CALIPER Final Conference Summary

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CALIPER Final Conference Summary

Joint Final Conference – Summary report

CALIPER project joined forces with sister Horizon 2020 project, LeTSGEPs, to co-organise their final conference on Thursday, 23 November 2023, an event attended by a total number of 150 people physically and online. The event was hosted by Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), member of CALIPER consortium, and it was titled “Inclusive Research & Innovation Ecosystems: A sustainable way forward for Gender Equality”.

Photo 1. CALIPER & LeTSGEPs partners and Conference speakers group photo

Project partners, researchers (including post-doc and PhD students), innovation leaders, decision-makers, European Commission representatives, HR practioners and Gender Equality experts got together to highlight the projects’ main outcomes, reflect upon shared challenges, as well as actions for achieving long-term, inclusive and sustainable institutional change in terms of gender equality measures and the integration of gender dimension in research.

During the introductory part of the event, the conference started with an insightful opening speech by Michel Verstraeten, Vice Rector in charge of diversity and gender policy at ULB. The audience was also welcomed by two keynote speeches about the landscape of Gender Equality actions and policies at European level from European Union’s representatives: namely, Lina Gálvez Muñoz from European Union Parliament and Anne Pepin from DG RTD.

Then, CALIPER coordinator, Kyriaki Karydou, and LeTSGEPs scientific coordinator, Tindara Addabbo, gave an introductory presentation about practical examples and challenges regarding gender equality measures that stemmed from the two projects’ lifecycle. Their presentation also outlined the event’s agenda and set the scene for the event to unfold.

Photo 2. Opening of the conference

The second part of the event included four panel discussions where CALIPER and LeTSGEPs project team members coordinated captivating interactions among panel speakers and projects partners, as well as Q&As with the audience:

Panel 1 was moderated by Jennifer Dahmen-Adkins, LeTSGEPs Evaluator and addressed the aspects of structural change for gender equality actions and how it can be sustainable in research organisations. The invited panelists were Florence Degavre, Associate Professor from Université Catholique de Louvain; and Maxime Forest, Senior Researcher and Lecturer at Sciences Po Paris University.

Panel 2 was moderated by Maria Sangiuliano, Scientific Coordinator of CALIPER, and addressed the multiple contexts and expressions of diversity and intersectionality. The panel featured three speakers: Victoria Showunmi, Associate Professor at University College London; Allison Kenneally, Vice President for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at South East Technological University; and Tiago Botelho, President of PRISMA Association for Diversity in Science, Technology and Innovation

Panel 3 was moderated by Giovanna Badalassi, LeTSGEPs Postdoc Researcher. The topic focused on gender budgeting and the featured panellists were Angela O’Hagan, Professor of Equalities and Public Policy at Glasgow Caledonian University; and Paula Rodríguez Modroño, Associate Professor at Pablo de Olavide University.

Panel 4 was moderated again by Maria Sangiuliano and examined the role of wider stakeholders’ engagement with gender equality strategies. The panel consisted of Caroline Wamala Larsson, Director of Swedish Program SPIDER, Sophia Ivarsson, PhD Programme Director at Swedish Innovation Agency, Vinnova; and Carolina Wienand, Research Associate at Fraunhofer Institute.

Photo 3. Moments from conference panels

At the halfway point of the day, the conference had an extended lunchbreak that was also dedicated to a relaxed networking opportunity among sister-projects, external peers and project teams. During the break a posters exhibition was featured, presenting key highlights that project partners cherish and put forward out of their CALIPER and LeTSGEPs experience respectively.

Photo 4. CALIPER partners from IRB Barcelona in front of their Institution’s poster

The third, concluding, part of the conference launched the endorsement process for CALIPER Charter of Gender+ Inclusive R&I Ecosystems. The presentation of the Charter’s fundamental aspects, commitments and calls to action was made by Marzia Cescon, member of CALIPER Scientific coordination team. In addition, the the LeTSGEPs Handbook was introduced by Tindara Addabbo. The Handbook provides guidelines for the implementation of GEPs and Gender Budgeting.

Photo 5. Presentation of the CALIPER Charter

Adding to the above keynotes, Rachel Palmén, Senior Researcher at Universitat Oberta de Catalunya presented the recently kick-started sister EU project INSPIRE – Centre of Excellence.

The event was finalised with the airing of a project video featuring inspiring stories from women in academic fields that was prefaced by Moniek Tromp, Chair of Materials Chemistry at Groningen University and ex Chair of the Young Academy of Europe.

The overall aim of the conference has been to take stock and understand how GEPs and other initiatives for equality, diversity and inclusion can be fostered, supported and sustained within research performing and research funding institutions and beyond, and how challenges in this regard can be overcome. The event offered a unique opportunity to celebrate the projects’ successful completion and put forward key practises valuable for the sustainability and uptake of gender equality measures!

The recordings of the conference are available at CALIPER’s YouTube channel: [Joint Final Conference Playlist]