Nowadays, as institutions concerned by gender equality and diversity we can easily benefit from each other. In a first moment, we look at ourselves as an institution and we recognize a few significant features (or efforts) as well as many things that are yet to be done, in order to reach effective policies on equal opportunities. In a second moment, we look around and we think: “Well, it’s not so bad, we are all in the same (old!) world…”. But what really matters is the opportunity not to waste too much time: let’s speak, let’s see what we are doing here and there, let’s learn from other’s experience, let’s tell what are we doing, let’s share our current efforts, our doubts, our successes and failures. This is how I feel in the context of SPEAR’s Project: as a member of NOVA University, at NOVA School of Social Sciences and Humanities, I’m happy to have the opportunity to share experiences and to develop knowledge and know-how together with people from other Higher Education Institutions.
We have already a significant history on these issues at NOVA School of Social Sciences and Humanities, both in research and teaching fields: we have for years a Master on Studies on Women and, since 2019, a collaborative PhD program on Gender Studies; the National Observatory of Violence and Gender (Observatório Nacional de Violência de Género, ONVG) in functioning since 2008, in the context of one of our research units (CICS. NOVA); CICS.NOVA also hosts Faces de Eva, a journal on women issues. Anyhow, we want to go further, we would like to touch the daily life of our academic community, we need to change stereotypes (or stereotyped practices).
- We are taking little but relevant steps towards this common goal. For instance:
- We reorganized our ancient Psychology Office as Psychology, Inclusion and Equality Office;
- We installed baby changing facilities in male and female WCs in the campus;
- We invited the Portuguese governmental committee on citizenship and equality (Comissão para a Cidadania e Igualdade de Género) to the welcome day to new students, September 2019;
- We are encouraging and supporting employee training on gender equality.
- We endorsed the SAGE (Systemic Action for Gender Equality) Charter of Principles for Gender Equality (SAGE –), thus making a public commitment to the principles of gender equality and diversity and to find ways to implement them.
- We have now a first draft of a Gender Equality and Diversity Plan, which is being discussed and improved with the contributions of different stakeholders (teachers, employee, students, researchers).
Gender equality and diversity are now part of our common and immediate agenda at NOVA School of Social Sciences and Humanities. Step by step, we can anticipate more equal and inclusive institutions and societies; but we don’t know yet what they will become exactly. Quantitative data are necessary to a real change. Let’s walk together, let’s work together.
Let’s SPEAR – Support and Implement Plans for Gender Equality in Academia and Research. Wherever we are, we are linking experiences – and this is a path for gender equality and diversity.