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Supporting diversity in research environments: a look at Science Europe’s new guide

27th February 2024 at 5:20 pm

February has once again brought a much-needed spotlight on the topic of gender in research, with the celebration of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science on the 11th. While working towards gender equality remains a top priority for better research environments, the spotlight is broadening its reach as the understanding of diversity and the aspects that require attention are increasingly recognised as a multi-faceted issue that includes factors such as disabilities, socio-economic background, culture and ethnicity. In a timely fashion, earlier this month Science Europe launched its new ‘Practical Guide to Supporting Diversity in Research Environments’, highlighting the key findings from a survey conducted in 2023. With responses from 28 of its 40 member organisations across Europe, the guide showcases the key recommendations, good practices, and existing examples of actions implemented to support an equal, diverse, and inclusive environment within research funding and performing organisations.

The guide is complementary to Science Europe’s 2017 ‘Practical Guide to Improving Gender Equality in Research Organisations’, which included recommendations, real-life best practices, and useful resources focused on the three core areas of unconscious bias in peer review, monitoring of gender equality, and grant management practices. The newly released guide offers complementary support and broadens its scope, this time exploring the concept of diversity beyond gender, what diversity means to research organisations, how diversity data and positive actions can play a role towards inclusion, and which actions can be taken by organisations to face the challenges and barriers that remain from a human resources perspective.

A detailed bar chart titled "Which elements of diversity are considered in any of the activities your organisation conducts towards the research community?" displays various diversity elements on the y-axis and the percentage of organisations considering these elements on the x-axis. Gender ranks highest, with nearly 100% consideration, followed closely by Affiliation and Age. Seniority and Geographic representation are also highly rated, while Disability, Ethnicity, and Gender expression are moderately considered. Sex, Socio-economic background, and Sexual orientation have lower consideration, with Cultural background, Religion, and 'We do not consider any...' having the least consideration. The percentages are based on responses from 28 organisations.

Source: Practical Guide to Supporting Diversity in Research Environments, Science Europe, p. 8

Some highlights in numbers

Of the responding organisations…

Supporting gender equality in research

We recommend Science Europe’s new ‘Practical Guide to Supporting Diversity in Research Environments’ as a must-read guide if you are part of a research funding or performing organisation willing to improve its equality, diversity and inclusion, but also an insightful resource if you are looking to broaden your awareness of diversity and best practices for how it can be promoted within the research environment.

At accelopment, we collaborate daily with researchers from more than thirty EU-funded projects and value the diversity that shapes the talented teams that bring forward Europe’s innovation. With a passion for sharing our knowledge and experience, we developed a Transferable Skills Training Programme catered to early-career researchers, including a module dedicated to gender in research. We keep that spotlight on for gender in research, not just in February but all year long, by offering training focused on improved understanding of diversity, possible strategies to address gender inequalities and how to integrate the gender dimension in research content.

Dr Emily Rose Ciscato

Dr. Emily Rose Ciscato
Training Programme Manager

Dr. Eva Avilla Royo
Research & Innovation Project Manager

Jamuna Siehler

Jamuna Siehler
Project Manager Communications