Using communities of practice to support the implementation of gender equality plans: lessons from a cross-national action research project
conference contributionposted on 12.01.2017, 11:21 authored by Sarah BarnardSarah Barnard, Tarek HassanTarek Hassan, Andrew Dainty, Lucia Polo, Ezekiela Arrizabalaga
Today, in many European countries, research and higher education institutions have made steps to implement gender mainstreaming: integrating the gender issue in management processes, in staff and leadership development programmes and assessment procedures. There are signs of concerted efforts to tackle persistent gender inequality, with varied levels of success. This paper will outline findings of a cross-national action research project that focuses on the implementation of gender equality plans (GEPs) in research and higher education institutions in order to examine how the interactions between researchers, gender equality practitioners and senior managers are socially-situated. A key theoretic lens is communities of practice (CoP), which underpins the analysis of the process of how people can work together to promote gender equality. The paper outlines the various methods used to promote CoP - the generation of knowledge, opportunities for establishing and maintaining relationships, and sharing experiences and expertise – illustrated with concrete examples. We found that through CoP we have identified gaps and common issues that form the basis for collaborative learning to develop better understandings of good practice in supporting GEP design and implementation.
The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme FP7/2007–2013 under grant agreement no 321491 – research project GenderTime (see www.gendertime.org)
- Business and Economics