VOICES: Making Early Career Investigators’ Voices Heard for Gender Equality

Start Date: 20/10/2021
End Date: 19/10/2025
Funding: ESF - COST – European Cooperation in Science and Technology (CA 20137)
Project Leader: Pastra Katerina
Website: https://gendervoices.eu/

Over the last decades, European higher education and research systems have been characterized by deep changes, due to globalization and marketization, that have dramatically transformed research careers. While doctoral and postdoctoral researchers constitute a fast-growing workforce, their working conditions have become increasingly precarious and their career prospects uncertain. Those processes tend to exacerbate and create new forms of gendered inequalities for Early Career Investigators (ECIs), first and foremost women – that have been magnified by the COVID-19 crisis. Those inequalities are also reinforced by disparities within academia linked to other social determinants, such as origin, socioeconomic status, sexuality or ability. However, current institutional Research & Innovation (R&I) policies, including gender equality policies, rarely consider ECIs’ specific challenges. Moreover, implementing efficient and impactful policies that promote sustainable gender equality remains a great challenge throughout R&I institutions. The main goal of this Action is thus to increase the visibility of inequalities faced by ECIs from a gender perspective and to promote a sustainable dialogue between ECIs and stakeholders in the research ecosystem at the systemic level (European & national policy-makers) and at the institutional level (senior researchers, academic managers) by creating a community of gender equality practitioners composed of various stakeholders (ECIs, independent researchers, academic managers, organizations) across Europe. The Action has among its outcomes: training schools for ECIs, scientific publications by ECIs, recommendations & guidelines for academics and policy-makers.

Chair of the Action, which comprises representatives from more than 30 countries across Europe, is Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS) – Paris, Sciences et Lettres (PSL) and vice-chair is the University of Padua.  ILSP/ATHENA R.C. is a member of the Management Committee of the Action, representing Greece and contributes to core work packages.