In autumn, the UW Equality Team, together with the Centre for Gender and Women’s Studies, launched a survey on the needs of parents at the University of Warsaw. In the current academic year, it is also planned to expand the offer of antidiscrimination training and courses, as well as to prepare recommendations for the scientific community at the UW on the integration of a gender perspective in projects and research;  another series of meetings within the ‘Network of female doctoral students’ at the UW and other activities in the area of equality are also planned.

“The principle of non-discrimination is an essential part of the European Charter for Researchers (ECN). Universities adhering to the Charter undertake not to discriminate in any way against researchers on grounds of gender, age, ethnic, national or social origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, language, disability, political convictions, and social or material status,” Prof. Julia Kubisa, the Head of the UW Working Group on the Implementation of the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers, says.


Gender balance is also an important issue addressed in the HR Excellence in Research Strategy. “Therefore, universities adhering to the principles of the ECN aim to ensure a representative gender balance at every level of staff, including supervisors and managers. Measures in this direction start from the recruitment stage and continue for subsequent career stages, ensuring appropriate quality and qualification criteria,” Anna Grędzińska, the chief equality officer at the UW, explains.


Being a parent at the UW

In autumn, the UW Equality Team, together with the Centre for Gender and Women’s Studies, launched a survey on the needs of parents at the University of Warsaw. The ‘Being a parent at the UW’ survey will include students, doctoral student as well as research and administrative staff.


“We planned to conduct group interviews, as well as a university-wide survey and an analysis of documents, practices and activities undertaken by individuals in the area concerning support for parents and those with caring responsibilities,” Prof. Julia Kubisa said.


The study will analyse, among other things:

  • encountering barriers and difficulties in combining work and family life;
  • the organisational culture and the attitudes towards parenting at the university;
  • regulations and practices in place at University units that relate to combining work and family life.

In response to the problems and needs identified during the study, recommendations will be developed aimed at increasing the visibility of caring responsibilities and opportunities for practical action in the area of work-life balance.


“Parenthood involves challenges in balancing caring responsibilities with work, which is why we aim to support parents working and studying at the UW, as well as to raise awareness in the university community of the problems faced by parents,” Anna Grędzińska emphasised.


In-depth interviews for the survey begun in the second half of October. The survey is planned for early 2023.


Equality, anti-discrimination, respect for diversity

In the coming academic year, the university plans to undertake awareness and sensitivity raising initiatives focusing on the issues related to equality, anti-discrimination and respect for diversity, including among others:


  • update of the “Anti-discrimination Handbook”

Prepared in 2017, the guide provides practical information on what discrimination, stereotype and prejudice are, and furthermore what are the legal aspects of protection against discrimination for students and employees at the UW. The new version of the publication will take into account institutional changes and new procedures introduced by the University. It will contain up-to-date information on the institutions at the University that can be approached while seeking support and assistance in cases of discrimination and unequal treatment.


  • modernisation of the equality web page

The UW has also maintained an equality university website since 2017: It provides comprehensive and practical information on, among other things, what discrimination is, types of discrimination and examples (also from university life), what to do if you witness discrimination or are a victim, which university and national institutions you can turn to for support and assistance. “We are upgrading the website, making it easier to find content and the way it is presented better suited to the needs of people with disabilities. The website will also provide information on current events on equality and diversity issues,” Prof. Julia Kubisa says.


Courses and training

In the coming academic year, the offer of training, courses and workshops on stereotypes, prejudice, discrimination, their sources and the psychological, social and legal consequences of their use will be expanded:

  • an online “Course to Equality” for students and employees (Polish and English versions). To date, more than 4,000 people have completed it;
  • New online course “Countering sexual harassment at university” – available from the beginning of the 2022/2023 academic year for those studying (OGUN option), and in the near future also for those working at the UW;
  • workshops to develop equality attitudes (separate editions for teachers, administration and students);
  • equality and anti-discrimination training dedicated to specific faculties or groups is also provided, depending on the needs reported.


Gender equality in projects, research and innovation

There also plans to prepare a recommendation for the scientific community at the UW on how to integrate a gender perspective into projects and research. “The publication – aimed at both funders and grantees – will include definitions, practical examples of gender mainstreaming, equality analyses of a research problem and equality indicators. Recommendations will also concern the equal organisation of project and grant competitions, as well as equality evaluation and assessment,” Anna Grędzińska explains.


Woman in the world of science

“From October onwards, we have launched another series of meetings as part of the ‘Network of female doctoral students’ at the UW. It is an activity designed for women in the early stages of their scientific careers, serving as an opportunity to get to know each other, exchange experiences and ideas, share problems and think together about solutions. We choose the topics we want to talk about, indicate who we would see as a guest. Our network is horizontal,” Prof. Julia Kubisa says.


The measure is wide-ranging and open-ended, she adds, and is geared towards empowering female doctoral students and equipping them with knowledge about publication strategies, applying for grants or going abroad.


The project is being implemented as part of the IDUB Programme.