Section 2. Enacting Change in a University


Gender equality in STEM programs: a proposal to analyse the situation of a university about the gender gap

This work describes the analysis process of the gender equality gap in STEM as a first step to defining gender equality action plans focused on processes of attraction, access and retention and guidance in STEM programs.
García-Holgado, A., Mena, J., García-Peñalvo, F. J., Pascual, J., Heikkinen, M., Harmoinen, S., García-Ramos, L., Peñabaena-Niebles, R., & Amores, L. (2020). Gender equality in STEM programs: a proposal to analyse the situation of a university about the gender gap. In 2020 IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference (EDUCON), (27-30 April 2020, Porto, Portugal) (pp. 1824-1830). IEEE.

Self-assessment matrix

An instrument for collecting self-assessment information. UNESCO’s SAGA tool was an inspiration for the W-STEM project and for the self-assessment measures. If you have some time you may take a look at the following website: and/or SAGA working papers 1 and 2 that you may find from the list below.

W-STEM Process Mapping Template

Template to collect the process associated with the attraction, access, guidance and retention of students into STEM programs.

Main conclusions of the self-assessment made in participant HEIs on gender equity in STEM fields

Presentation of the main conclusions of the self-assessment at the W-STEM International Leadership Summit, held in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia on November 25-26th, 2019.


Good practices presented in the first benchmarking:

W-STEM Benchmarking Questionnaire Form

Questionnaire based on the Columbus Association methodology to conduct benchmarking round. The instrument was used to collect the Good practices: strategies and mechanisms for the first benchmarking round of the W-STEM project in Barranquilla (Colombia) during the International Leadership Summit (November 28th, 2019).

Final report: D2.2.3. Good practices report on strategies and mechanisms

Engaging leadership

Making and taking leadership in the promotion of gender desegregation in STEM

Heikkinen, M., Harmoinen, S., Keiski, R., Matinmikko-Blue, M., Pihlajaniemi, T. (2022). Making and Taking Leadership in the Promotion of Gender Desegregation in STEM. In: García-Peñalvo, F.J., García-Holgado, A., Dominguez, A., Pascual, J. (eds) Women in STEM in Higher Education. Lecture Notes in Educational Technology. Springer, Singapore.

W-STEM International Leadership Summit World Café

Regional Report on Building Bridges between Public Policy and Institutional initiatives, for improving Young Women participation in STEM.

Gender Balance Actions, Policies and Strategies for STEM: Results from a World Café Conversation

García-Peñalvo, F. J., Bello, A., Domínguez, A., & Romero Chacón, R. M. (2019). Gender Balance Actions, Policies and Strategies for STEM: Results from a World Café Conversation. Education in the Knowledge Society, 20.

Action plans

Guidelines for the Action Plans

Template for the action plans (Proposed by Columbus Association) (Spanish)


A chapter entitled Intersectional gender-responsibility in STEM: Co-creating sustainable Arctic knowledge production published in the Arctic yearbook 2020 introduces the importance of the local context to be considered in the institutional gender equality work. You may enter the text from the following link:

Work on equality is built on ethical principles such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as legal foundations on national levels. The realization of equality and diversity is important to identify in all human interactions, organization of activities and policies defining and ensuring equal treatment.

UNESCO’s publication from year 2017 Cracking the code: Girls’ and women’s education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) describes in detail the general overview of the existing gender segregation in STEM fields. The link is also below for an easy access to reading : (EN)

You may also take a look at the Finnish legislation Act on Equality between Women and Men (609/1986) 609/1986 English – Translations of Finnish acts and decrees – FINLEX ® and Non-discrimination Act (1325/2014) 1325/2014 English – Translations of Finnish acts and decrees – FINLEX ® In Finnish context these two Acts are commonly referred together as together they create a legislative foundation for an institutional Gender Equality and Diversity work. Institutions, such as universities have an important role in a practical implementation of equality principles, policies and practices. As an example of such work please, take a look at the University of Oulu Gender Equality website:
Note also a link to the current gender equality and diversity plan of the University at the bottom of the page!