Tool Guideline

Tailor-made guides for gender-sensitive communication in research and academia

Uploaded by RRI Tools on 03 February 2022
Owned by Paola Carboni . Last modified on 07 February 2022

These Tailor-made guides for gender-sensitive communication in research and academia consider the main factors influencing the development of an academic institution’s communication strategy through the lenses of gender-sensitivity, with three main aims:
  • Raising awareness on the pervasive role of communication and language in academia and its contribution to institutional change towards gender equality;
  • Introducing a deeper awareness of the gender biases and stereotypes that affect daily communication;
  • Providing advice and guidance in adopting a gender-sensitive approach in the communication strategies and practices of an academic institution.

These Guidelines have been primarily tailored for everyone who has a communication responsibilities in RPOs and RFOs, as well as for those who are involved on a daily basis in communication activities within universities and research institutions.

The guidelines are designed to be used by everyone in academia: from administrative or technical staff to researchers; from student communities to media specialists. They identify specific channels and communication touchpoints, producing and disseminating institutional messages that require the adoption of a gender-sensitive approach. The guidelines are also designed taking into consideration the professionals working in research funding organisations, since tools, communication practices and general contexts are mainly shared by research performing and funding organisations.

Part A of the guidelines begins with the mapping and critical analysis of available resources dealing with gender-sensitive communication and gender communication in RPOs and RFOs, produced and disseminated by EU-funded projects, international organisations and European academic institutions. It goes on to describe the characteristics of communication in research and academia, highlighting specific features and levels, and detailing interrelations among the main publics that these institutions need to consider when targeting communication activities through dedicated offices (e.g., communication and media relations offices) or in their unfolding in formal and informal contexts. Moreover, it will introduce the key concepts, challenges and resistances referred to in the current debate about gender equality in research. They all have an important role in how communication is being developed and performed in academia, research centres, and research funding organisations.

Part B draws on insights gained through recent EU-funded initiatives. This part will define
what is meant by “gender-sensitive communication” in an academic and organisational context. It will cover five interrelated communication areas that might contribute towards (or benefit from) a gender-sensitive approach: gender-sensitive language; visual and graphic communication, events planning and organisation, digital communication; media relations. For each area, the document provides in-context examples taken from the daily communication activities of academia and research institutions.


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