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|Name of Organisation:||Catania University|
|Main implementing organisation:||Comitato pari Opportunitá (CPO) (Equal Opportunities Committee) It is a Committee inside the University of Catania, financed and supervised by it and by external founds contributions. The CPO promotes equal opportunities between genders and state th|
|Line of Business:||Faculties of Economics, Engineering, Agricultural studies, medicines, political studies, law, languages, Italian literature|
|End Date:||Still Ongoing|
|Number of Employees||1614||53.78 %|
|Employees in R&D||1673||32.52 %|
|Number of Employees in Top Positions||16||31.25 %|
|Transferability of the initiative||Programme is considered to be transferable to another context|
|Type of initiative referring to strategic objectives||individual|
|gender in research|
|Type of initiative, located on the stage of career progression of women scientists||Qualification (Higher Education)|
IN CHARGE FOR THE INITIATIVE:
-Dott.ssa Alessandra Renna
International Relation Officer-Faculty of Engineering
Università Catania Presidenza Facoltà Ingegneria e-mail:email@example.com
Long term objectives are:
Short term objectives are:
In general:traditional gender stereotypes that are still very influential in society of Sicily.
The barriers addressed by the initiative are related to the disparities between and men and women in higher education and vocational training. Other barriers are related to the difficulties in career entry and career progression for women with consequences on their working life.
With reference to the long term objectives there is more interest from students and employees about gender equality. The percentage of women choosing professional carriers which once were preferred only by men increased, as well as students choosing traditionally male faculties (e.g. engineering, agriculture, physic) and in the R&D sectors; also the percentage of women reaching top level management positions in administrative, in research and in academic fields increased. Thanks to the initiative more women decide today to follow their talent and/or to give more importance to their career progression, since they feel themselves more confident in a working life which is cut around their needs (e.g. as mothers, wives, etc.). After almost 4 years since the beginning of the project it seems that there is strong awareness of a different approach towards special fields of study and work.
The modern society is today culturally more “no gender discrimination” oriented, rather than few decades ago since women and men are generally more eager to follow their own skills and work abilities. Anyway still women have to face the difficulties of choosing how to organize their lives between family and work. This new social set-up has imposed new needs, which basically have been the motives for launching the initiative: spreading the knowledge regarding the problems about disparities between men and women.
In this particular moment of changing cultural patterns the initiative tries to support gender balance above all in relation to a lack of information and knowledge on gender equality rules, and data and expertise about gender equality inside the faculty.
Through the initiative the employees learn and acknowledge gender equality.
The approach toward the achievement of equality between men and women has existed for quite long time inside the University’s community (administration and R&D), but there was a lack of awareness, measures and procedures aimed to assert a policy of equality inside the organization.
To understand the importance of the initiative it is important to put it in the contest of the CPO activity. In fact the initiative is part of the CPO Programme of positive actions For gender equality.
The president of the Equal Opportunities Committee (CPO) is responsible for conducting the initiative; the initiative is internally settled in one of the administration’s buildings of the University, where the CPO has its office. The president of the CPO and its staff members (21 people) have organized the initiative, they have gathered professors and experts in the field, in order to have a high quality group of speakers holding the seminars and conferences on gender equality.
The CPO receives an annual budget from the university. The fund for the initiatives came from this budget. The president and the staff members of the CPO are people already working for the University in different fields (scientists, administrative employees). Their work-time and efforts are not specifically remunerated for their role in the CPO.
The most important aspects for the success of the initiative are:
The main barrier was the initial scarce response toward the initiative, almost a lack of interest on the gender topics which were carried out by the initiative. It was like if gender related problems were still not valued by the employees, R&D staff, students. From the side of the persons in charge of the initiative there was the general feeling that nothing could be changed in terms of awareness, equal opportunities, procedures and organizational culture.
It is important to design initiatives able to attract students and young people, like internships and scholarships on gender issues.
increased percentage of women reaching top management positions, either in administrative, in research and in academic fields; an increasing of numbers of female students at the University, choosing some subjects/scientific fields which before were more preferred by boys (e.g. engineering, agriculture, physics); a better quality of the employees’ job,
The initiative is part of the CPO three years work program (Piano delle Azioni Positive) (PAP) which is a plan prepared by the CPO and approved by the Head office of the University, (that approves all the initiatives, projects and/or topics to approach every three years). Moreover the PAP contains a time schedule, for future actions and/or initiatives.
The approach is systematic and involves, directly and indirectly, the entire organization. The CPO of the University of Catania is very active in the national network of CPOs and in the Board of the Committees for Equal Opportunities of the Italian Universities (Conferenza dei Comitati Pari Opportunità delle Università italiane). It is in charge of the e-newsletter for this board.
A very novel aspect of the initiative regards the fact that this is a project carried out by a very traditional community like the University, which has accepted to face particular topics, such as gender equality, equal opportunities rule of gender related law.
• yes, there is a report of the 2006-2009 CPO activity, in which the initiative is mentioned
This initiative has very broad objectives that might be considered too difficult to reach through the measures that it entails. Moreover the measures, (conferences and seminars are always scheduled) Nonetheless some of the activities, like the grants for students, are focused on specific target groups and that is very important to reach the goal of cultural change. It is important to consider the complementary activities of the CPO.
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