Gender-SMART | A European partnership on gender issues in agricultural and life sciences

Institutional news 7 February 2019
Nine European partners in the Gender-SMART project, who all work in agricultural and life sciences, are under starter's orders. As part of the project, they will be putting equality in the workplace at the forefront of their operations. The issue will be addressed in terms of human resources - recruitment, career progression, governance, etc - and as an element to be included in research and teaching operations. The official kick-off meeting will be in Montpellier, from 12 to 14 February.
CIRAD is beginning its coordination of a project on gender issues. It had already adopted a gender equality agreement in December 2017 © R. Carayol, CIRAD
CIRAD is beginning its coordination of a project on gender issues. It had already adopted a gender equality agreement in December 2017 © R. Carayol, CIRAD

CIRAD is beginning its coordination of a project on gender issues. It had already adopted a gender equality agreement in December 2017 © R. Carayol, CIRAD

As the European Commission marks 20 years of policies devoted to supporting gender equality in research and innovation, CIRAD is beginning its coordination of a European project on gender in the agricultural and life sciences: Gender-SMART (Science Management of Agricultural and Life Sciences, including Research and Teaching). The project, funded by the EC Horizon 2020 programme, associates seven organizations (from Cyprus, France, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain) and two specialist technical partners (from Belgium and the Czech Republic).

"Gender-SMART commits our organizations to setting an example between now and 2023 in terms of equality in the workplace and of including gender analysis, where relevant, in our research and teaching activities", stresses CIRAD's Magalie Jannoyer, who is coordinating the project. "These two aspects feed off each other and impact on the quality of our research."

"This project is a unique opportunity for CIRAD, which had already taken an ambitious step in finalizing a collective agreement in 2017 on gender equality and work-life balance" , says François Pouget, CIRAD Director General in charge of Resources and Organization. "Gender-SMART confirms our commitment and opens up new prospects, thanks to the exchange of experiences with our partners."

Each organization, supported by two technical partners specializing in institutional change and appraisal, has committed to develop and implement a gender equality plan, centring on four shared issues:

  • Building a gender equality culture
  • Developing equal career support measures
  • Reshaping decision making and governance
  • Integrating gender in funding, research and training.

For each organization, the aim will be to adapt its action plan to its reality, taking existing inequalities and bias as its starting point and building a research and training offering that covers gender issues.

"By involving research organizations working in the fields of agriculture and life sciences, Gender-SMART not only aims to support gender equality at each partner organization, but also to integrate the gender perspective into research content and projects, hence to act as a potential game changer in terms of addressing crucial issues such as climate change or food security”, says Yellow Window's Maxime Forest,

The nine European partners will be meeting in Montpellier from 12 to 14 February 2019 to officially launch the project and prepare for the first operations, such as gender audits and evaluations at each of the partner organizations.

Gender-SMART is an H2020 project under the "Science with and for Society" programme. It has 3 million euros of EC funding over four years .

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 824546 .

Seven organizations defining and implementing gender equality plans :

  • Agence Nationale de Recherche (France)
  • Centro De Investigaciones Cientificas Y Tecnologicas De Extremadura (Spain)
  • Centro Internazionale Di Alti studi Agronomici Mediterranei (Italy)
  • CIRAD (France)
  • Cyprus University of Technology (Cyprus)
  • Teagasc - Agriculture And Food Development Authority (Ireland)
  • Wageningen University and Research (Netherlands)

Two technical partners specializing in gender:

  • Yellow Window (Belgium)
  • Institute Of Sociology Of The Academy Of Sciences Of The Czech Republic Public Research Institution
A gender equality agreement at CIRAD

CIRAD adopted a gender equality agreement in December 2017. In particular, the agreement concerns employment and recruitment conditions, career advancement, and access to positions of responsibility. One of the most ambitious targets set in the agreement is to substantially increase the number of management positions occupied by women.