Gender Equality Plan

Despite the progress made in recent years, achieving gender equality in academic and research contexts remains a challenge. There is ample empirical evidence that women go through labyrinths: they are more likely than men to abandon their careers (the "leaky pipeline"), less likely than men to enter permanent jobs (the "glass door") and less likely to reach top academic posts (the "glass ceiling").


The University of Turin has long been committed to actions against these and other gender inequalities, not only to support women but also to improve the overall academic system and scientific production, knowing that a more inclusive and diverse workplace generates innovation and well-being.


Today, thanks to the H2020 project MINDtheGEPs (Modifying Institutions by Developing Gender Equality Plans, G.A. 101006543) coordinated by CIRSDe and Prof. Cristina Solera, the University of Turin is renewing its commitment by undertaking a three-year programme of actions.  This Gender Equality Plan (GEP) follows the guidelines of the European Commission by intervening in five areas:

  • work-life balance and organisational culture
  • gender balance in top management positions and decision-making bodies
  • gender equality in recruitment and career advancement
  • gender mainstreaming in research and teaching programmes
  • combating gender-based violence, including sexual harassment.

In addition, this GEP includes a sixth and transversal area dedicated to the development of those bodies and posts that enable the implementation and monitoring of gender policies, such as the Gender Equality Manager (GEM ), the Gender Data Analyst (GDA) or the GEP implementing board (GEPIB), with the objective that the commitment to promoting gender equality will continue beyond the duration of MINDtheGEPs.


For the improvement of each key area, the University of Turin’s GEP deploys a mix of structural and cultural actions. In fact, as Professor Londa Schiebinger argues, "fixing the numbers", so that there are more female full professors and women in decision-making bodies (e.g. by offering bonuses to those departments that hire women as full professors or by establishing gender thresholds in the academic senate) is necessary but incomplete without "fixing the institutions" and "fixing the knowledge" – that is, without changing the cultures and practices of embodying and doing science, of defining excellence, recruitment and career progression (e.g. the logic of 'publish or perish'), of organising universities.


For these reasons, the University of Turin’s GEP, rather than insisting that women and marginalized people should adapt to the system, insists on fixing the system. It requires the institution to consider the formal and informal rules and processes that generate asymmetries and to redefine them to generate happier people and more inclusive sciences for the benefit of society as a whole.