Estonian Research Council together with nine partners from seven European countries participated between January 1st 2019 – December 31st 2022 in Coordination and Support Action project GEARING-Roles. The main goal of the project was to launch gender equality plans (GEPs)  at six partnering institutions.

Gender equality plan gives ground for actions aiming at promoting and developing gender equality within partnering institutions as well as impacts its stakeholders’ community. The methodology used troughout the GEARING-Roles project was based on the GEAR tool (Gender Equality in Academia and Research) previously developed by European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE). According to the GEAR methodology, the plan is not a static document consisting of several objectives, but is a system of actions that obliges performing activities in a gradual manner involving continuous evaluation of previous steps and present context (its principles are define, plan, act and check!). As there was no similar experience and while also considering the novelty of creating gender equality plans in Estonian context, participation in this project supported by the co-operation between project-partners offered a great opportunity to maximize the project outcomes. With its participation in this project, Estonian Research Council also hoped to encourage Estonian research institutions and research policy makers to pay more attention to gender equality issues and further draw up similar plans. Estonian Research Council received positive feedback to its participation and possible collaboration consents from four public universities and one private research organisation.

The project was based on assumption that gender inequality results from attitudes, beliefs and previously established practices that have created stereotypical roles in organisations (incl. research institutions) for both genders. Therefore, the main goal of the project was to achieve structural change in the partnering GEP implementing organisations (in their internal policies, organisational culture). For that, it was necessary to learn to better notice the gender inequality and discrimination, understand and value the benefits gender equality brings, encourage women choosing researcher career and support their career advancements, increase the proportion of women in decision making and giving greater consideration to women’s needs in decisions, but also include gender aspects in curricula as well as in research methodologies.

Read and see more about GEARING-Roles annual conference that was organized by Estonian Research Council in Tartu. 

See also the project’s blog, and the posts published by the Estonian Research Council:

06.01.2022 Shooting for the Stars: Paving the Way for Women in Space Mare Vahtre (TeaMe+ coordinator, Estonian Research Council)
11.05.2021 Gender equality in Estonian research- current situation and ways of improving Loone Vilumaa (R&D Analyst, GEARING-Roles project ex-coordinator, Estonian Research Council), University of Tartu (The Centre for Applied Social Sciences (CASS))
30.11.2020 Joy, Guilt and Research: the Lives of Mothers in Science Kiiri Toomberg (Marketing and Communication Specialist, Estonian Research Council)
13.05.2020 Bringing Women Scientists to the Fore Loone Vilumaa Loone Vilumaa (R&D Analyst, GEARING-Roles project previous ex-coordinator, Estonian Research Council)
18.10.2019 Implementing A GEP: The Journey Towards Gender Equality In Marine Science In Estonia Tiit Kutser (University of Tartu, Faculty of Science and Technology, Estonian Marine Institute, Professor in Remote Sensing and Marine Optics)
10.05.2019 Women and Research in Estonia Anne Kahru (Head of Laboratory, Research Professor, National Institute of Chemical Physics and Biophysics)
18.10.2019 Implementing A GEP: The Journey Towards Gender Equality In Marine Science In Estonia Tiit Kutser (Head of Office, Research Professor in Remote Sensing and Marine Optics, Estonian Marine Institute)
13.05.2020 Bringing Women Scientists to the Fore Loone Vilumaa (R&D Analyst, GEARING-Roles project ex-coordinator, Estonian Research Council)



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Contact at Estonian Research Council:
Loone Vilumaa
Coordinator (Research Integrity)