Gender Equality Annual Report 2017

With great satisfaction, I present the third edition of the University of Bologna’s Gender Equality Annual Report to our entire community of teachers, technical and administrative staff as well as to the entire student community.

First and foremost, I want to give my thanks to the Guarantee Committee for Equal Opportunities, Working Wellbeing and Non-Discrimination at Work. In particular, a heartfelt thank you is owed to the Committee Chair, Professor Benedetta Siboni, and all its members, as well as the Operational Committee, which has been working for some time to ensure that this document becomes increasingly relevant and more detailed, year after year.

I did quite a bit of thinking before writing that I present this Report with ‘great satisfaction’, because –truth be told– the picture that emerges from it does not yet allow us to be satisfied. There are still many imbalances which our data bring to the fore for us to see; likewise, the changes we can surmise from reading this document are still too moderate.

Nonetheless, I am satisfied and, in particular, I would like to congratulate the entire University of Bologna community for its growing interest in gender issues and the passion it shows in concretely creating initiatives and shared experiences around this topic that elsewhere remain, too often, an abstract though also instrumental topic. In light of this, I wish to renew the hope that more and more intersectional initiatives will develop at our University, gathering teachers, staff and students from all areas in critical discussions. The time has come to make everybody feel involved in such an important matter, with benefits that are further-reaching than we might imagine.

In giving substance to a mindfulness that has long set it apart, our community has shown it understands that gender inequality comes at a very high ‘cost’, well before other institutions. It’s a cost that slows down progress and the positive transformation of the society within which and for which we work (a consequence of the fact that gender differences often rest on serious but unconscious prejudices) because it tends to hinder the emergence of different and winning work styles, given that female employment –it has been proven– is one of the main drivers of economic growth.

We must therefore carefully analyse data according to the new ‘UGII - University Gender Inequality Index’, used for the first time in this Report, which, through a single value, expresses the distance between gender balance at our University and hypothetical perfect equality.

Thus, at our University, we must continue to promote awareness and empowerment in order reduce gender differences among our students and, in particular, in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) on the one hand, and in certain areas of the Humanities on the other. Further, we must be aware that University recruitment today can effect change in the world we hand down to future generations, including their future professional environment.


Francesco Ubertini
Alma Mater Studiorum - Università di Bologna