The first Università della Svizzera italiana's Gender Budgeting Report presented


Institutional Communication Service

21 June 2023

The Università della Svizzera italiana's Gender Budgeting Report, covering the period of 2017-2020, reveals that despite being an evolving and welcoming institution, certain areas and disciplines still exhibit segregative dynamics that disadvantage women. The report was presented at a conference on Friday, 16 June, coinciding with the feminist strike on 14 June 2023. "It is important to measure equality in its various expressions to understand where there is an urgent need to intervene and to monitor the progress made," emphasised the Appointed Rector, Luisa Lambertini, during the meeting, adding that USI will have to work even harder to support women's careers at all levels, acting in particular on selection procedures.

The Gender Budgeting Report, created by USI in partnership with Equi-lab and funded by swissuniversities, serves as a crucial resource for assessing USI's adherence to equality and equal opportunity principles in organisational management. This report aims to pinpoint and address the mechanisms that contribute to gender asymmetry. Although the report was released in connection to the feminist strike, Equal Opportunities Pro-Rector Sonja Hildebrand emphasises that it is not a partisan statement but a tool for the advancement of the entire USI community and institutional excellence. USI is among the first universities in Switzerland and one of the few institutions in Ticino to adopt a Gender Report, which is considered a vital starting point for progress, according to Francesca Scalici, head of the Equal Opportunities Service.

The Gender Budgeting Report analyses the university community to measure both horizontal and vertical segregation, as well as USI's gender governance. It also examines the conciliation needs of the community as a whole. In terms of gender balance among students, there is substantial parity, although some disciplines show significant imbalances (horizontal segregation). However, there is a strong imbalance among academic and intermediate staff that becomes more pronounced as academic careers progress. Therefore, the Gender Budgeting Report recommends taking action to reconcile academic careers with family life and improve the work of appointment and promotion committees.

The document notes the progress made in recent years towards gender equality but highlights that there is still a long way to go. While there have been some improvements, such as the inclusion of the principle of equality in laws and regulations, the dominance of male-dominated models and networks remains a barrier. To fully institutionalise gender equality, it is important to expand the measurement parameters and increase awareness and training within the academic community to break down harmful stereotypes and dynamics.