The UCLouvain intends to be an inclusive work and study place. The gender equality represents a principle that the UCLouvain is committed to promote with the university through an ambitions institutional policy.
Since two decades, the UCLouvain is fully engaged in the promotion of equality. Such an commitment, explicitly stated in 2015 with the adoption of the 1st Gender Equality Plan (GEP) (2015-2022) had, ahead of time, met the requirements of the European Commission. With its 2nd GEP (2022-2025), under construction, the UCLouvain intends to reiterate, in an ambitious yet realistic way, its true commitment in favour of gender equality. This forthcoming Gender equality plan ensures the continuity with the previous one and outlines the actions to be developped in the next 3 years (2022-2025). Some of these actions have been included in HRS4R (2020-2026), while other ones were added, witnessing the UCLouvain will to follow its GEP in order to reach gender equality. A particular attention is paid to the struggle against the discriminations, the sexism and all forms of sexual and/or gender-based violence.
In accordance with the integrated approach of equality, diversity and inclusion developed by the institution, this plan is also part of the Horizon 600 priorities, the strategic plan 2021-2025 of the UCLouvain.
The UCLouvain meets the mandatory requirements of the European Commission
1. Publication and institutional commitment
The Gender plan of the University of Louvain is published in French and in English on its portal.
2. Dedicated resources and available expertise
To ensure coherence and sustainability, the UCLouvain dedicates the following resources and expertise to the implementation of its gender policy and action plan:
2.1. The vice-rector in charge of the human resource policy
In 2009, an amendment to the University statutes has established, among other things, the function of the Vice-recotr in charge of the human resource policy. The establishment of this mandate echoed the institutional will to develop the transversal career management through the integrated human resource policy. Questions related to gender and diversity fully fit into the mandate of the Vice-rector in charge of the human resource policy.
2.2. Advisor to the Rector for the human resource policy
In September 2019, the Rector appointed an Advisor for the human resource policy. Under the responsibility of the Vice-rector for the human resource policy, this Advisor is in charge of following the development, the evolution and the implementation of the tools and practices for the university human resource management in regard to the three personnel categories (academic staff (PAC), scientific staff (PS) and administrative and technical staff (PAT). In this quality, the Advisor contributes to the development and the operationalisation of the Gender action plan training component.
2.3. Gender contact person
In April 2013, on the request of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation Government and under the convention to appoint a “Gender contact person” (PCG) at each French-speaking higher education institution, the UCLouvain authorities appointed a Gender contact person in charge of supporting the implementation of the institutional gender equality policy.
2.4. The Project Officer Gender and Diversity
In the frame of the strategic plan Horizon 600, the UCLouvain decided to strengthen its human resources dedicated to the implementation of the gender policy. In 2020, a new project officer gender and diversity was appointed.
2.5. The Officer addresses the harassment and gender-based and sexual violence.
In the frame of the strategy plan Horizon 600, UCLouvain took the decision to reinforce human resources dedicated to address all forms of gender-based and sexual violence, including the harassment. An advisory project officer was appointed in 2021.
2.6. UCLouvain representatives to the Committe Women & Science and to the Gender Commission (COGES) of the Academy for Research and Higher Educaiton (ARES).
In March 2016, the Parliament of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation has approved the decree (Decree establishing the Committee Women & Sciences of March the 10th 2016 - http://www.gallilex.cfwb.be/document/pdf/42601_000.pdf) establishing the Committee Women & Sciences as an advisory body in charge of providing the Government with advice and recommendations on gender issues in academic and scientific careers. This Committee brings together the representatives of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation universities, the Fund for Scientific Research (F.R.S.-FNRS), the Academy for Research and Higher Educaiton (ARES), the Wallonia-Brussels Federation administration and the representatives of the ministers in charge of these matters. The UCLouvain authorities appoint two representatives for this Committee.
The « Commission Gender in Higher Educaiton” (CoGES), mentioned in the article 40, paragraph 1, 13° of the Decree, is assigned to deal with gender in higher education and to support the higher education institutions in addressing the gender-based discriminations. Its missions have been approved by the ARES Board on May the 25th 2021 :
- to provide advice and recommendations on gender-related questions in the field of higher education, upon the request from the Government, ARES or the Commission members
- to support the higher education institutions in the gender-related awareness-rising, including training of the higher education staff and management.
- to support the higher education institutions in addressing gender-based discriminations and sexual and sexist violence.
- to promote a balanced gender representation in the decision-making bodies and among all staff categories in general
- to enhance the attraction capacity of the fields encountering the gender-based segregation
- to promote the integration of the gender dimension in higher education curricula, trainings and research.
- to raise awareness to the gender bias in the selection and promotion process of all higher education institutions staff categories
- to promote a work-life harmony in higher education and to recommend the concrete steps towards its achievement
- to encourage the information and practices exchange between the higher education institutions, the Committee Women & Sciences, the administration, the ministers competent for higher education, research and women’s rights as well as the relevant bodies at the European level
Universities appoint 6 full or alternate members to serve this Commission. The UCLouvain ensures its representation in this commission in conjunction with other academic institutions.
2.7. Research Group on gender studies (GREG)
GREG aims at making visible various on-going research projects that include a gender dimension and at bringing together UCLouvain researchers. It also provides a workspace for researchers interested in tackling their research subjects in the interdisciplinary perspective.
2.8. Equality Group
The UCLouvain board has approved the creation of the Equality Group at its meeting held on February the 22nd 2016. Members of the academic, scientific, administrative and technical staff and the representatives of the union delegations are equally represented within the Equality Group. This Group offers a platform for reflection on gender equality within the institution and for the gender equality challenges awareness-rising. In particular, this Group is treating the issues related to the work-life balance.
2.9. The network UC-Elles
The network UC-Elles brings together the members of UCLouvain scientific and academic community interested in the promotion and the teaching of gender studies as well as in the gender equality in the scientific careers.
2.10 Unit for analysis, strategy and prospective
The main mission of the Unit for analysis, strategy and prospective is to offer the decision-making assistance to the Authorities. It provides analytical studies, tools, models and simulations for various strategic issues. This Unit contributes to the analytical studies on gender issues and validates the data published on the university portal.
3. Data collection and up-date
Since 2014, UCLouvain published a biannual report containing data on the state of gender equality. These reports illustrate the institutional wish to make available and to regularly communicate the information on gender equality at UCLouvain to all its members.
The regularly up-dated publication of gendered indicators defined in the frame of the gender policy implementation offers to all the members of the university community the possibility to follow the achieved progress. Moreover, the drafting of this report offers to the institution the possibility to deepen its knowledge of this question in certain particular fields and to broaden the field of investigation through presenting, for instance, some new data, innovating initiatives, etc. These reports, regularly presented to the main instances and decision bodies, are available at the UCLouvain portail.
4. Awareness-rising and training of the members of the university community
UCLouvain regularly organises training and information sessions, as well as punctual awareness-rising events in regard to gender equality and diversity.
To name but a few :
- Training on gender-based violence for the persons in charge of the student life
- Training on inter/multicultural skills
- Training on inclusive writing and awareness-rising of its impact on equality