Global Perspective on how to be a good ally

Global Perspective on how to be a good ally

on September 22, 2020

At the “I, Scientist” conference held from September 16-19, 2020 on the importance of gender, career path and networking, Dr. Eric Jensen, Senior Research Fellow and Director of the ICoRSA Policy Research Unit, presented the global perspectives on how to be a good ally in the context of gender equality and ethnic diversity. These are the results of our research conducted by International Consortium of Research Staff Associations (ICoRSA) within the RRING Project.

The survey included 2198 responses with a completion rate of 70% or more. Five RRING World Regions were included in the analysis (following UNESCO regions of the world): European and North American States; Latin-American and Caribbean States; Asian and Pacific States; African States; Arab States.

As a part of the study, the research included questions on Gender Equality and Ethnic Minorities Equality.

Gender equality is linked to sustainable development and is vital to the realization of human rights for all. The overall objective of gender equality is a society in which women and men enjoy the same opportunities, rights, and obligations in all spheres of life. The specific context of the survey is related to gender equality in research and innovation work.

Dr. Jensen emphasised why is it important to include ethnic minorities in the research and innovation work while introducing the audience with, how different people from around the world think about how to be a good ally, and the role of gender and racial equality in their respected workplace.

 


Global Survey on the importance of Gender and Ethnic Equality


Gender Equality and Ethnic Minorities

  • There were a lot of responses around the world on numerous aspects of social responsibility in science and innovation.
  • 2198 Responses with a completion rate of 70% or more.
  • 539 responses with a completion rate of less than 70%
  • The average completion rate of the survey was 97%


First View:
Quantitative Results Gender Equality

It is important to promote gender equality in my research & innovation work.

There was a strong agreement all around the world concerning this statement.

  • Latin America has had the highest level of agreement.
  • Latin America was leading slightly with 62% strongly agreeing.
  • More neutral views in Europe and North America (15%).

“It is important to include ethnic minorities in my research & innovation work”

There was widespread agreement with this statement. The overall sentiment was leaning heavily on the agreement.

  • Latin America and the Caribbean slightly with 42% strongly agreeing.
  • Comparatively high percentages indicating a neutral view (13%-22%)
The main focus of the presentation was the open-ended responses about specific steps

The data was analysed in a specific approach called Content Analysis – a method for analysing open-ended dana on the steps taken by respondents to address the different dimensions of social responsibility.

All open-ended responses were analyzed by two independent coders (analysts) to ensure reliability.


Content Analysis

The content analysis includes the following steps:

  1. A coding guide for each open-ended question, providing analysts with detailed descriptions on how to categorize certain responses
  2. Coder briefings as introductions to the analyses
  3. Test-coding and de-briefings to tackle issues before proceeding with a final coding
  4. Calculating the inter-coder reliability as a measure of agreement between the analysts for each open-ended question.

Gender Equality

Follow-up question:

„Please list the steps you have taken to promote gender equality in your research and innovation work.“

Gender Equality Categories

GE1  -The first 18 percent were categorised as nonspecific, vague, platitude or virtue signalling (18% of participants)
Responses suggesting they promote or support gender equality without mentioning any practical steps.

  • Example: „Working on promoting gender in my work.“

These suggest promote or support gender equality but do not provide specific steps.
Not adding any specificity – a vague response.
a decent chunk of people gave this response.

GE2  – Gender equality in R&I, within an academic environment (81% of participants)

Responses indicating they take practical steps to promote gender equality in R&I activities.

This category has two subcategories:

Specific steps to enhance gender equality in R&I work

GE2.1.1 Gender equality in R&I, within an academic environment (general)
(30% of participants)

Responses about promoting gender equality without providing specific steps.

30 percent identified general things that they did.

  • Example: „My research topic has a gender element.“

GE2.1.2Gender Equality in R&I, within an academic environment (specific) (51% of participants)
These responses were indicating specific steps taken to ensure gender equality.

  • Example: “I have sought to promote gender equality in hiring office admin staff encouraging and promoting fellow women colleagues work in front of the higher management.”

