The STAGES Guidelines aim to contribute to the process of deriving new insights about the actual implementation process of gender equality-orientated projects in scientific institutions. The guidelines use the following three approaches.
1. The first approach involves integrating different strategies comprehensively aimed at inducing structural change processes. This includes implementing activities in three strategic areas: women-friendly environments, gender-aware science and women’s leadership in science.
2. The second approach concerns negotiating with internal stakeholders to enhance structural change processes. These negotiations are conducted at four levels (interpretive, symbolic, institutional and operational).
3. The third approach focuses on the dynamics of change. It entails the design of inclusive implementation teams and the identification of actual or potential transformational players to act as catalysts for change.
The guidelines are clear, well organised and easy to understand. Organisational requirements and time frames depend on context and participant numbers.
Part One contains basic information about five action plans and the institutions where they were implemented, which is particularly relevant in the framework of practiced-based, contextual guidelines.
Part Two outlines 20 recommendations from the six broad fields of action identified by the project's International Board of Scientific Advisors as essential elements of structural change processes. The fields of action are (1) collecting data and monitoring gender equality, (2) engaging leaders, (3) policymaking and institutionalisation, (4) networking and empowering women to take action, (5) integrating gender in education and research, (6) communication and visibility. Finally, most recommendations are broken down into specific lines of action (41) and all are exemplified by a selection of relevant practices tested by the partners (100 overall).