GEP development network

Submitted by: Daiva Skučienė, Aurelija Novelskaitė, Rūta Ruolytė-Verschoore, Urtė Lina Orlova, Vilius Alesius, Vilnius University

- ongoing

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.

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

C - The network is inevitably Creative as it is a special place for openly sharing ideas, discussing, reflecting, searching for innovative measures and sustainable ways of their implementation, etc.

O - The network was and is Open for new ideas, suggestions, and points for discussions as well as for any member of the wider VU community who are interested in contributing to the development of GEP and to its implementation in particular departments.

M - The network is Mitigating, especially for its members as it is a source of support, knowledge, and experience for those who lack them in their departments.

P - The network is absolutely Processual as it is projected towards invention and development of empirical knowledge and situational experience based GEP processes and procedures, which, subsequently, have to turn into real action. The network is an action itself as a result of its existence is 6 approved GEPs.

A - The network is Accountable in terms of responsibility to develop the GEP to (a) the departments, which are represented by the members; (b) the project SPEAR, as the members were employed in the project on a minimum basis; and (c) the community, which was informed about the work and (at least some of) its members expected the GEPs will be developed and implemented.

S- The network possesses some features of SMARTness as it has specific goals (i.e. to develop and implement GEP), has clear result orientation, which is easily measured (e.g. size of the network, number of GEPs, etc.) and has potential to reach the goal.


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.