Politecnico di Milano: Enhance Alliance Supports Gender Equality And Diversity

The ENHANCE Alliance, which includes the Politecnico di Milano, published its first report on diversity and gender equality.

ENHANCE calls for the promotion of gender equality and diversity in the European Higher Education Area: the report highlights the potential of higher education institutions to make academic opportunities accessible to all, regardless of their background, and to promote inclusion and equal opportunities in their programmes and strategies.

Awareness of the gender gap is a first step that must be followed by tangible actions, not only within our universities, but across the board and in the international context.

says Donatella Sciuto, Vice-Rector of the Politecnico di Milano.

The importance of building networks such as ENHANCE, and adhering to common causes, improves our ability to influence decision-makers.

Together with six other technical universities of excellence at European level, the Politecnico di Milano founded the ENHANCE Alliance in 2020 with the goal of developing the project of a common European campus, free of physical, administrative or educational barriers, where students, professors and staff can move freely within the European Education Area.

The report has three main goals. First and foremost, to encourage and support male and female students and young researchers who have fewer opportunities to undertake and successfully complete a STEM Laurea, as well as to participate in mobility projects. The second objective is to provide under-represented and disadvantaged groups with empowerment tools. Finally, the Alliance will develop training resources related to Gender Diversity and Equality for use in higher education institutions, and will promote awareness of these issues not only in universities, but also in a broader social sphere.

DATA FROM THE REPORT
The data presented in this report takes into account the various levels of academic careers, linking to the report “She Figures 2021”, the most important study carried out by the European Union, which analyses equality in the various academic levels (diagram: level A, the highest, which corresponds to full professor; level D, the lowest, which corresponds to doctorate/PhD).

“Despite the fact that the female population is under-represented in many of the work carried out at our universities, ENHANCE initiatives have achieved noteworthy gender equality, with 54% male participation and 46% female participation», explains Melih Özkardes, who coordinates the Diversity and Gender Equality working group within ENHANCE. And he adds:

Awareness of diversity and gender equality in a group increases the likelihood of developing innovative ideas, and enables people to work in a climate of enhanced well-being.

ENHANCE’s Secretary General, Naveed Syed, says the seven universities in the Alliance share a common view, that diversity and gender equality in the student body, professors and staff are essential to ensuring excellent education.

This vision challenges stereotypical preconceptions, stimulates critical thinking and helps our students and staff to develop an awareness of diversity and embrace a spirit of conscious citizenship in an ever more complex and multicultural world.

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