Female Empowerment in Science and Technology Academia - FESTA

  Two female students studying at a table Copyright: © Peter Winandy

The EU project known as FESTA focused on strengthening women in science and technology, and on creating more equitable colleges and universities. As part of FESTA, in other words through exchanges with international universities and research organizations, concrete organizational development measures were designed and implemented at RWTH Aachen. In particular, more equal-opportunity framework conditions should encourage female scientists to remain at their respective higher-education institutions and to pursue a career in science.

A Wide Range of Measures

Workshops on identifying excellence in the work environment and on evaluating scientific work; group coaching for dissertation advisors; and presentations on equality indicators were directly aimed at the relevant actors, who thus became part of the higher-education evolution. An annual gender check recorded data about significant career factors, and formed the basis for deriving further target-oriented equal-opportunity activities. The members of appointment committees were supported in their concrete practice by a guideline on gender-equitable appointment procedures. FESTA particularly emphasized the evaluation of pilot measures.

Project Length and Project Partners

FESTA ran from 2012 to 2017, and was supported by the 7th Research Framework Program of the European Commission. It was coordinated by Uppsala University in Sweden. In addition to RWTH Aachen, the project partners were South-West University “Neofit Rilski” in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria; Syddansk University in Odense, Denmark; Istanbul Technical University in Turkey; University of Limerick in Ireland; and the Bruno Kessler Foundation in Trento, Italy.

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