Gender Advancement for Transforming Institutions (GATI) is an innovative Pilot Project launched by the Department of Science and Technology (DST). It ushers a novel intervention programme for promoting gender equity in science and technology.Institutes of Higher Education and Research were invited through an open call to express interest in participating in the GATI Pilot. They were required to fill a carefully crafted Expression of Interest (EoI) Application. The call generated immense interest with top ranking institutions applying. After rigorous analysis of data submitted, thirty institutions have been selected to participate in the GATI Pilot. All the Pilot institutions have endorsed the GATI Charter on gender equity. The GATI Charter is based on ten key principles. As a signatory to the Charter, we believe that it is a moral imperative for all institutions to provide equal opportunity to women, particularly those in Science, Technology, Engineering, Medicine and Mathematics (STEMM) areas, at all levels. By being a part of this progressive charter, we commit to adopting its guiding principles within our policies, practices, action plans and culture for transformative change. 1. We acknowledge that the role of higher education and research institutions is to serve a broad diversity of students, faculty, staff and other stakeholders providing equal opportunity to all. 2. We realize that diversity enhances excellence and academia cannot reach its full potential unless it can create systems to value, nurture and benefit from the talents of all in the community. 3. We acknowledge that people of all genders are equally capable of making valuable contributions and promoting excellence in all areas of human enterprise. 4. We recognize, in particular, the importance of advancing gender equity in Science, Technology,Engineering, Medicine and Mathematics (STEMM) areas. 5. We are deeply concerned that discouraging experiences, implicit and explicit bias inhibits the full participation of women in science from an early stage, being more pronounced in some disciplinary domains than others. 6. We are deeply concerned about the high rate of loss of women across the career pipeline, their underrepresentation in the profession – in particular, in senior academic and leadership roles. 7. We recognize that all individuals have identities shaped by different factors at different stages of their career and that institutional support structures are required for facilitating work and enhancing professional contribution of academia, in particular of women. 8. We acknowledge that advancing gender equality requires strong leadership, participative action and sustained effort to bring in systemic and cultural changes through well deliberated policy initiatives at all levels of the organization. 9. We commit to creating a safe and nurturing environment for women and developing action plans for removing the barriers to their progression in particular, at major points of career development including the transition from higher studies into a sustainable academic career and advancement to the top positions thereafter. 10. We appreciate that mainstreaming, assimilating and sustaining positive impact policies and actions for gender advancement will bring transformative changes in the overarching climate/socio-cultural ethos/ecosystem leading the institution towards distinctive excellence. GATI Charter Reference Link
Institutes of Higher Education and Research were invited through an open call to express interest in participating in the GATI Pilot. They were required to fill a carefully crafted Expression of Interest (EoI) Application. The call generated immense interest with top ranking institutions applying. After rigorous analysis of data submitted, thirty institutions have been selected to participate in the GATI Pilot. All the Pilot institutions have endorsed the GATI Charter on gender equity.
GATI Pilot Institutions are expected to adopt the GATI Charter principles in letter and in spirit and integrate these within their policies, strategic plans and organizational culture. To this end, they would be required to undertake a structured Self-Assessment and Accreditation process based on the GATI Gender Equity Indicator Framework (GEIF). The GATI self-assessment application would provide the criteria and metric for self-evaluation of gender statistics, policies, processes, procedures and practices; gender climate and organizational culture. It would nudge institutions to analyze and reflect on data and evidence to create SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound) action plans for systemic transformation. An important component of the process would be planning for implementation of the action plans and sustenance of the initiative.
GATI Institutions will be required to constitute a GATI Self-Assessment Team (GSAT) to lead the initiative, with nominations at the highest level. This will be a multidisciplinary team with 2 adequate representation from various departments/units of the institution and diverse segments of the community at all levels. GSAT will play a pivotal role in engaging with the community to generate data and evidence-based understanding of the criteria listed in the self-assessment application. It will be responsible for analyzing, reflecting, creating SMART action plans that can be eventually implemented for transformative change.
GATI is being undertaken in partnership with the British Council which has facilitated collaboration with Advance HE, UK. Through these agencies, 6 Athena Swan accredited universities in the UK have been selected to partner the GATI Pilot Institutions. A partnership framework has been carefully crafted to facilitate sharing of experience by UK partner institutions with the GATI Pilot Institutions over the duration of the Pilot.
GATI brings together a large number of stakeholders and will create a peer network of participating institutions. Selected Pilot Institutions will be provided requisite training and support at every stage as they begin self-assessment and work towards reaching the global best practices on gender equality; and prepare for the review process. The GATI framework development team has created Guidance Handbook. Further Resources will include background studies and collation of global best practices; bespoke discussions, seminars, workshops and training programmes. The touchstone of the programme will be the partnership with Athena Swan accredited institutions in UK who will share their charter journey, experiences, resources and play the role of critical friends and discussants.
The Self-assessment application will be evaluated in accordance with a criteria-based metric by a peer review team of expert assessors. This would lead to accreditation, institutional recognition and a GATI Award. Senior members of the Pilot Institutions will be provided guidance and training to think like an assessor and be invited to serve on accreditation panels. It is hoped that looking beyond awards, participating institutions will diligently work towards peer recognition as beacons of gender equity.
With the launch of GATI, India joins the list of International Gender Equality Charters as given below: