Central Macedonia: Regional Gender Equality Plan

The main challenge of the transformative experiment in RCM is to give a boost to the dialogue within the R&I ecosystems towards a gender equality approach. The experiment will be based on the adoption of Territorial RRI measures in order to trigger an institutional change within the organisations of the regional stakeholders involved.

A sub-challenge is also to better understand how the current environment has been formed due to the brain-drain of ICT experts and the limited involvement of women in STEM, while, in parallel, investments in high technology are becoming more noticeably present in the territory. Some concrete actions and strategies for facing the aforementioned challenges and in relation to the regional transformative experiment refer to developing a Gender Equality Plan (GEP), comprised of the following ‘core’ steps:

  1. Conducting impact assessment / audits of procedures and practices (resembling self and/or peer assessments) to identify gender bias in the organizations/institutions that are going to participate in the GEPs;
  2. Identifying innovative strategies to address and correct any  gender bias;
  3. Setting targets and proposing monitoring progress via indicators.

Actors involved in the GEP shall come from all categories of the Quadruple Helix Model: academia/research actors, business/industry, policy actors and citizen representatives (e.g. NGOs working on gender issues).

Finally, the region of Central Macedonia is aiming to use RRI to enhance the effectiveness and quality of the RIS3 Strategy through the critical involvement of key R&I stakeholders. The existing strategy has no reference to the RRI principles, so it will be a big step to achieve some influence in the text of the revised strategy, and proceed to a stronger intervention in the next strategic document of the RIS3. More specifically, the succeeding strategic document of the next RIS3 can proceed to integrating gender equality principles within three different contexts:

1)      In a theoretical context, where a ’Declaration of Principles’ shall be included in the official S3  document and shall mention that gender issues and gender equality principles will be taken into account in the S3 strategy.

2)       In the context of establishing new gender indicators for funding new initiatives.

3)       In the context of adopting gender indicators for monitoring the results of the S3 strategy.