The GEARING-Roles (Gender Equality Actions in Research Institutions to traNsform Gender Roles), run by Sabancı University Gender and Women's Studies Center of Excellence (SU Gender), was featured as the project of the month by the European Commission.
The European Commission featured the GEARING-Roles Project, run by the Sabancı University Gender and Women's Studies Center of Excellence (SU GENDER), as the Project of the Month due to its intrepid work in the field of gender roles and gender equality in the research and innovation sectors.
GEARING-Roles consists of a multidisciplinary and multi-partner consortium of 10 European academic and non-academic partners that have designed, implemented and evaluated 6 Gender Equality Plans (GEP) in 6 research institutions, and aims to remove barriers to the recruitment and promotion of women, prepare personal career development plans, ensure gender equality in representation and decision-making processes, and, in the long run, establish sustainable networks between institutions that promote gender equality. The project, following the steps within the scope of the GEAR tool (define, plan, act and check), works with the firm objective of challenging and transforming gender roles and identities linked to professional careers and towards real institutional change.
As a result of the participatory co-creation activities carried out within the scope of the project at Sabancı University, the Gender Equality Action Plan, with contributions made by approximately 100 academicians, students, administrative staff and administrators, was published in March 2021 when its implementation also started. In November 2020, SU Gender hosted the second annual conference of the project, and this conference titled “Gender and Leadership” had an audience of over 700 participants from more than 20 countries.
The European Commission especially highlighted the board game 'Nobel Run', developed as part of the project, which tasks players with winning a Nobel Prize – with some help along the way from some of Europe (and the world’s) most prominent female scientists.
The game Nobel Run was developed as part of the EU-funded GEARING ROLES (Gender Equality Actions in Research Institutions to traNsform Gender Roles) project, which takes an innovative approach to addressing gender stereotypes and inequalities in science.
Players must manage a research team, hire pre-doctoral, post-doctoral and senior researchers, publish scientific articles, and raise funds through international projects as they race to win a Nobel Prize. In these efforts, players can request help from renowned female Nobel laureates, such as Marie Curie, Lise Meitner, Austrian-Swedish physicist, and Jocelyn Bell Burnell, an Irish astrophysicist.
GEARING ROLES Coordinator Maria Silvestre said, "We become women by internalising gender roles that often limit us and discourage us from questioning our social identity and our position in society. Learning that a different way of being women is possible can be done through gaming: In the game, we can play – literally – different social roles and learn the best ways to possibly win a Nobel Prize and pursue an academic career."
The GEARING-Roles project aims to remove barriers to women's recruitment and promotion, prepare personal career development plans, ensure gender equality in representation and decision-making processes, encourage women's leadership in research institutions, reinforce the gender aspect in research and curriculum, promote gender equality in research institutions and, in the long term, to establish sustainable networks among institutions that promote gender equality. For more information, please check the project's website.