The project STAGES - "Structural Transformation to Achieve Gender Equality in Science” came to its conclusion this month. For this reason, a Final Conference was held at the Hotel Sofitel Brussels Europe in the Belgian capital on the 3rd December.
The Final Conference, attended by all the prominent actors involved in STAGES during the past four years, has been an opportunity to present the good results achieved and a unique chance to confront and share the enriching experiences gathered by the Consortium partners during their collaboration.
Mr. Michele Palma, the project coordinator from the Department for Equal Opportunities of the Italian Presidency of the Council of Ministers, greeted the guests by delivering a welcome speech and offering a general overview of the project. In particular, he highlighted how a mutual learning and interactive approach between the universities and research institutions are simply crucial to the achievement of a deeper structural change for the promotion of women's careers in science and research.
After the keynote speech by Ms. Kathrin Zippel, Visiting Professor at the Radboud University of Nijmegen, the first session of the Conference was opened and the partners' representatives – Ms. Daniela Falcinelli and Ms. Camilla Gaiaschi (UMIL), Mr. Jürgen Wilke (FRAUNHOFER), Ms. Evanthia Kalpazidou Schmidt (AU), Ms. Doina Balahur (UAIC), Ms. Joke Leenders and Ms. Inge Bleijenbergh (RU) - had the chance to present the main outcomes resulting from the implementation of their five Action Plans.
In order to deepen the analysis of each Action Plan, the partners prepared a Poster Session, available for the whole duration of the Conference, so as to offer a deeper look at the details of the undertaken actions to the public.
The second session of the Conference was dedicated to the presentation of the STAGES Guidelines and chaired by Ms. Rossella Palomba, former Research Director and Associated Professor at the Italian National Research Council. During the session, Ms. Marina Cacace from ASDO presented the Guidelines and then the partners’ representatives illustrated the experiences and results of their STAGES Action Plans, while Mr. Andrè Beraud, representative of ECEPIE and GenderTIME project and Mr. Florian Holzinger, representative of the GARCIA project, provided for some information on their respective similar projects.
Right after a light lunch, the third and final session began. It was chaired by Ms. Gülsün Sağlamer, Former Rector of the Technical University of Istanbul and representative of the FESTA project, and was devoted to gender equality in science as a sustainable policy effort. It included a final Round Table gathering experts from other similar EU projects and representatives of EU institutions and agencies, namely: Ms. Uduak Archibong (GENOVATE project), Ms. Myra Marx Ferree (Alice H. Cook Professor of Sociology, University of Madison Wisconsin, USA), Ms. Lut Margaert (Yellow Window), Ms. Therese Murphy (EIGE), Ms. Rossella Palomba (CNR), and Ms. Anne Pepin (INTEGER and GENDERNET-ERANET).
The Conference was attended by several representatives of the European Commission, such as Ms. Vivianne Willis-Mazzicchi who closed the Conference by addressing a speech to the public underlining the commitment of the Union to similar projects and hoping to see further institutional collaboration in the future, in order to achieve results as valuable as the ones provided by the experience of the STAGES project.