Creation of institutional gender equality structures : a Gender Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Commission

Problem (evidence)

Assessment of the gender equality situation in the institution showed challenges to be addressed and highlighted the significance of establishing a commission to develop and implement a gender equality plan that would be accountable to governance bodies, in particular the Presidency and Dean.


To establish a formal committee to develop and implement a gender equality plan: Gender Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Commission (CIGDIN).


CIGDIN requires human and financial resources to fulfil its mission. Recognition of the workload of its members is key thus clear guidelines with reference to members’ duties and time commitment need to be developed and clearly communicated to all stakeholders.

Room for meetings.

Administrative support to print material.

Someone to plan clear agendas for meetings.

Brief outcomes

The creation of the CIGDIN corresponds to a new structure in the institution with defined roles and responsibilities.

It contributed to a better understanding of gender equality diversity and inclusion situation of the institution.

It enabled discussions and raised awareness of the gender equality situation, problems and challenges across the institution.

Due to its formal establishment, it has been ensured that the commission will carry on beyond the initial project. It will be led by the President to ensure its sustainability beyond the PLOTINA project.

Key area

The governance bodies, key actors and decision-makers

Type of action

Creation of structures


Lisbon School of Economics and Management
Higher education institution

Action level of implementation

Departments, staff, students


A Gender Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Commission (CIGDIN) proposed by ISEG’s PLOTINA-team was established in 2017 through the Dean’s formal decision. As part of this decision, a gender equality plan, comprised of 11 gender lines of action was decided.

CIGDIN works together with Presidency with the main goal being to implement and monitor the GEP while it acts as an advisory body making gender equality recommendations.

CIGDIN is comprised of academic staff from all areas of teaching and research from four different departments. Is composed of 7 members (two men and five women) and chaired by one member of the PLOTINA ISEG Team. CIGDIN meets approximately once per semester, and reports to the Presidency. Minutes are recorded. Administrative assistance is provided by the Presidency.

Discussion is in progress regarding how time for preparation, implementation and meetings is recognised in workload.


Individuals unwilling to participate in the CIGDIN commission due to the additional workload which is not recognised at this time.

Limited administrative resources to support the commission.

Delay in establishing this CIGDIN and the Statutes of the CIGDIN.

Coping strategies

The recognition of workload was raised and it is currently under discussion.

ISEG main governance body (the Presidency) has agreed to provide administrative support to help with printing/disseminating material.

Linking the creation of the Commission with an international accreditation process which was important for the institution contributed to establishing the Commission.

The document Best Practices for Business Schools to Lead in Expanding Opportunities for Women in Business and to Adapt to the 21st-Century Workforce (link here) was one of the support materials.

Tips/strategies – Lessons learnt

Link to wider institutional mission/accreditation schemes or global initiatives (e.g. UN Sustainable Development Goals, in particular SDG5) which can be of importance to the Research Performing Organisation’s (RPO) governance bodies helps to gain support for the creation of such a commission.

Undertake diagnostic analysis of gender situation at the institution to demonstrate that there are gender equality challenges and thus convince key actors about the importance of such a commission.

Ensure formal workload recognition of the Commission activities to facilitate participation and engagement of members.

Analyse the relevance of gender balance, inclusion and diversity in the processes of accreditation. They can reinforce the GEP goals.

More detailed Outcomes/Impact

CIGDIN is now embedded in the structure of the RPO and will continue its operation beyond the PLOTINA project, developing, implementing and monitoring gender equality, diversity and inclusion actions.

Reflection/what we would do differently

The establishment of the Commission should have been formally accompanied by specific financial and human resources committed to it.