WHIST – Women’s careers hitting the target: gender management in scientific and technological research

Based on the outcomes of the EU project PRAGES, WHIST developed and tested gender diversity management policies to understand gender dynamics in three research organisations: Fraunhofer – Institute for Industrial Engineering (IAO) in Germany; University of Aarhus in Denmark; and the European Space Agency (ESA) in France.

The observations and empirical data obtained from experimental work in these organisations provided invaluable insights into gender dynamics and enabled the formalisation of lessons learned. The Guidelines on Gender Diversity in S & T Organisations created by the WHIST team outline the obstacles and actions that need to be taken to promote gender equality. For instance, the importance of increasing awareness of gender discrimination and the role of negotiation activity was revealed. WHIST also accounted for the political and regulatory environment at national levels that could hinder social innovation.

Partnership: The project was coordinated by the Department for Equal Opportunities, the Presidency of the Council of Ministers (Italy) and with the involvement of five other partners: ASDO – Assembly of Women for Development and the Struggle against Social Exclusion (Italy); Centre for Study and Research “Women and Gender Differences”, University of Milan (Italy); Danish Centre for Studies in Research and Research Policy, Aarhus University (Denmark); Fraunhofer Gesellschaft – Institute for Industrial Engineering (IAO, Germany); and the European Space Agency (ESA).

Funding: WHIST was funded in 2009-2011 from the FP7-SIS – Specific Programme ‘Capacities’: Science in society.

Research Team

  • Department of Social and Political Sciences:
    • Bianca Beccalli
    • Antonio Chiesi (Scientific Coordinator)
    • Daniela Falcinelli (Coordinator)
    • Rossella Riccò
    • Luca Solari
  • Department of Food, Environmental and Nutritional Sciences:
    • Claudia Sorlini