Annual masterclass for Faculty GE committees with members of SDU’s International Gender Advisory Board (IGAB)

Submitted by Eva Sophia Myers, leader of SDU’s Gender Equality Team

- ongoing

Annual masterclass for Faculty GE committees with members of SDU’s International Gender Advisory Board (IGAB)

SDU hosts an annual event with SDU’s International Gender Advisory Board every October, This practice started in 2019, and during Covid-19 lockdown, this has been held as online events in 2020 and 2021. These events feature (among other things) a 2-hours masterclass where all Faculty GE Committees have some joint activities followed by individual meetings with 1-2 IGAB experts. These masterclasses strengthen the sense of community across the local GE Committees within SDU and also provide important support and inspiration to the ongoing activities at the faculty level. The IGAB members follow the same committee over the years, and this continuity strengthens and deepens the knowledge and trust between committee and expert as well as allows for more precise support and input both ways. 

The IGAB also serves as critical friends to SDU’s Gender Equality Team as well as SDU’s Executive Board, and the impressions and input from the masterclasses serve to deepen and sharpen the knowledge foundation with which IGAB can provide feedback to SDU’s ongoing GE efforts. 

The IGAB events are crucial monitoring activities and are part of SDU’s GEP-cycle.  

COMPASS PERSPECTIVE – in what way(s) was the measure C O M P A S S?

C - for drawing on interactive and creative meeting practices and for supporting the institution - with expert input - to challenge and rethink actions, practices, processes, and context. And for boosting, focusing, and lifting the committee work to new levels.
O - for the participatory, transparent, and user-defined approach.
M - for the close fit between need and inspiration, which is perceived as deeply meaningful and useful.
P - for the focus on concrete challenges and ways to meet them, inspiring action, and what is useful and practicable in the contexts.
A - for the close translation into actions and for strengthening the feedback loops in the SDU annual monitoring and follow-up.
S - for the continuity and long-term commitment of the model.


The masterclasses involve the faculty GE committees (and all their members, including both academic and administrative employees, managers, and PhD-students), SDU’s Gender Equality Team as well as SDU’s IGAB.

SDU’s Executive Board is indirectly also involved, as they are recipients of input and feedback from IGAB in the annual review/critical friend meetings, which is partly based on their impressions from the local GE Committee work. 


What would you do the same/differently another time?
What have you learnt? 
Do you see relevance for this in other contexts?

On the third run, the benefits of the slow community building are beginning to show: the committees know what to expect now (the format for the masterclass has been the same at all three events), they bring deeper questions and issues to the table, they trust and put the input to use in between masterclasses. Also, there are signs of tighter collaborations between committees – they now have a deeper feel for what is taking place at the other faculties and across SDU as a whole, and initiatives for more frequent exchanges between IGAB and committees are being taken bilaterally. 
The format is short enough that people can make them a priority (and they are very well attended) and just long or short enough that attendees (both IGAB and committee members) are left hungry for more. We consider this a good sign, keeping the interest alive for a whole year till next year’s event. We recommend this approach, especially as an intrinsic and engaging part of a GEP-monitoring cycle.