WHIST – Women’s careers hitting the target: gender management in scientific and technological research



The Support Action “Women’s careers hitting the target: gender management in scientific and technological research” (WHIST) was funded by the European Commission - DG Research, within the context of the Seventh Framework Programme, under the Programme “Capacities”, and co-financed by IGRUE (the Italian General Inspectorate for Financial Relations with the European Union), Ministry for Economy and Treasury (Italy).


The project’s general purpose was strengthening the capacity and orientation of S&T research institution to promote and manage gender diversity in their midst, at all levels, with the awareness that making full use of both male and female human resources and scientific talent contributes to the advancement of European science.


The WHIST Project was conducted starting from the main outputs of the Coordination Action “Practising Gender Equality in Science” (PRAGES), also funded by the European Commission, which resulted in the publication of the Guidelines for Gender Equality Programmes in Science, aimed at supporting women’s participation in scientific and technological development. To many respects, therefore, WHIST can be understood as a continuation of PRAGES.


Under the WHIST Project, the designing and implementation of three experimentation activities on gender equality in science and technology were envisaged. The three experimentations were carried out in Germany, France and Denmark, respectively by:

·         the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft – Institute for Industrial Engineering (IAO) on implementing structural features aimed at continuously improving gender diversity management and disseminating information regarding gender and diversity at the Fraunhofer IAO intranet;

·         the European Space Agency (ESA) on supporting the creation of an institutional Committee promoting standards of behaviours related to the quality of working life for  women at ESA; the design and dissemination of corporate guidelines integrating the gender diversity dimension of behaviour at work; the design and implementation of a communication campaign on behaviour standards at ESA and an intranet on gender diversity;

·         the Danish Centre for Studies in Research and Research Policy of the University of Aarhus (AU) on supporting the implementation of gender equality activities and action plans in a number of faculties/departments at the University of Aarhus and the start of a mentoring programme for young female researchers in two faculties at the Aarhus University.


The main outcomes of the experimentation activities are contained in the Guidelines on gender diversity in science and technology, that have been presented in an international conference held in Brussels on November 2011.



Link to the web page of the project:


Download the ”Guidelines on Gender Diversity in S&T Organisations


Download the Whist Second Policy Brief


Download the contributions to the International Conference, held in Brussels on November 7th 2011 :

Veronica Bindi, CERN - European Organization for Nuclear Research

Marina Cacace, ASDO

Marcella Corsi, University La Sapienza of Rome and Free University of Brussels

Giovanna Declich, ASDO

Zineb Elomri, ESA – European Space Agency

Evanthia Kalpazidou Schmidt, Aarhus University

Gilles Laroche, Unit Ethics & Gender, DG Research and Innovation, European Commission

Michele Palma, Department for Equal Opportunities, Italian Presidency of the Council of Ministers

Minna Salminen, Uppsala University

Jurgen Wilke and Michaela Klemish, Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO