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Resistances to
institutional
change in GE
OVERCOMING THE
BRICK WALL
Ana Belén Amil | Gender Equality Officer Central European University (Budapest &Vienna) SUPERA Project
19-20 Nov 2020
CIVICA Gender Equality and Inclusion
Workshop
Some
background
June 2018 CEU joins the EU-funded project SUPERA
Duration: 4 years.
(Not CEU’s first effort towards GE)
Goal Design, implement and monitor CEU’s first Gender
Equality Plan
a set of actions aiming at:
1. Conducting impact assessment / audits of procedures
and practices to identify gender bias;
2. Identifying and implementing innovative strategies to
correct any bias;
3. Setting targets and monitoring progress via indicators.
Source: European Commission Communication on ‘A Reinforced European Research Area
Partnership for Excellence and Growth’ (COM(2012) 392 final)
Trying to transform
A Job Description (Sara Ahmed, 2017, Living a Feminist Life)
Resistance
→ Actions and inactions that impede the
advancement of our gender equality work
→ Implicit/explicit, institutional/personal,
gender-specific/non gender-specific
→ Blocks our transformation efforts
→ Protects the status quo (i.e., inequality)
→ Appears at all stages of the process
→ Creates frustration and burn-out
Topics that elicit resistance
 Accessing and processing personal data for assessment/monitoring (particularly salary data)
[GDPR]
 Incorporating of a gender dimension in curricula [academic freedom]
 Making sexual harassment complaint mechanisms more accessible to victims [false
accusations, the rights of the accused, “witch-hunt”]
 Affirmative action in recruitment/promotion [meritocracy, excellence]
 Quotas in (elected) governing bodies [representativity, multiple grounds of inequality]
… [lack of time, lack of human resources, lack of financial resources, COVID & lockdown, other
institutional priorities]
[and the shape it takes]
The good news
Advancing gender equality is a catalyst for
advancing equality in the broader sense
Why?
It increases transparency
It increases accountability
We are working towards structural change:
that’s why it is so resistant.
Tips and tricks to counteract resistance
No silver bullet here!
 Seek support from leadership
 Allies, allies, allies
 Anticipate and rehearse
 Do your research! Data helps
 Align with the mission and values of the University/the country/the EU
 Insist and persist
Search for windows of opportunity
Thanks for your attention!
“This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme
under grant agreement No 787829”.

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Resistances to institutional change in GE - Overcoming the brick wall

  • 1. Resistances to institutional change in GE OVERCOMING THE BRICK WALL Ana Belén Amil | Gender Equality Officer Central European University (Budapest &Vienna) SUPERA Project 19-20 Nov 2020 CIVICA Gender Equality and Inclusion Workshop
  • 2. Some background June 2018 CEU joins the EU-funded project SUPERA Duration: 4 years. (Not CEU’s first effort towards GE) Goal Design, implement and monitor CEU’s first Gender Equality Plan a set of actions aiming at: 1. Conducting impact assessment / audits of procedures and practices to identify gender bias; 2. Identifying and implementing innovative strategies to correct any bias; 3. Setting targets and monitoring progress via indicators. Source: European Commission Communication on ‘A Reinforced European Research Area Partnership for Excellence and Growth’ (COM(2012) 392 final)
  • 3. Trying to transform A Job Description (Sara Ahmed, 2017, Living a Feminist Life)
  • 4. Resistance → Actions and inactions that impede the advancement of our gender equality work → Implicit/explicit, institutional/personal, gender-specific/non gender-specific → Blocks our transformation efforts → Protects the status quo (i.e., inequality) → Appears at all stages of the process → Creates frustration and burn-out
  • 5. Topics that elicit resistance  Accessing and processing personal data for assessment/monitoring (particularly salary data) [GDPR]  Incorporating of a gender dimension in curricula [academic freedom]  Making sexual harassment complaint mechanisms more accessible to victims [false accusations, the rights of the accused, “witch-hunt”]  Affirmative action in recruitment/promotion [meritocracy, excellence]  Quotas in (elected) governing bodies [representativity, multiple grounds of inequality] … [lack of time, lack of human resources, lack of financial resources, COVID & lockdown, other institutional priorities] [and the shape it takes]
  • 6. The good news Advancing gender equality is a catalyst for advancing equality in the broader sense Why? It increases transparency It increases accountability We are working towards structural change: that’s why it is so resistant.
  • 7. Tips and tricks to counteract resistance No silver bullet here!  Seek support from leadership  Allies, allies, allies  Anticipate and rehearse  Do your research! Data helps  Align with the mission and values of the University/the country/the EU  Insist and persist Search for windows of opportunity
  • 8. Thanks for your attention! “This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 787829”.

Editor's Notes

  1. The feeling of coming up against something that does not move (p. 96)
  2. (gendered language)
  3. “Window dressing” vs structural change