Gender Equality Overview of steps taken

  • Other steps are taken: 27%
  • Fostering gender equality in the workforce: 24%
  • Gender as a substantive dimension in R&I work: 13%
  • Promoting/mentorship of female researchers: 11%
  • Fostering gender equality in staff recruitment: 8%
  • Promoting gender equality through delivering or attending training: 8%
  • Promoting women in R&I decision-making/senior positions: 6%
  • Integrating gender equality in research participant selection: 5%
  • Compliance with rules / regulations: 3%
  • Participation in or engagement with equality committees: 3%
  • Supporting female researchers publications: 2%

Gender Equality Categories

GE2.2.1 Supporting female researches publications, co-authorship, academic citations (2% of participants)
For example collaboration with female research partners and publication of a shared report.

  • Example:” Balance between women’s and men’s visibility in publication.”

GE2.2.2Integrating gender equality in research participant selection (5% of participants)
Selection processes and mechanisms such as representative samples.

  • Example: “Equal selection of the research participants by gender.”

GE2.2.3Fostering gender equality in R&I teams (24% of participants)
Ensuring parity between men and women, and diverse gender representation in research teams.

  • Example: “I make sure my research team represents women and men equally.”

GE2.2.4Integrating gender as a substantive dimension/focus of R&I content/practice (13% of participants)
R&I focuses on addressing gender equality issues, e.g. pay gap.

  • Example: “My current research is focusing on discrimination against women working in the technology industry.”

GE2.2.5Promoting/mentorship of female researchers (11% of participants)

  • Example: “I encouraged a female colleague to undertake a Ph.D., I will be on her supervisory panel in a mentoring role.”

GE2.2.6Promoting women in R&I decision-making roles and senior positions
(6% of participants) was a less prevalent step mentioned

  • Example: “Drafted an unprecedented number of women to selection panels of scientific grand applications

GE2.2.7Ensuring gender equality in process of recruitment and selection of R&I staff
(8% of participants) another step people took.
Efforts making recruitment in R&I contexts fairer for, or less discriminatory against women.

  • Example: “When hiring ensure that both men and women have equal opportunity.”

GE2.2.8 Promoting gender equality through delivering or attending training (8% of participants)

  • Example: “Promote gender equality in a public lecture.”

GE2.2.9Participation in or engagement with equality committees (3% of participants)

  • Example: “Meet and discuss issues with the Equality committee.”

GE2.2.10Compliance with rules, regulations, and legal obligations (3% of participants)

  • Example: “Signed up to provisions of my university and EU policies on gender balance and equality.”

GE2.2.11Other gender equality promotion step is taken (27% of participants)
Steps that do not belong to any of the above categories.

  • Example: “We use gender-neutral language in our reports and in general.”

GE3 Unclear/Uncertain (2% of participants)


Ethnic Equality

Follow-up question:

“please list the steps you have taken to include ethnic minorities in your research and innovation work.”

EM1Non-specific, vague, platitude or virtue signaling (18% of participants)
Responses suggesting they promote or support racial/ethnic equality without mentioning any practical steps.

  • Example: “Racial/ethnic equality is my entire focus.”

EM2 Racial/ethnic equality in R&I and the academic environment is the largest category (78% of participants)
Responses indicating they take to promote or support racial/ethnic equality in R&I activities.

This category has two subcategories:

Specific steps to enhance gender equality in R&I work

EM2.1.1Racial/ethnic equality within the R&I environment (general) (44% of participants)
Responses about promoting racial/ethnic equality without providing specific steps.

  • Example: “I involved various ethnic minorities in a new European project.”

EM2.1.2Racial/ethnic equality within the R&I environment (specific) (34% of participants)
Responses indicating specific steps taken to ensure gender equality.

  • Example: “Identify gaps areas where ethnic minorities are underrepresented in the organization, research and learn best practices on racial/ethnic equality.”

Distribution of different categories:

  • Integrating ethnicity as a substantive dimension of R&I work: 18%
  • Integrating ethnic equality in research participant selection: 16%
  • Fostering ethnic equality in the workforce: 15%
  • Other steps are taken: 15%
  • Promoting / mentorships of ethnic minorities: 10%
  • Ensuring ethnic equality in staff recruitment: 9%
  • Promoting ethnic equality through delivering/attending training: 3%
  • Supporting ethnic minorities’ publications, co-authorships, citations: 2%
  • Compliance with rules/regulations: 2%
  • Promoting ethnic minorities in decision-making: 1%
  • Participation in or engagement with relevant equality committees: 1%

EM2.2.1Supporting racial/ethnic minority researchers publications,
                  co-authorships, academic citations (2% of participants)
For example, collaborating with researchers from ethnic minority groups and publication of a shared report.

