Commissione Europea 7th Framework Programme Presidenza Del Consiglio Dei Ministri


The University of Pisa is a public institution boasting twenty departments, with high level research centres in the sectors of agriculture, astrophysics, computer science, engineering, medicine and veterinary medicine. Furthermore the University has close relations with the Pisan Institutes of the National Board of Research, with many cultural institutions of national and international importance, and with industry, especially that of information technology, which went through a phase of rapid expansion in Pisa during the nineteen sixties and seventies.

The University of Pisa was officially established in 1343, although a number of scholars claim its origin dates back to the 11th century, and is one of the oldest and largest Italian universities, with 52.000 enrolled students and 1.552 professors (20 Departments; 60 undergraduate programmes; 71 graduate programmes; 19 doctoral programmes; 68 third cycle specialisation programmes: more than hundred special shorter programmes).

The percentage of women is 52% among undergraduate students, 51% of graduate students, 42,8% of researchers, 33% of associate professors, and 15% of full professors, in line with the national averages.

With the implementation of the national law N.240 approved in 2010, UNIPI has abolished the eleven existing Faculties to replace them with twenty new Departments (hereinafter Departments). With the abolition of the Faculties UNIPI organisation has lost an organizational level that brings together the Departments of the same scientific area. This organizational change led a demotion of women at the top of academic hierarchy: before the Reform, women President of Faculty was the 26%, now women are the 15% of the Directors of Departments.

UNIPI has a strong tradition in the field of equal opportunities promotion, also thanks to the presence of a very active Equal Opportunities Committee, established in 2005 and promoter of many important initiatives and reforms, often positively collaborating with the Research group on Gender and Equal Opportunities, a thematic research group located in the Department of Political Science.

With his active tradition on gender issues notwithstanding, UNIPI is currently going through a very delicate period, since the Equal Opportunities Committee will be dissolved during the two thousand and thirteen and replaced with a new body with more nuanced and generic competences in the field of gender equality, in accordance with the national law n.183/2010 , something which jeopardises the full support to ongoing initiatives, let alone the possibility of adding new ones. Besides, many problems are left unresolved, such as the low figures of women in scientific and managerial top positions, but also the confining of the issue of the gendered approach in science to social and human sciences, with the difficulty of involving natural sciences and engineering Depts.

Contact details of the members of the TRIGGER staff.

Rita Biancheri +39 0502215343

Silvia Cervia +39 0502215343

Grazia Ricci +39 0502211212

Official website:

Action Plan

With TRIGGER we aim to promote an integrated set of actions targeting at implementing structural

changes conducive of gender equality and equal opportunities in six Science and Technology Departments

(in medical area and engineering), with many actions targeting the whole university. The plan will be

characterised by a strong focus on both permanent innovative institutional arrangements, and content-
oriented initiatives, aimed at practically demonstrating the usefulness of taking into account gender

priorities, points of view and peculiarities within the research and innovation processes. Work-life balance

initiatives will be addressed to build on and improve existing services. A sustainability plan will also be

issued to support the full integration of the actions described in the coming slides in the ordinary life of the


The action plan is divided into 6 tasks and in 14 principals actions

1. The first task is devoted to Actions promoting change in organisational cultures and behaviours.

The Delegate of the Rector in Gender Studies & Equal Opportunities (first action of this task) is

institutionalised as one of the first actions, implemented by the TRIGGER project. With the second

action of this task we intend to support the National Conference of Italian University of Equality Bodies

to promote gender aspects of research and its ability to promote gendering Science and Technology

contents and methods.

2. Actions in the second task aim at improving and making existing services permanent, while also

encouraging the sharing of care responsibilities between men and women (whole university). With

the first action of this task, that is satisfaction survey, we intend to identify the points of strength

and weaknesses in the current offer of local services, especially highlighting the constraints imposed

on research, and to plan appropriate supplementary services that could be offer by the academic

institutions. On the action number two will be promoted a series of ten lectures that will be organised in

the different Departments to promote the sharing of parental roles within the couple and encourage the

use of paternity leave.

3. The third task is devoted to support early-stage career development. First of all we organize an annual

seminars on career support. Secondly will be made of an annual training course on the leaky pipeline

phenomenon. The course is closely connected with the mentoring program that will be implemented

through the third action of this task, which is dedicated to organize a mentoring programme for female

PhD students and research fellows

4. The four Task is devoted to promote actions to change gender stereotypes Science and Technology

and to overcome consequent career distortions. The action included under this task addresses one of

their most damaging consequences of gender stereotypes, as, for examples: horizontal segregation

in discipline choice, research fields and tasks assignments, and connected difficulties in retention and

career progression. First of all will be conducted a qualitative and quantitative analysis of female careers

in the six targeted Departments. Furthermore, as the second action of this task, we propose a gender-
oriented analysis on the administrative documents.

5. The fifth task aimed at gendering Science and Technology contents and methods. As first action we

organize a training courses based on the Toolkit and Training Packages of the European Community in

the six targeted Departments, addressing PhD students, researchers and professors. Then we intend

to test the innovative research tools for the gendering of research procedures in the six targeted

Departments to get to the definition of new research procedures, integrating relevant gendered

contents according to the field of research. On the basis of the results of the tests conducted under the

previous action, a teaching module on the gendered aspects of research and on gendered research tools

and procedures will be established in the six targeted Departments. Finally, as the fourth action of this

task, we will organize an annual competition aimed at the six Departments for the publication of the

best theses adopting the paradigm of gender in research.

6. The sixth and final task is dedicated to promote women’s leadership of science. This task includes

actions sustaining women’s presence and visibility in leadership positions connected to the different

aspects of scientific work.