Can Ruti Women for Equity in Science Working Group

 Foundation and a brief history of who we are

Getting Started

The Can Ruti Women for Equity in Science Working Group (W4E) was born out of an interest of several researchers on the campus to promote gender equality in organize specific actions. In 2018 the voluntary group got together and started discussing what they could do to raise awareness and help the institutes on the campus to meet the equality requirements based on the European Commission requirements and help prepare gender equality plans as required by Spanish law. Additionally, they agreed to collect data and carry out training on including the gender dimension in biomedical research.

Defining Focus

A setback in late 2018, when the newly formed Can Ruti Campus Biomedical Seminar Committee published a list of speakers with 8 men and only 1 woman, was a huge disappointment and caused a few changes on the (then Women in Science) WiS committee. The renewed group decided on a policy of organizing training and awareness activities and concentrating on quality not quantity. The aim was to run 3 events a year, one of which would be the Symposium, celebrating the International Day of Women and Girls in Science the 11 February. The first symposium took place in 2019.

First Symposium and Institutional Support

In order to guarantee the attendance of the directors of the institutions on the campus at the first symposium in 2019 the committee decided to draft a letter of commitment to gender equality specifically for the Can Ruti Campus and based on the United Nations Sustainable Goals. This was a great success with all 5 resident directors signing and predated by a year the Government of Catalonia’s letter of Hypatia of Alexandria organized by AQuAS at the start of 2020.

WiS Very Active During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Like everybody else, in 2020 the WiS had to reduce its activity, but its meetings went online. The effect of the covid-19 pandemic on researchers in general and the unequal effect on women researchers was becoming clear, and the WiS organized a questionnaire for researchers and healthcare workers on the campus to collect data on the effects the pandemic was having on research activity, such as publications or grant applications; and also on mental health and home-life balance. Nearly 200 people replied, the results were carefully evaluated and the results published Impact of COVID-19 lockdown in a biomedical research campus: A gender perspective analysis.

The group has successfully organized five symposiums and five seminars on aspects of equality.

Wis becomes W4E and expands its vision

Members of the WiS have participated in events at other institutions and online to promote equality issues, and many of its members are also involved in the equality committees that have now been set up at some of the institutes on the campus. Members of WiS are also members of several communities of practice working on equality matters and have participated in the production of a guide to Gender Perspective in Research, co-written the Guide to Inclusive Language for Health Research in Catalonia (to be published by AQuAS in 2024).

In 2023 Women in Science changed its name to Women for Equity in Science to bring awareness of other inequities, as reflected in the 2022 Symposium “Intersectionality and Gender Perspective in Research”.

What is the Can Ruti Campus?

Can Ruti Campus is a biomedical campus just outside Barcelona in the adjoining city of Badalona. The campus is centred on the Germans Trias i Pujol University Hospital, one of the main reference hospitals in Catalonia, Spain. On the campus there are several recognised research centres working on different specialized areas of biomedical research. Our members are from different institutions on the campus and are working together with the common aim of promoting awareness of equality issues, providing information and bringing about change.

Can Ruti Women for Equity in Science

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