and possible activities of faculties of philosophy in this area
  • a systematic summary - an overview of measures already implemented at MU, what is possible within the framework of legislation, and "how to do it"
  • implementation of lessons learned from similar workshops - how to promote change
    whether and how to introduce mentoring in this area and sharing good practice

Participants identified the most valuable and exciting information from the workshop in statistical data on the representation of women in science, as well as information relevant to the academic environment and the discussion on women in leadership positions. They also appreciated the need for change on an individual and interpersonal level and improving conditions for women scientists returning to work.

Conversely, they lacked information on specific issues related to equal opportunities (in particular, on existing tools that leaders would need) and on approaches to address the outflow of women in doctoral studies (e.g., effective communication about these issues, whether "prevention" in the form of mentoring, etc., is appropriate). There were several comments that the workshop did not go beyond the basic concepts and that those present would have preferred a more advanced level.

“It was an introduction to the basic concepts that I have taken for granted. However, I completely understand that this is not the case for everyone and that it is necessary to start from the basics. I, therefore, look forward to the follow-up, more practical workshops that will take us even further.”

Workshop participant

We also look forward to and thank all the heads of academic departments for their participation, contributions to the discussion, and for completing the feedback form.

More about HR Award

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These activities are supported by the Operational Programme Research, Development and Education in frame of the project  “Development of Human Resources and other strategic areas to support research at MU (HR4MUII)“, nr. CZ.02.2.69/0.0/0.0/18_054/0014703.

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