Setting up a dynamic framework to activate gender equality structural transformation in research organizations

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The need to redress persistent gender inequality in senior and decision-making positions in science through structural measures is increasingly recognized both in academic literature and policy-making. Based on the experience of a Danish university implementing a structural gender equality action plan, we present a dynamic framework to activate structural change and argue that for such interventions to be effective, it is necessary that they acknowledge and operationalize the notion of complexity as their frame of reference. The notion of complexity proposes a nonlinear relationship between inputs and outputs of policy measures, where impact depends on the interaction of a multitude of variables strongly related to context. Following this approach, the framework tested and discussed herein is characterized by a holistic view of structural change, encompassing multiple targets and areas of intervention, a multidimensional notion of power and a strong focus on local change dynamics, that is, activation processes, agency mobilization, structural resistances, and impact-producing factors.

Authors: Evanthia Kalpazidou Schmidt and Marina Cacace


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