Situated in the heart of Paris, except the seven university hospitals located in the north of the town, Université Paris Diderot is the only multidisciplinary university in Paris to offer a wide range of degrees in the Humanities, Medicine and the Sciences.
With its 26.000 students and its 92 research units, Université Paris Diderot is a major in higher education and research where 2 000 researchers, 1 400 teaching and research staff, 1.000 administrative and technical staff are working.
Research at university is mainly based on the concept of « mixed research units », the university’s research lecturers ans researchers from large state organisations are working together. These organisations include the French National Centre for Scientific Research (Centre national de la recherche scientifique – CNRS), the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale – INSERM), the French Atomic Energy Commission (Commissariat à l’énergie atomique – CEA) and other mixed research units. There are 2.300 doctoral students affiliated to research units and 350 thesis are granted per year.
With 6 300 graduates each year, Université Paris Diderot offers courses, accedited by the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research. The choice of academic courses available at Université Paris Diderot covers four broad fields :
1. arts, literature and languages, 2. social sciences and humanities, 3. sciences and technology, 4. medicine and dentistry.
This comprehensive, diverse offer includes : 19 bachelor’s degrees, 7 vocational degrees, 28 master’s degrees, 100 specialities – research and vocational masters, comprehensive medicine and dentistry programmes with a complete range of specialities ans 170 other programmes (university diploma).
As early as 1985, Université Paris Diderot was one of the first French universities to establish gender studies research and teaching. In 2005, a financial support from the European Social Fund allowed to initiate some actions and, first of them, a study on women research lectures which disclosed actual gender inequality. Then, from 2007 to nowadays, campaigns promoting gender equality are permanent.
At Université Paris Diderot, women represent 39% of teaching and resarch staff, 48% of the assistant professors and 26% of the full professors. It is slightly better than the national figures: women represent 35.9% of teaching and reasearch staff. There are 41.9% of women assistant professors and no more than 23.9% as full professors.
As regards students, at the national level, women represent 60% of the students but they constitute only 48% of the doctoral students and 28.2% of the basic and applied sciences students. At Université Paris Diderot, women represent 61.6% of the students and 54% of the doctoral students but only 32% of the physics students.
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University Paris Diderot propose a large action plan because there already exists a unit in charge of
gender equality (le pole égalité femmes hommes).The plan includes 28 actions addressing , according
to their specific features , one or both of the more directly participating institutes (Physics and
Biology), but often also the whole university.
Task 1 – Actions promoting change in organisational cultures and behaviours
This task starts from the production of statistical analyses, to be collected each year, to assess the
respective situation of women and men among staff and students and to foster discussion in the central
administrative/decisional council on the data , the resistances to equality, the measures to be
undertaken. Different training courses will then be organised on equal opportunities and gender
diversity management . A network of referents for women/men equality will also be established in
each department of the University.
Task .2 – Actions promoting work-life balance
Under this task, a qualitative study based on interviews with staff will be carried out to identify
critical issues and promote internal discussion in the two participating organisations. A series of new
measures for work-life balance will therefore be promoted. A new rule will be established giving
priority to women in the award of a sabbatical within the first two years after a maternity leave.
Task 3 – Actions supporting early-stage career development
Biannual workshops for young and senior researchers to meet and discuss career path issues will
be convened. New rules will also be negotiated and established about turn-over in administrative
and teaching responsibilities, with all dept. directors and the central council .Moreover, an “open
university and science” day will be organised each year
Task 4 Actions challenging gender stereotypes in S&T and consequent career distortions
Under this task tests about stereotypes will be conducted. Their results disseminated for awareness-
raising purposes, and used in 1-day training sessions on gender stereotypes for first-year students .
Moreover, all internal documents will be using gender-unbiased language.
Task 5 – Actions aimed at gendering S&T contents and methods
This task will entail training on the gendered aspects of research in the Physics Dept./and Biology
Inst. The training will be based on the Toolkit and Training Packages of the EC, addressing PhD
students, researchers and assistant and full professors .In addition, one seminar/conference will
be organised each year with recognised researchers, both national and international, who have
successfully integrated gender in their research. Tests of “genderisation” of contents/methods will then
be conducted in both the Physics Dept. and the Biology Inst.
Task 6 – Actions promoting women’s leadership in the practice of research
Statistics on recruitment broken down by gender , as well as statistics on women’s publishing
activities will be collected each year. A rule will be established to have a minimum of 40% of the
under-represented gender in hiring commissions while the composition of hiring commission will be
Task 7 – Actions promoting women’s leadership in the management of research
Annual training on project writing and team management, including empowerment components, will
be delivered. Rules will be negotiated and established to include at least 40% of the under-represented
gender in most important decisional meetings and to include in all proposals for internal research
funding the number of women involved and their position
Task 8 – Actions promoting women’s leadership in scientific communication
This task will include actions aiming to have at 40% of the under-represented gender speakers at
events organized in promotion of research at the University . Finally, an international meeting will be
organised on gender studies and women’s situation in academic research.
Task 9 – Actions promoting women’s leadership in innovation
A “state of the art” of cooperation and collaboration projects of women with the social, political and
economic world will be published. In the Foundation of the University, an axis on “Equality and
Gender” will be included, allowing the targeting of funds from the enterprises to women’s projects and
funding of women’s doctoral theses.