In order to identify the current status of the gender equality practices in HISS within the areas previously identified, the following practices were used:
- Aggregation of the male/female personnel data for the year 2023
- Aggregation of the composition of the governing bodies of HISS over the period 2023-2024
- Conduct of an online survey addressed to HISS’s personnel. 55% of respondents were male and 45% female.
Key Area 1: Governance and decision making
The weight of governance and decision making is the main responsibility of HISS’s Board of Executives. Which consists of the:
- President, holding the position of Chairman;
- Vice President
- Head Secretary
- Head Treasurer
Concerning research policy, the BoE is supported by the Members of the General Assembly, which consists of 8 representatives.
The two bodies are respectively comprised by:
Board of Executives: A total of 5 people, 3 Men and 2 Women.
Members of the General Assembly: A total of 8 members, 4 Men and 4 Women.
Using this information, it is worth noting that:
- Women representation is equal to male representation in governance and decision-making bodies.
In addition, the survey that was carried out revealed the following:
- 75% of the personnel believe that the necessary objectivity to effectively assess situations and resolve conflicts does not depend on gender.
- 70% believe that the offered opportunities in leadership skills training programmes are the same for both genders.
Key Area 2: Recruitment, Selection procedures, and Career Progression
More than 95% of HISS’s personnel are university graduates and they also have higher degrees of education while the 5% is currently working towards their postgraduate degrees.
The mean age between the personnel is 36,9 and people of both genders are observed at every age range.
Key Area 3: Flexible and Agile Working
The undertake study revealed the following perceptions of the institute’s personnel with regards to flexible and agile working:
- 45% of the personnel believes that the workplace environment is not an obstacle to starting a family, while 27.3% of those who believe it is an obstacle attribute it to their sex. Overall, the following issues have been identified: a. the particularities of the profession of a researcher and anyone who is involved in the same field (CRAs, Monitors): long working hours during multiple deadline periods, frequent travels. B. the employment status: there is no legislative framework for maternity leave for people employed under working contracts, c. the general belief that women more than men adjust their careers for family.
- 65% believe that family is not an obstacle to professional development, while 23.5% of those who believe otherwise attribute it to sex. The main argument is that the time needed for family care, especially by women, reduces the time devoted to career advancement. Moreover it was made clear by responses that while on maternity leave their professional development is put on hold.</li
- 8% of the female personnel believe that they would be more efficient if they had a more flexible working schedule (e.g., working hours, days of physical presence) while in pregnancy;
- 75% of people believe that they would be more efficient if they had a more flexible working schedule (e.g., working hours, days of physical presence) as a new parent;
- 83% of people believe that a pregnant colleague they would be more efficient if they had a more flexible working schedule (e.g., working hours, days of physical presence) as a new parent;
- 80% % of people believe that a new parent colleague they would be more efficient if they had a more flexible working schedule (e.g., working hours, days of physical presence) as a new parent;
- 80% of the female population believe that it would be better for them to be able to get time off work during the first 2-3 days of menstruation, while 76% of the personnel believe that it would be better for their colleague to be able to get time off work during the first 2-3 days of menstruation.
A frequently recorded concern is that an unbalanced working and family life is harmful to the physical and mental health as well as the emotional status, leading to unhappy and thus less productive employees.
Key Area 4: Gender Strategy in Research
By observing the data collected we conclude that there are some extreme irregularities such as that the female to male ratio in the monitoring department is 1 meaning that all the colleagues are female.
Also by looking the data we can also observe an overall increase in the number of researchers over the years the female to male ratio remains the same. There is no systematic monitoring/registering of the applications received for the Researchers positions. The above-mentioned ratio dictates this necessity to proceed with necessary corrective actions.
Moreover, to the extent that research is a challenging task entailing increased responsibility lifelong learning and constant pursuit of development, the survey revealed the following perceptions:
- 80% believe that challenging tasks are important for all genders;
- 85% believe that tasks requiring responsibility are desired equally by women and men.
- 15% believe that opportunities in scientific-related skills training programs are more for women while 5% believe that they are best suited for men.
- 70% believe that they have equal opportunities for development with people of the opposite sex and 30% believe that these kinds of opportunities are tailored best for men. Although 100% of the responders believe that there have been no discouragements from participating in skill development courses due to their gender.
This survey shows that there is some latent gender prejudice which could justify the implication of systematic monitoring of these elements in order to identify any discrimination due to gender and proceed with the necessary corrective actions.
Key Area 5: Gender in events and research visibility activities
Currently, there is no systematic monitoring of gender participation in events and research visibility activities. The need to increase the visibility of women researchers and their achievements in cutting edge research areas is recognised and needs to be enhanced.
Key Area 6: Gender in Organisation Culture
The undertaken survey additionally included a set of questions addressing the gender in the organisation culture, as an effort to record HISS’s personnel perceptions and experiences. The main findings are:
- 95% of the responders have indicated that they would prefer their workplace environment to consist of both sexes;
- 100% reported that they would hire easily both men and women.
- 95% reported that they have no preference in the gender of the colleagues they work with;
- 10% responded that professional skills depend on gender
- 25% of the responders have indicated that they have been harassed (non-sexually) in the workplace, 60% of which reported that the harassment originated from colleagues of the opposite sex, 20% that the harassment originated from colleagues of both sexes and 20% that it originated from colleagues of the same sex
- 50% of the responders who were harassed did not feel safe or protected at the work environment, although 65% of those felt that they could turn to someone for support.
- 5% of the responders have answered that they have been sexually harassed in the workplace environment , and 100% of those responses indicated that they were harassed by people of the opposite sex
Frequently appeared concerns of the survey participants are the following:
- Equal opportunities for development of the working force and celebration of diversities should be in place
- Transparency in personnel evaluation methods and metrics would incubate trust, encourage consciousness in one’s qualities and willingness for professional development by setting clear goals both for the employee and the organisation.
- The issue of gender discrimination in the working environment is evident and requires everyday work and monitoring of behaviours to be restrained.
- The effort to eliminate gender discrimination should not focus the fulfilment of numerical indices leaving aside the actual qualifications of personnel regardless of sex.