Press release: Promoting gender equality in European Academia since 2019

Resources and Policy Reflections for an inclusive and sustainable academia from the EU-funded SPEAR project

After 4.5 years of intense work, the H2020 project SPEAR reached its conclusion in April 2023. SPEAR promoted inclusive gender equality in research institutions by implementing innovative and sustainable Gender Equality Plans (GEPs) in nine Research Performing Organisations (RPOs) across Europe.

From their extensive hands-on experience and collective knowledge, the project partners developed valuable resources and learning materials to support GE practitioners, European and national policymakers, and other stakeholders in their daily actions to implement long-lasting structural change, strengthen inclusivity and gender equality in European Academia and promote a broader democratic agenda.

Policy Reflections for EU policy makers and GE practitioners

SPEAR’s Policy Reflections bring together experts' and practitioners’ voices, experiences, and expertise from a range of different national and organisational contexts to reinforce and support ongoing policy developments towards sustainable and inclusive Gender Equality in Academia. SPEAR’s Policy Reflections cover four interconnected topics:

  1. Careers in Academia: Recruitment, promotion, career development
  2. Work- and study environment and sexism in Academia
  3. Gender mainstreaming and Gender Equality Plans
  4. Integration of the Gender+ Dimension in research, innovation and teaching

These four topics highlight the need for a close connection between daily practices, political debate and legislative processes to emphasise knowledge- and research-based arguments, strengthen democratic values and counter the consequences of antidemocratic movements.
Download SPEAR’s Cycle of Policy Reflections at


Resources for the GEP implementation journey

SPEAR developed a distinctive methodology to support the implementation of GEPs committed to Creative, Open, Mitigating, Processual, Accountable, SMART and Sustainable (COMPASS) changes.

A collection of resources has been developed to support GE practitioners in their GE – and GEP-work so that their measures can be effective and sustainable. SPEAR’s COMPASS Guide covers these steps of the implementation journey:

  • First, familiarise yourself with hot gender-related issues and GEP key implementation steps with SPEAR user-friendly virtual learning materials available at
  • Then get hands-on with SPEAR’s COMPASS Guide, a holistic and practical approach to support GE practitioners at different steps of the GEP development process. It contains the SPEAR’s interactive COMPASS rose with guiding questions, good practice examples by the SPEAR consortium for inspiration and supporting materials and exercises. Start your journey at
  • Finally, get inspired by the first Gender Equality Plans implemented by SPEAR’s Research Performing Institutions available in English at



SPEAR is an EU Horizon 2020-funded project launched in January 2019 with the main objective to initiate institutional change and support the development and implementation of Gender Equality Plans in nine European Research Performing Organisations.
The SPEAR partners are: University of Southern Denmark (Denmark), Uppsala University (Sweden), RWTH Aachen University (Germany), Europa Media Non-profit Ltd. (Hungary), Joanneum Research Forschungsgesellschaft mbH (Austria), University of Plovdiv (Bulgaria), International Business School (Bulgaria), Vilnius University (Lithuania), Vytautas Magnus University (Lithuania), NOVA University Lisbon (Portugal), and University of Rijeka (Croatia).


Contacts in relation to this press release

Gloria Bevilacqua, Communication Manager, Europa Media

Eva Sophia Myers, SPEAR executive coordinator, University of Southern Denmark

Liv Baisner Petersen, SPEAR administrative coordinator, University of Southern Denmark