  • Example: “I encouraged ethnic minority researchers to co-author two of my papers.”

EM2.2.2Integrating racial /ethnic equality in research participant selection (16% of participants).
Selection processes and mechanisms as representative samples.

  • Example: “Ensuring the representation of minority research participants in the community.”

EM2.2.3Fostering racial/ethnic equality in R&I teams (15% of participants)
Ensuring the representation of ethnic minorities in research teams, and diverse racial representation in collaborations.

  • Example: “I make sure that races/ethnicities are appropriately represented in my working groups.”

EM2.2.4Integrating race/ethnicity as a substantive dimension/focus of R&I content/practice (18% of participants)
Addressing race/ethnicity issues in research, e.g. xenophobia

  • Example: “Research I am working on focuses on integrating indigenous people’s needs and concerns in forest fire and haze management strategies.”

EM2.2.5Promotion/mentorship of ethnic minority researches/innovators
(10% of participants)

  • Example: “Support ethnic minority researches to secure funding and industry linkages.”

EM2.2.6Promoting ethnic minorities in R&I decision – making roles and senior positions (1% of participants)

  • Example: “We promote staff according to certain diversity quotas, which include ethnic minorities.”

EM2.2.7Ensuring racial/ethnic equality in process of recruitment and selection of R&I staff (9% of participants)
Efforts making recruitment in R&I context fairer for, or less discriminatory against ethnic minorities.

  • Example: “I intentionally hire people from different ethnic groups in all roles in my research center.”

EM2.2.8Promoting racial/ethnic equality through delivering or attending training (3% of participants)

  • Example: “I joined a course on diversity in research and innovation.”

EM2.2.9Participation in or engagement with equality committees (1% of participants)

  • Example: “Participation in institutional committees tasked with promoting racial/ethnic equality/inclusivity.”

EM2.2.10Compliance with rules, regulations, and legal obligations (2% of participants)

  • Example: “My department follows the rules, regulations, and legal obligations (2% of participants)
  • Example: “My department follows the institution’s rules on ethnic diversity when hiring new staff.”

EM2.2.11Other racial/ethnic equality promotion step taken (15% participants)
This category was usually used for cases that had sufficient information to be coded for EM2 but insufficient information to code more precisely.

EM3 – Downplaying, minimizing, and excusing ethnic diversity issues in R&I (6% of participants)
Responses downplaying the necessity to address ethnic issues, or attributing a lower priority to them.

  • Example: “I agree it’s important but not at all costs.”
So these are the steps that people are taking around the world in the context of trying to enhance gender equality and the integration of ethnic minorities into Research and Integration work.

This presentation was covered in the conference “I, Scientist”: https://year2020.iscientist.de

Professor Eric A. Jensen has a global reputation in social research and impact evaluation of public and stakeholder engagement with science. Jensen is currently Senior Research Fellow at ICoRSA (International Consortium of Research Staff Associations), working on the RRING (rring.eu) and GRRIP (grrip.eu) projects about responsible research and innovation.

Dr. Jensen’s track record includes over 100 publications- including peer-reviewed journal articles in Nature, Conservation Biology, Public Understanding of Science, and books and book chapters published by Cambridge University Press and Oxford University Press, as well as high profile government-commissioned reports- and dozens of major projects on science communication, public engagement and responsible research and innovation. He has worked as an evaluation trainer, advisor and consultant for many government departments, agencies and public engagement institutions globally, such as Science Foundation Ireland, Science Gallery Dublin, the European Space Agency, University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, CERN, Arts Council England, the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement, Association of Science & Technology Centers and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Jensen’s PhD is in sociology from the University of Cambridge. His expertise spans themes relating to evidence-based science communication, public engagement, research impact and responsible research and innovation policies and practices.

For access to some of Dr Jensen’s publications see:
https://warwick.academia.edu/EricJensen
LinkedIn Profile

Dr. Eric Jensen
Senior Research Fellow and director of ICoRSA Policy Research Unit

ICoRSA, e.jensen@icorsa.org
rring.eu
grrip.eu
musica-project.eu