WWTF presents new Gender Equality Plan


“Investing in equal opportunities for men and women in research makes for teams that perform better and attracts top-level researchers”.[1]

Gender Equality has been an important topic at WWTF for more than 10 years. With the implementation of our new Gender Equality Plan, we aim to play an even more active role in closing the gender gap in science and research. As a regional research funder, we have a specific role and responsibility to further improve processes and conditions to increase the proportion of female scientists, their resources and career opportunities.

Our new Gender Equality Plan (GEP) is the result of an organizational learning process, including but not limited to our involvement in the EU funded GEECCO project. As a direct result of the project, WWTF started to implement gender mainstreaming at all levels of program and call management. Inspired by the European Commission’s advance to make Gender Equality Plans compulsory[2] for all public bodies, research organizations and higher education establishments to be eligible for Horizon Europe funding, we elected to voluntarily pioneer the drafting of a Gender Equality Plan for private non-profit research funding organizations. The GEP serves both as a strategy, as well as an implementation plan. It comprises all policies and processes that have been implemented so far at WWTF, as well as new measures.

 “Integrating sex and gender analysis into research and innovation (R&I) adds value to research and is therefore crucial to secure Europe’s leadership in science and technology, and to support its inclusive growth.” 3

As a funding organization, we must address two spheres when looking at gender mainstreaming: the internal and the external. This is why the Gender Equality Plan addresses both our stakeholders (researchers, research organizations, jury members, reviewers, etc.) as well as WWTF as an organization (governing bodies and staff). Moreover, WWTF commits to publishing our progress and to striving towards more gender awareness in the governing boards. Furthermore, a gender focal point Dr. Donia Lasinger at the top management level has been appointed and WWTF has committed to transparent communication about the advancements on a regular basis.

"WWTF actively works to counteract existing inequalities between women and men in academic life.”

Dr. Michael Stampfer, Managing Director WWTF

WWTF commits to fostering networking opportunities for female researchers and including costs for childcare or coaching options as eligible costs for female personnel funded by our organization. Gender mainstreaming throughout all phases of call management will be continued. Regular monitoring and evaluation of the GEP is an integral part of the implementation plan.

"By outlining a long-term strategy, dedicated goals and specific actions, this document is an important further step towards gender equality. WWTF commits itself to implementing measures to realise these important ideas.”

Dr. Donia Lasinger, Deputy Managing Director, WWTF

The Gender Equality Plan became effective upon the approval of WWTF’s governing boards on September 30th 2022. For further information and questions please contact our Gender Focal Point Dr. Donia Lasinger



Direct link to the Gender Equality Plan:


Direct link to GEECCO project:




[1] European Commission (2009b, p.12): Toolkit: Gender in EU-funded research. Brussels: Directorate-General for Research and Innovation. Online access: https://www.yellowwindow.com/genderinresearch

[2] https://research-and-innovation.ec.europa.eu/strategy/strategy-2020-2024/democracy-and-rights/gender-equality-research-and-innovation_en#gender-equality-plans-as-an-eligibility-criterion-in-horizon-europe

3 EC - European Commission, Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (2020): Gendered Innovations 2: How inclusive analysis contributes to research and innovation. Online access: https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/default/files/research_and_innovation/strategy_on_research_and_innovation/documents/ki0320108enn_final.pdf

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