More and more, aspects of gender equality and the fight against discriminations are a priority for the European Commission and for the Federal Government.
In particular, the European framework programme Horizon Europe imposes research institutions, since 2022, to have a Gender Equality Plan (GEP) as a prerequisite for providing funding. The Federal Government adopted several laws and decrees concerning gender-mainstreaming and anti-discrimination, as well as the protection of persons with a disability.
The Gender Equality Plan, a mandatory tool to promote gender-mainstreaming
In order to address these aspects, BIRA-IASB created a Gender & Diversity (G&D) Team. This team composed of members of the personnel was mandated to write and implement the GEP. Following the guidelines of the European Commission, different thematics are addressed, including work-life balance, leadership and decision-making, recruitment and career progression, research and teaching, and gender-based violence including sexual harassment.
An action plan is in preparation to cover these different aspects in the most relevant way for the specific working of the Institute. An important feature of this endeavour is that it has to rely upon concrete data and statistics mapping the situation in the institution. One of the very first tasks of the G&D Team is therefore to complete the panoply tools to adequately monitor gender aspects at BIRA-IASB.
The GEP is an official statement of the management published on the Gender equality plan for BIRA-IASB webpage.
BIRA-IASB engages not only in gender aspects, but in diversity in a broader scope
Beyond the gender aspects, the G&D Team was also asked to enlarge the scope and address other aspects of diversity such as gender, sexual orientation, handicap, racism and poverty.
Fighting discriminations, a common engagement of the Belgian Science Policy
In order to promote gender-mainstreaming and measures to make all of us feel comfortable with and respectful of diversity of all kinds, BIRA-IASB is not left to its own devices.
The Belgian Science Policy set up a network of contact persons for gender, equality, handicap and diversity in which all Federal Scientific Institutions, including BIRA-IASB, are represented. This network facilitates the implementation of the federal measures and allows the exchange of best practices, the discussion of specific issues, and the use of collective intelligence to explore and implement solutions to push forward gender-mainstreaming and fight discriminations in the most efficient way.
Read more in the graph "Gender ratio hardly changed"