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BACKGROUND

TARGETED-MPI responds directly to the Horizon H2020-SwafS-09-2018-2019 call under the topic support to Higher Education and Research Organisations to implement Gender Equality Plans (GEPs). TARGETED-MPI focuses specifically on institutional changes through the development and effective implementation of Gender Equality Plans (GEPs) in Business and Management (B&M) schools to drive more inclusive, sustainable and transparent academic cultures.

In this endeavour, a number of substantial challenges arise which can be classified in three main categories: i) overall role of women in academia, ii) Gender Equality in B&M schools and iii) the TARGETED-MPI project context.

BACKGROUND

TARGETED-MPI responds directly to the Horizon H2020-SwafS-09-2018-2019 call under the topic support to Higher Education and Research Organisations to implement Gender Equality Plans (GEPs). TARGETED-MPI focuses specifically on institutional changes through the development and effective implementation of Gender Equality Plans (GEPs) in Business and Management (B&M) schools to drive more inclusive, sustainable and transparent academic cultures.

Overall role of women in academia

Women remain under-represented in all disciplines and at all levels of academia, especially at the professorial level, in senior leadership roles, including deans, university vice-chancellors and presidents, and in gatekeeping positions, such as editorial boards and research funding bodies. This underrepresentation is prominent in B&M schools.

In this endeavour, a number of substantial challenges arise which can be classified in three main categories: i) overall role of women in academia, ii) Gender Equality in B&M schools and iii) the TARGETED-MPI project context.

Overall role of women in academia

Women remain under-represented in all disciplines and at all levels of academia, especially at the professorial level, in senior leadership roles, including deans, university vice-chancellors and presidents, and in gatekeeping positions, such as editorial boards and research funding bodies. This underrepresentation is prominent in B&M schools.

Gender Equality in B&M schools

Gender inequality patterns in B&M schools:
Gender inequality patterns in B&M schools show little signs of diminishing and, in some cases have been increasing. European business schools are characterised by strong vertical gender segregation, with 60% reporting that less than 30% of their highest ranked faculty were female.

Increased complexity in fostering Gender Equality in B&M schools:
Academics in B&M schools come from a variety of disciplines which include STEMM, social sciences, arts and humanities. The different intellectual traditions, epistemological and ontological perspectives, approaches to understanding and methods for creating new knowledge, organisational socialisation practices, ways of working, and perspectives on the world increase the complexity of fostering Gender Equality in B&M schools.

Lack of focus of work in Gender Equality on B&M schools:
While work on Gender Equality has focused mainly on STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicine) subjects, at the country-specific level little research has explored the effectiveness or reach of these gender and equality initiatives in the B&M context. A review of 26 research projects focusing on supporting Gender Equality and implementing structural change in Research Organisations / universities, and funded by the European Commission since 2011 has revealed that none of these projects focus specifically on Business & Management (B&M) schools.

Gender Equality in B&M schools

Gender inequality patterns in B&M schools:
Gender inequality patterns in B&M schools show little signs of diminishing and, in some cases have been increasing. European business schools are characterised by strong vertical gender segregation, with 60% reporting that less than 30% of their highest ranked faculty were female.

Increased complexity in fostering Gender Equality in B&M schools:
Academics in B&M schools come from a variety of disciplines which include STEMM, social sciences, arts and humanities. The different intellectual traditions, epistemological and ontological perspectives, approaches to understanding and methods for creating new knowledge, organisational socialisation practices, ways of working, and perspectives on the world increase the complexity of fostering Gender Equality in B&M schools.

Lack of focus of work in Gender Equality on B&M schools:
While work on Gender Equality has focused mainly on STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicine) subjects, at the country-specific level little research has explored the effectiveness or reach of these gender and equality initiatives in the B&M context. A review of 26 research projects focusing on supporting Gender Equality and implementing structural change in Research Organisations / universities, and funded by the European Commission since 2011 has revealed that none of these projects focus specifically on Business & Management (B&M) schools.

TARGETED-MPI project context

Different levels of institutional Gender Equality maturity and fragmented implementation ofactions exist among TARGETED-MPI project partner institutions. Also, the respective countries of project partners demonstrate highly different levels of Gender Equality maturity at national level. Yet, a key concern among project partners is to implement plans to action. TARGETED-MPI aims to address this fragmentation across partner institutions by providing a benchmark for other B&M schools and research organisations across the European Research Area and lead to sustainable change across project partners through the development and implementation of GEPs.

TARGETED-MPI project context

Different levels of institutional Gender Equality maturity and fragmented implementation ofactions exist among TARGETED-MPI project partner institutions. Also, the respective countries of project partners demonstrate highly different levels of Gender Equality maturity at national level. Yet, a key concern among project partners is to implement plans to action. TARGETED-MPI aims to address this fragmentation across partner institutions by providing a benchmark for other B&M schools and research organisations across the European Research Area and lead to sustainable change across project partners through the development and implementation of GEPs.

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