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INSPIRE Conference
October 5th 2023 | Budapest, Hungary

Inclusive Gender Equality in Research & Innovation: Creating Knowledge for Systemic and Sustainable Structural Change

Thursday, October 5th, 2023, 9.00 - 17.30 CET      
Budapest, Hungary

Registration before the 22nd of September

  • Do you want to know how to develop an inclusive gender equality plan in research organizations and higher education institutions?
  • Do you want to form part of an INSPIRE supported Community of Practice formed by different research organizations working together for institutional change?
    • Starting GEP work
    • Sustaining Change
    • Taking an intersectional approach
    • Creating Inclusive Gendered Innovations

We invite gender equality practitioners, researchers, experts in innovation and intersectionality and policymakers to join us for INSPIRE’s conference on Thursday, October 5th, 2023! We are organising an in person event hosted in Budapest, Hungary.

The theme of the conference is: “Inclusive Gender Equality in Research & Innovation: Creating Knowledge for Systemic and Sustainable Structural Change”.


Reserve your free ticket here

Background information

Since the publication of the ETAN report in 2000 by the European Commission, much research has been devoted to understanding the reasons for and the consequences of the underrepresentation of women in research and innovation. From 2012 onwards, enacting institutional change through gender equality plans has been the preferred strategy to tackle gender inequalities in research careers, decision-making (boards and leadership positions) as well as integrating the gender dimension in research content and teaching – at least in the research sector. Dedicated funding has been provided to over 200 research performing and research funding organisations through over 30 projects of consortia with on average 6 or 7 organisations working together with an overall budget of over EU 72 million. A great deal of knowledge has been generated about these structural change processes, now the subject of numerous academic articles, books and reports whilst gender experts and practitioners have developed institutional change and gender based competences. With Horizon Europe, the European Commission has put in place mechanisms to drive forward this momentum for institutional change by requiring that organisations in receipt of research funding have a Gender Equality Plan in place, project proposals must also examine if and how biological and/or socio cultural gender dimensions may influence the results and outcomes.

In growing recognition of the multiple inequalities in R&I organisations in Europe, Gender Equality Plans have become “Inclusive” Gender Equality Plans and the European Commission is funding consortia to implement these plans. There is, however, very little consensus on what an “inclusive gender equality” plan actually is, and what ‘inclusion’ means in this context. Inclusion can be understood as a participatory process enacted throughout the design, implementation and evaluation of a GEP. This process aims to involve different stakeholders, including under-represented groups- throughout the GEP, audit, design, decision-making and implementation processes. This should be complemented by an intersectional approach which recognises the need to go beyond gender, and examines how gender intersects with other axes of privileges and disadvantages, i.e. race/ ethnicity, religion, gender identity and sexual orientation, socio-economic background and class, and dis/ability, health and chronic illness. Whilst there is a general consensus that historically marginalised groups should be involved in the production of knowledge, if science is to be excellent and innovations socially relevant– how to achieve this is very much up for debate.

The focus of our event

The INSPIRE conference, which will take place in Budapest on the 5th of October, aims to reach out to those experts, practitioners and researchers responsible for developing gender equality plans, particularly for those grappling with the shift to more inclusive, intersectional GEPs. Our Knowledge & Support hubs, Sustaining Change, Widening Participation, Intersectionality and Innovation will present their cutting edge work as well as start a dialogue with potential communities of practice that will be provide practical support through INSPIRE.

Key questions include:

  • How can we build on the knowledge and expertise developed in Europe for institutional change towards a greater gender equality and include other axes of (in) equalities?
  • How to involve a wide range of stakeholders including historically marginalised groups in an inclusive GEP participatory process, from audit, to design, implementation and evaluation?
  • How can intersectionality as a theoretical and methodological body of work be operationalised to aid the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of inclusive GEPs?
  • How can we create widespread awareness as well as develop the relevant competences needed for more inclusive gendered innovations and research content, in terms of research questions, methods, outcomes, transfer?


Take a look at the programme here.


anne pepin ec
Anne Pépin
Senior Policy Officer

European Commission
dounia bourabain hasselt
Dounia Bourabain
Dr. Sociology

Hasselt University
udy archibong
Udy Archibong

Bradford University
Janice Bailey FRQNT
Janice Bailey
Scientific Director

Fonds de Recherche du Québec Nature et technologies
Mateja Medlobi
Mateja Medlobi
Policy Advisor

European Parliament
Heidi Holt Zachariassen
Heidi Holt Zachariassen
Senior Adviser

Committee for Gender Balance and Diversity in Research (KIF), Universities of Norway