On January 12, the first meeting of the updated composition of the university working group on gender equality was held at the Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute. New opportunities in international projects and grant activity in the gender sphere were thematized. These were the possibilities that were opening up in connection with the initiative of Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, called "INCUBATING FREEDOM for Ukraine".
Serhii Sydorenko, Vice-Rector for International Relations, adviser to the rector of the Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute on gender equality, family and non-discrimination issues, drew the attention of the participants to the important aspects of Mariya Gabriel's report delivered at the international conference in Lublin. Its topic was directly related to gender equality in the territory of our country. After all, Ukrainian women, that is, those representatives of the fair sex who work at our university, will have great potential in the matter of restoring our state after the Victory.
The emphasis that M. Gabrielle made in her report is also related to studying at the Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute, because here female students also learn information and communication technologies (ICT). And the process of further involvement of women armed with knowledge in ICT in productive activities can create new opportunities for post-war economic growth and ensure better integration of women in the labor market.
Serhii Sydorenko emphasized that the authority of the Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute was significantly strengthening due to the intense activity of the university in the field of gender policy, not only of the rectorate and the International Collaboration Department (ICD), but also of some scientists, the student council, etc.
We will remind you that in August 2001, the Ukrainian Center for Gender Education was established. Research work with the aim of finding the optimal combination of the gender component and higher technical education, natural sciences and lifelong education is among the directions of its activity. Another component of the NGO is educational and methodological work, development of the gender component of the educational process.
As for the activities of the International Collaboration Department in this area, it calls for taking steps aimed at the implementation of international gender programmes and projects at the level of faculties, institutes, departments, and individual scientists in order to activate traditional ties that were developed in the past. As an example, Serhii Sydorenko gave a list of international scientific and practical conferences on the relevant topics, which were held on the basis of the Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute. Their titles were self-explanatory: "Gender component in the higher education structure", "Women in science and education: past, present and future", etc. They became traditional. In addition, cycles of lectures on gender topics "Gender culture formation", seminars "Gender realities and European perspectives" were given.
What awaits the members of the renewed working group today? Its co-chairs - Nataliia Seminska, Vice-Rector for Students Affairs, Anatolii Melnychenko, Vice-Rector for Educational Work, and Serhii Sydorenko, Vice-Rector for International Relations, - believe that the creative efforts of colleagues will be aimed at implementing the principles of gender equality in the university operation. In particular, it is planned to make an analysis of gender diversity in the university administration and at the level of institutes and faculties. It provides for the selection of data sources for the internal gender audit of the Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute, clarifying the form and regularity of reporting, as well as, if possible, supplementing the audit structure with data obtained using survey methods.
"It is time to conduct a pilot anti-discrimination examination of materials for applicants of 2023. This will ensure the implementation of gender equality principles at the initial stage of the communication with prospective university students, - Olena Andriivna Akimova, the deputy head of the working group and the dean of the Faculty of Sociology and Law, believes. Such actions will help strengthen the reputation of the Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute in the court of public opinion. Distinct efforts of the working group will be directed to the fund-raising (international grant funds, in particular, within the EU funding programme Horizon Europe) for the realization of a number of projects in the educational and scientific spheres of the Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute activities in matters of implementing the principles of gender equality. This means the development of gender-sensitive educational programmes, programmes aimed at strengthening girls’ managerial and leadership competencies, as well as programmes aimed at the reintegration of women - temporarily displaced persons - through educational tools in the field of ICT, etc."
In order to come in on the joint work with European universities, laboratories and innovative structures in projects in the relevant directions, our researchers should work hard. After all, there is a significant chance to receive an invitation to work as part of scientific and practical consortia that prepare and submit project applications to the organizers of competitions within European funding programmes. They have a preference for projects aimed at solving current gender problems in Europe (the list of competitions by thematic areas is updated on the Internet resources of the EU funding programme Horizon Europe). These projects are realized not by one university or organization, but by a consortium of such structures from various European countries. And project proposals must meet the conditions and criteria determined by the European Commission.
Where can the information about relevant competitions be found? How to place an advertisement for searching for partners through the "Funding and Tenders Opportunities" portal correctly? These questions were answered by Liudmyla Vlasiuk, the manager of the ICD. In particular, she emphasized that authors of project applications should remember that, first of all, the project should be interdisciplinary and have a significant socio-economic impact on society.
Be that as it may, the gender issues on which Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner, focused the attention of the international community at the conference in Lublin were and remain relevant: "Even in the EU, in the technology and ICT sectors, women remain largely underrepresented and continue to face obstacles, related to gender biases and stereotypes, she emphasized. According to the latest She Figures study, women make up less than a quarter of doctoral graduates in the field of ICT. In addition, women make up less than a third of working professionals in the field of ICT, natural sciences and engineering . They are less represented among innovators: only 11 out of 100 patent applications filed during 2015-2018 were filed by women..."
The European Innovation Council (EIC) has developed a targeted programme with a budget of 20 million euros for Ukraine aimed at the Ukrainian community working in the field of high technologies. It is designed to prepare at least 200 Ukrainian start-ups to apply to the EIS Accelerator programme and especially encourages applications from women-led companies and companies working on innovative solutions for the recovery of Ukraine.
Mariya Gabriel relies on the "New European Innovation Agenda'' published by her in July 2022. The document includes improved measures to collect data on the gender gap in innovation, a new scheme for women's entrepreneurship and leadership, an initiative to find high-tech talent and the Women2Invest programme, which will introduce recent STEM graduates to the world of venture capital.
"Sustainable post-war reconstruction will depend on attracting intellectual resources, retaining talents and expanding the opportunities of the Ukrainian labor force. Women and girls must occupy a central place in this process," Mariya Gabriel emphasized. And she assured that "the EU is determined to help through funding, scholarships, networking and consultations in order to develop their business initiatives and increase competitiveness at the global level."
If so, then Ukrainian women are given opportunities to improve their skills and ensure their active participation in the post-war reconstruction of Ukraine and the construction of a modern digital, inclusive and intellectually developed society in it. This directly concerns female bachelor students, master's students, and post graduate students of our university. Success in this matter is quite real.
Gender Equality at the Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute
The first meeting of the updated composition of the university working group on gender equality was held at the Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute.
Over the past three years, the number of female managers has increased significantly at the Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute.
At the meeting, they worked out a plan to implement the principles of gender equality in the university operation.