Wageningen University & Research: Gender+ SMART Awards given to group efforts to foster a safe and respectful WUR culture

Two inspiring groups at Wageningen University & Research (WUR) were awarded with the new Gender+ SMART Award for their contribution to a safe and respectful WUR culture. On 24 February 2022, Lieke van der Zouwen and Jara Bakx of the working group ‘Gender and Fieldwork’ received the first Gender+ SMART plaquette from Rector Magnificus Arthur Mol and Gender-SMART project leader Margreet van der Burg. Due to Covid-19, the plaquette for the diversity group of the Centre for Sustainable Governance (WCSG) will be handed over another time soon. The ceremony was combined with the awarding of two Storm-van der Chijs Stipends after the workshop ‘Advancing Gender+ Talent’.

The new Gender+ SMART Awards are established to award and give attention to good practices of creating a more safe and respectful culture of collaboration and fostering a gender+ diverse and inclusive working and/or learning place at WUR. The awards show appreciation to teams that jointly work in this direction and highlight their initiatives to stimulate discussion and mutual learning among teams and groups to strengthen their efforts to contribute.

Gender and Fieldwork
The working group ‘Gender and Fieldwork’ is a student initiative started by International Development Studies’ (MID) students Jara Bakx and Laura Langbeen (now graduated) and facilitated by study adviser Lieke van der Zouwen. They collected fieldwork experiences among (women) students and, together with MID lecturers from different chair groups, proposed action points for staff to pursue. The working group is awarded for this good practice which other study programmes can exchange about and learn from, in order to reduce the struggles that women experience during their fieldwork assignments. For more details you can look at the short presentation and contact Lieke van der Zouwen.

WCSG diversity initiative
The WCSG diversity initiative held a survey and several focus group discussions on anti-discrimination, inclusion and diversity through an incubator grant. Marieke Meesters, one of the initiators of the group, tells that the aim was to “connect across all four WCSG groups (FNP, ENP, PAP and LAW) to produce a shared understanding of why and how to foster genuinely inclusive social, research and teaching communities in sustainability governance”. This initiative is considered an important contribution towards a safe and respectful culture at WUR, especially in its cluster-wide actions other groups can copy or learn from. For more details you can look at the short presentation and contact Marieke Meesters or Sascha Pimentel. The final report will be presented shortly.

The awarding was combined with the Storm-van der Chijs Stipends Awarding at the end of the workshop ‘Advancing Gender+ Talent: Finding Answers and Recommendations Together’ that was held online.

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