With Ursula von der Leyen’s new presidency of the European Commission, gender equality has gained relevance in the Commission’s equality policies. As stated by Commissioner Mariya Gabriel, “I am committed to ensuring that the gender dimension is fully integrated into research and innovation supported by Horizon Europe”.

Gender equality is a central European value. It is a value that underlies EU democracies, responsibility to the world and the environment. It is also a value that contributes to innovation. Yet, Women were  accounted for only 36 percent of researchers working on Horizon 2020 projects.

Gender Equality Plan (GEP) is not just an additional section in European proposals, it is an objective of the European Commission to eliminate gender inequality and socio-economic inequalities that intersect in research and innovation systems, including by addressing unconscious bias and systemic structural barriers. 


How to address gender dimension on EU Projects.

In European projects, gender dimension is not just a description of the male/female individuals on the project or a review of female participation in the field in which the project will be developed. Neither is a sentence describing the good willingness of participants to bring more female individuals to the project.

To succeed on how to address gender balance on European projects, it is not only necessary to highlight the participation of women in your team but set an ambitious GEP to better represent the participation of women in a relevant position in research and innovation.

Gender Equality Plan is a set of actions aiming at: 

  1. Conducting impact assessment / audits of procedures and practices to identify gender bias; 
  2. Identifying and implementing innovative strategies to correct any bias; 
  3. Setting targets and monitoring progress via indicators.

Gender Equality Plan may vary from project to project depending on the field in which the project will be developed, type of participating organisations, and identifying gender biases. GEP should be addressed by covering different aspects:

            -Identify gender biases in our field. A thorough description of the aspects where gender biases are

            -Describe the targets and objectives for our GEP with concrete actions to remedy the inequalities identified.

            -Implementation of the plan. A Gender Advisory Board will ensure the plan is well executed during project execution and afterward.


It should be noted that in Horizon Europe it is already mandatory in the proposal to include information on the GEP. Specifically in the following areas:

      1. Part A. It must be described if the entity has a GEP. This is one of the new eligibility criteria for participation in Horizon Europe projects.
      2. Part B. It must describe the actions to be implemented during the project based on the gender dimension. In this case, we recommend the creation of an advisory board on gender balance.
      3. It must consider that the more convincing your GEP is in the proposal, the better chances you have to score additional points in the project.


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