Project EGERA in discussions of the Working Group for Change of the National Contact Centre Women in Science in the Czech Republic

On March 31st, 2015 the first meeting of the Working Group for Change of the National Contact Centre Women in Science took place in Prague. Jiri Kolman from CzechGlobe – Global Change Research Centre was one of the key speakers at the event. He shared his experience of promoting cultural and institutional changes within EGERA project with the working group participants. As Jiri Kolman explained, CzechGlobe had responded to stimuli coming from outside but also to current institutional needs. CzechGlobe has recently expanded to a great extent and in consequence, has faced the problem of shortage of skilled workers. CzechGlobe research activities require a multidisciplinary approach and specialists in this field are few. This has naturally led to the focus on human resource development and above all on recruiting new employees. Measures including the promotion of gender equality are an integral part of such efforts. A significant incentive came also from foreign members of the Scientific Advisory Board. At the time there was no woman on the board. The situation was similar among team leaders where no woman was present. CzechGlobe also faced the problem of low diversity of teams both in terms of gender and age. Team leaders feared "mass" departures of team members on maternity/parental leave. Such departures might lead to a significant work disruption. CzechGlobe was also motivated to pursue career development and prospects of young scientists on a systematic level. In CzechGlobe in the first phase of EGERA project a survey on living and working conditions of scientists and administrative employees was conducted. The survey highlighted problematic areas on which gender equality actions would continue to focus. Outcomes of the afore-mentioned survey also help in communicating project activities, its benefits and in mobilizing stakeholders.

Submitted by egera-admin on 16.06.2015 - 10:12 am

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