The Salento University (UNILE) is a young dynamic university. Since 1955 it has had the aim of promoting knowledge, skill and merit and has offered a large range of educational opportunities. From law to science, economics to engineering, humanities to media studies, the university provides academic pathways to a range of professions as well as post-graduate and specialist courses tailor made to meet the needs of the workplace. Six Faculties – hubs for the eight Departments – providing services and information for students, as well as thirty-three Research Centres throughout the Salento area.
Status of gender inequalities
Female representation at UNILE reflects the national one, but with a greater decline. According to the data aggregated by gender registered at the end of 2018, female students in scientific degree courses represent 42% of the overall amount. Regarding the presence of researchers, the percentage appears to be compliant, with a slightly lower percentage of the national trend than the presence of women in the roles of the first and second braces. In recent years the female presence also decreases in doctoral positions. Decrease was verified on assigned seats and not on questions received. A great unbalance is visible in the positions of full professors and associate professors. In fact, the data show that by the end of 2018 only 17% of the full professors and 34% of the associate professors are women. Total balance occurs among lecturers and post docs.
Existing gender equality policies at a faculty level
There is no particular design in UNILE about gender, but there is a Delegate of Rector on equal opportunities who is involved in specific activities about this topic. Relevant activities involve the “Difference summer school”, which celebrated its 13th edition in 2016. Also, UNILE organised the courses in “Women, Politics and Institutions” in collaboration with the Department for Equal Opportunities of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers in Italy. In addition, there is the Study Centre “Osservatorio Donna”, which has been carrying out research on gender issues for 25 years.
In our University no properly structured and coherent actions have been set up in order to implement Gender Equality Plans in the last 10 years. Therefore our University has not yet acquired the awareness and capability to drive the inversion process going towards the stable set of the 3 ERA (European Research Area) priorities on Gender Equality in Research, i.e. efforts to increase the enrolment and retention of women in science, implement work-life balance policies, and remove obstacles to women’s career progression. The participation to the Caliper project has been fostered to this aim.