News | 04 May 2017

Bringing a Gender Lens to Research Institutions: Summary of a GenderInSITE-SAGA Pilot Survey Workshop at SISSA

On 26-27 April, GenderInSITE invited participants from UNESCO’s Stem and Gender Advancement (SAGA) Project to the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) in Trieste, Italy, to discuss the potential implementation of a pilot survey at the institution to assess factors relating to gender in scientific careers and higher education. These factors, selected through consultation with the SAGA Project Advisory Committee as well as dialogue with SISSA students, post-docs and faculty, include attitudes and perceptions around discrimination within the institution, experiences with institutional policies or procedures designed to support women during their careers, visibility of female role models at the institution, and more.

An open meeting was held on Wednesday, 26 April at SISSA. There was a robust participation from the SISSA community, with more than thirty people attending throughout the day. Four presentations were made in the morning session, by GenderInSITE Director Alice Abreu; SAGA Research and Statistical Assistant Kim Deslandes; SISSA Professor Anna Menini; and University of Trieste Professor Anna Gregorio. Following the presentations, an open discussion period was held during which a few themes most relevant to SISSA emerged: discrimination and both conscious and unconscious bias; lack of women in visible positions such as invited speakers or on hiring or other decision-making committees; and lack of awareness about or stigma regarding the use of support policies such as anonymous harassment reporting or full maternity leave.

On Thursday, 27 April, a smaller committee met at the ICTP campus to discuss technical implementation of the survey. In attendance were Kim Deslandes (UNESCO – SAGA); Erin Johnson (GenderInSITE); Emine Kucukbenli (SISSA) and Stefano de Gironcoli (Full Professor of physics at SISSA).  More news about the implementation of the survey and its results will be made available as the survey is developed.