SPEAR convenes in Plovdiv during 2nd Project Learning and Support Meeting

An integral part of SPEAR’s project design is its six Project Learning and Support Meetings, PLSMs, attended by all consortium members. The second meeting, PLSM 2, took place in beautiful Plovdiv in Bulgaria, hometown of SPEAR’s consortium member University of Plovdiv.

PSLM 1 took place in at SDU in Odense in March 2019. At this first PLSM, considerable time was spent on establishing a shared foundation for the project, sharing existing knowledge about gender and equality in academia, and getting to know each other’s different institutional and contextual challenges and opportunities with regards to gender equality work.

For PLSM 2, SPEAR gathered its consortium members in Plovdiv during the last week of November 2019. During this three-day meeting, more time was devoted to discussing practical aspects of the development and implementation of gender equality plans. Stakeholder engagement was a particular theme, and the consortium members also engaged in group work on themes such as awareness raising, integrating the gender dimension in research and teaching, and how to secure sustainable data collection of gender disaggregated data.

Two workshops within SPEAR’s Community of Learning, CoL, focused on the themes ‘Setting up a GEP – from strategy to implementation’ and on ‘Data Monitoring – collecting, analyzing, monitoring data and how to raise awareness by using it’.

A session within SPEAR’s Community of Practice, CoP, included a joint reflection workshop on difficult issues to be handled as part of a GEP-implementation, such as how to tackle obstacles in the use of gender or equivalent terminology, how gender and other diversity measures intersect in gender work, including questions of nonbinary gender expressions. SPEAR’s CoP also consists of virtual activities in the three ongoing Learning and Support Clusters, who meet regularly and continue practicing the discipline of joint structured reflection with peers on the basis of the issues that the partners are facing.

Group work

PLSM 2 also marked the launch of SPEAR’s Learning Repository on the project webpage. Following each CoL workshop, a set of corresponding virtual material will be developed. Thus, SPEAR’s virtual learning sessions based on the first two workshops at PLSM 1 are now online in the Learning Repository of the webpage and also uploaded on GenPORT.

All consortium members participated enthusiastically in the planned sessions, workshops and group works, and afternoon and evening networking activities were generously planned by SPEAR’s Bulgarian partners incorporating an introduction to beautiful Plovdiv and lovely Bulgarian cuisine and culture. It was a PLSM full of inspiration, collaboration and deepening knowledge.