This project takes into account the international and European frameworks, the strategic orientations and the political commitments in terms of gender equality and gender mainstreaming. It also reflects the main literature and scientific production in the field, as well as the team experience as far as the promotion of gender equality in organizations is concerned. Notwithstanding the broad relevant political, scientific and methodological references, the project follows an innovative approach. First, it is aimed at the drawing up of tailor-made interventions in companies, according to their specific realities and challenges. Secondly, it aims to design tools specifically geared towards the promotion of gender equality in decision-making/leadership positions and the elimination of the gender pay gap. Thirdly, a partnership will be established with the companies involved, demanding a continuous transfer of knowledge and experience throughout the main stages of the organizational change process (diagnosis/gender audit, intervention plan, intervention and evaluation). Companies from almost all regions of the country will be represented.
Summary of project results
The project Break Even followed an innovative approach. First, it was aimed at drawing up tailor-made interventions in companies, according to their specific realities and challenges. Secondly, it aimed to design tools specifically geared towards the promotion of gender equality, with a particular focus on increasing gender balance in decision-making/leadership positions and tackling the gender pay gap. Thirdly, the partnership with seven anchor companies demanded a continuous transfer of knowledge and experience throughout the main stages of the organizational change process (diagnosis/gender audit, intervention plan, support to intervention/change). It covered two SMEs from the Hotel Sector, two state-owned companies, two listed companies on the Lisbon Stock Exchange - sectors where the number of women on boards has been particularly low – and one Private not listed Company. It was led by the Lisbon School of Economics and Management (ISEG, University of Lisbon), in partnership with the Centre for Studies for Social Intervention (CESIS), the Interdisciplinary Centre for Gender Studies of the Lisbon School of Social and Political Sciences (CIEG-ISCSP, University of Lisbon) and the Centre for Gender Research of the University of Oslo. The main Project achievements are related to the tailor-made interventions in the anchor-companies and the dissemination tools. Based on the action-research method and a participatory methodology, three key tools have been created and they are now available for dissemination: a) a Gender Audit tool (Diagnosis Assessment Guide) with about 101 indicators seeking to uncover all the organizational barriers to gender equality; b) a Guide for the Elaboration of an Action Plan to Promote Equality between Women and Men; c) and a Training Guide (a reference tool on the core gender equality competencies to be built and/or consolidated in each company in order to support and sustain change). These tools are part of the general Guide to Promote Gender Equality in Business and were tested in each anchor company and adjusted to each specific organizational setting. A final video/documentary promoting the project methodology and the progress made by the anchor-companies, has also been produced and is also available on the Project’s website. In terms of sustainability of the Project, trained key-actors in each anchor-company, as well as a committed Administration to the implementation of the respective Action Plan are expected to ensure it.
Summary of bilateral results
The first bilateral face-to-face meeting between the national partners and the Centre for Gender Research of the University of Oslo, Norway, represented by Lotta Snickare was held on 27 January 2015. The Project was presented in detail: objectives, methodology, the characteristics of the anchor-companies, expected outputs, main hallmarks, timeline, as well as the composition of the advisory board, the website and social media (Facebook page). From 26 to 29 May 2015 the Project team visited Oslo. Meetings with important stakeholders were held as well as with the Board and researchers from the Centre for Gender Research of the University of Oslo. The programme was suggested by our Norwegian partner representative, Lotta Snickare. The overall programme organized allowed the Portuguese project´s team to get a more accurate understating about the Norwegian reality in terms of the promotion of gender equality, particularly in Business the business sector. At the same time, the visited companies and the employers’ organization expressed their interest in being informed about the project’s development and its final achievements. The Director of Simula Innovation – a company which was awarded the Gender Equality Prize in 2013 - ended up to be invited to be one of the guest speakers of the project closing conference. Some of the good practices, measures and programmes that the Portuguese Project´s team was able to get to know during the visit to Oslo were a very valuable resource to inspire the work ahead. Later on, during the visit of some members of the Centre for Gender Research (UoO) to the University of Lisbon the Project’s coordinators scheduled a follow-up. The progress reports submitted to the EEAGrants were shared with the Norwegian partner. Throughout the Project, the bilateral relations were built upon mutual understanding and open communications.