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Gender Equality and Diversity Committee


Gender is a cross-cutting issue and is mainstreamed in all European and national projects, ensuring a more integrated approach to research and innovation. The objectives of the Gender Equality and Diversity Committee are based on the strategy on gender equality of Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe:

  • Fostering gender balance in research teams, in order to close the gaps in the participation of women.

  • Ensuring gender balance in decision-making, in order to reach the target of 40% of the under-represented sex in panels and groups and of 50% in advisory groups.

  • Integrating the gender dimension in research and innovation (R&I) content, helps improve the scientific quality and societal relevance of the produced knowledge, technology and/or innovation.

The Gender Equality and Diversity Committee created within the Severo Ochoa project has the goal of recognizing and strengthening equal opportunities within the Institute.

It organizes workshops and activities to raise awareness, and has sponsored the creation of a mailbox that anyone studying or working at ICMAB can use to contact us (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), with the aim of making anyone feel safe and protected in front of physical or psychological situations of harassment that are gender related.

One of the main goals of the Gender Equality and Diversity Committee was to create a Gender Equality Plan for the Institute and to make gender-related resources accessible to all the staff.

Gender Dimension in Research

For the next Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, Horizon Europe, grant recipients will be required to incorporate sex and gender analyses into the design of research studies, unless it is specified by the Commission that sex or gender may not be relevant for the topic at stake. This is a significant achievement, which will strengthen research outcomes and help them becoming more inclusive, by also taking into account intersecting aspects like ethnicity, disability or sexual orientation.

To help researchers to better address sex and gender analysis, the Commission’s Gendered Innovations Expert Group has published 15 case studies in the fields of health, artificial intelligence, energy, transport, marine science, urban planning, waste management, agriculture, fair taxation and venture funding, as well as on the COVID-19 pandemic, as examples of good practice.

Bias in recruitment

In the hiring process, unconscious bias happens when you form an opinion about candidates based solely on first impressions. Or, when you prefer one candidate over another simply because the first one seems like someone you’d easily hang out with outside of work. Even in the early hiring stages, a candidate’s resume picture, their name, or their hometown could influence your opinion more than you think. In short, unconscious bias influences your decision – whether positively or negatively – using criteria irrelevant to the job.

Understanding Unconscious Bias

This animation, by the Royal Society, introduces the key concepts of unconscious bias. It forms part of the Royal Society’s efforts to ensure that all those who serve on Royal Society selection and appointment panels are aware of differences in how candidates may present themselves, how to recognise bias in yourself and others, how to recognise inappropriate advocacy or unreasoned judgement. You can find out more about unconscious bias and download a briefing which includes current academic research at

SOMM Alliance


On 29 October 2019, representatives of the SOMMa Centres discussed at CNIO (Spanish National Cancer Research Center) in Madrid, the network's best practices in gender equality, to implement a change of culture that allows gender equality to be integrated into strategic science decisions. From the ICMAB, Riccardo Rurali, ICMAB Deputy Director and Coordinator of the Gender Equality Committe at the ICMAB, attended the event.

Invited speaker Cheryl Smythe, gender equality expert from the Babraham Institute, talked about the gender policies implemented by her centre to obtain the Athena SWAN Charter, a UK recognition to best practices for gender equality, and a prospective model for similar future European initiatives. You can download her presentation here. 

You can see the whole event in this video: 

BIAS in publishing

"Biases exist at each step of the publishing profile. Many of these appear minor in isolation, yet their combined effect puts women at a significant disadvantage"

"Only by recognising the biases introduced at decision points by authors, reviewers, editors and publishers, can we act to reduce them"


Books and Handbooks

ERC Sex and Gender Dimension in Frontier Research

Gender Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee


Campus de la UAB
08193 Bellaterra
Barcelona, Spain


By  phone: 
+34 935 801 853

By email:
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