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No winner of EU’s intersectional gender equality award

Image: Grace Gay for Research Professional News

Commission says lack of winner reflects need for change

The European Commission has been unable to find a winner for the second round of its Inclusive Gender Equality Champions award, one of three categories in an annual competition recognising academic institutions’ progress in developing gender equality plans and policies.

To promote more effective gender equality policies in research and innovation, the Commission requires academic institutions applying for funding from the EU’s Horizon Europe R&I programme to have a gender equality plan in place. It launched a set of awards in 2022 to further encourage the adoption and development of such plans.

Intersectional considerations

The inclusive equality category in these awards is designed for academic and research organisations that have implemented innovative gender equality plans addressing the intersection with other social categories, such as ethnicity, social origin, sexual orientation and gender identity (LGBTIQ) or disability.

Announcing the competition winners on 15 May, the Commission said that none of the entries in the category fulfilled the award criteria, adding that this “reflects a reality the Commission is making efforts to transform”.

Last year, Ireland’s South East Technological University won an award in the intersectional category.

There were winners in the other two categories in the second year of the competition: for France’s Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and Spain’s Universitat Rovira i Virgili in the Sustainable Gender Equality Champions category, and for Ireland’s Technological University of the Shannon: Midlands Midwest in the Newcomer Gender Equality Champions category.

Winners each receive a prize of €100,000.

EU R&I commissioner Iliana Ivanova said: “I warmly congratulate the winners of the Horizon Europe Award for Gender Equality Champions. Their remarkable achievements in creating more gender-equal working environments are an inspiration to organisations across the European Research Area.”