GEP development network
It was planned that VU GEP will be based on the experience of implementing GEPs in different VU departments. Therefore, at the end of 2019, heads of all VU departments were invited to express their willingness to join the initiative. Following the decisions of heads of the departments, the network of representatives from 10 VU departments was established at the beginning of 2020. The initial aim of the network was to organize and encourage cooperative work on the development of GEPs and create a space for sharing and discussing ideas, knowledge, experience, and for learning from each other and supporting each other.
During the pandemic period, all activities of the network (i.e. meetings, training, public discussions, etc.) slowed down but did not stop and were accomplished online.
Currently, as 6 of the participating departments already approved their GEPs, the network
transforms into a network of gender equality coordinators implementing the GEPs in the university.
ACTORS AND STAKEHOLDERS
Primary actors: representatives of 10 VU departments.
Positions of the representatives in VU vary from administrative to academic ones and from top-/middle-manager (e.g. dean of the faculty, head of HR) to ordinary staff members (e.g. assoc. professor, PhD student).
Secondary actors: VU staff members who supported the development of GEPs by providing information (e.g. data on salaries, distribution by positions, etc.) and expert consultations (e.g. on peculiarities of administrative procedures, on legal requirements for formal documentation, etc.).
What would you do the same/differently another time?
What have you learnt? Do you see relevance for this in other contexts?
From the beginning of its activities until now the network is the primary source of collegial support – both professional and emotional – for the network members – i.e. those who take on the role of change agents working for strengthening gender equality in the university. The network activities proved useful in terms of intra-institutional cooperation in a big decentralized university.