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Fostering collaborative approaches to gender equality interventions in higher education and research: the case of transnational and multi-institutional communities of practice

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journal contribution
posted on 14.06.2021, 10:51 by Ola Thomson, Rachel Palmen, Sybille Reidl, Sarah BarnardSarah Barnard, Sarah Beranek, Andrew Dainty, Tarek HassanTarek Hassan
Higher education and research and innovation in Europe continue to suffer from an indefensible waste of female talent and gender inequality. The European Commission recommends that these organizations adopt gender equality plans (GEPs) and other initiatives for institutional change. However, the levels of readiness, expertise, and experience with such interventions are wide-ranging across institutions and member states, thus collaborative approaches might be particularly valuable. Drawing on the experiences of transnational and multi-institutional communities of practice (CoPs) for gender equality (GE), we illuminate how the CoP approach supported change agents, who leveraged CoP membership to respond to challenges in promoting GE initiatives. Being part of collaborative, co-designed CoPs for learning, knowledge sharing, and institutional change provided external support to the change agents’ activism and allowed them to build legitimacy around GE work. CoP members leveraged this support through learning opportunities, knowledge transfer, sharing practice, political support, and solidarity from the CoP stakeholders. Findings also show that when CoPs were transnational, multiinstitutional, and interdisciplinary, their heterogeneity did raise some challenges in relation to the divergence of members’ contexts and geopolitical idiosyncrasies and that this should be considered when designing CoPs which transcend national and institutional boundaries.

Funding

European Union Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant [No 788204]

History

School

  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering
  • Business and Economics

Department

  • Business

Published in

Journal of Gender Studies

Volume

31

Issue

1

Pages

36-54

Publisher

Taylor & Francis (Routledge)

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Rights holder

© The authors

Publisher statement

This is an Open Access Article. It is published by Taylor and Francis under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Acceptance date

24/05/2021

Publication date

2021-06-12

Copyright date

2022

ISSN

0958-9236

eISSN

1465-3869

Language

en

Depositor

Prof Tarek Hassan. Deposit date: 12 June 2021