High level speakers and good practices on clusters and improving gender equality - DEBUTING meeting in Strasbourg was a great learning experience!

Submitted by Sonja Sistonen on 23 October 2023


The third in-person interregional DEBUTING meeting took place 10-11 October in Strasbourg, France, where altogether more than 40 people - representing DEBUTING project partners, stakeholders, and the Grand Est region - met to discuss improving gender equality and inclusiveness and to learn from each other.

High level speakers

Among the top speakers of the event included e.g. Irene Weiss, Vice-Chairwoman of the Higher Education and Cyber Security Delegate from region Grand Est, Isabelle Kraus, Vice Chair for Equality, Parity and Diversity from the University of Strasbourg (UNISTRA), Patrica Hatesuer, Senior Advisor from Grand E-Nov+ and Anne Coreau, Innovation manager at Orange.

As an elected policy maker, Irene Weiss guided us through Grand Est region’s work on promoting gender equality, including for example a number of initiatives, such as appointing a deputy councillor for gender equality and helping women to strengthen their leadership skills through Elles osent en Grand Est programme. This impressive presentation was followed by an introduction to the Smart specialization Strategy of Grand Est by Jean-Jacques Bernardini, Head of Department at Grand E-Nov+.

We also got the opportunity to learn about gender equality work in a private company: Anne Coreau, Innovation manager at Orange, introduced us to their large programmes aiming to raise awareness among women on tech careers and retraining, recruiting and retaining women.

Good Practices

The organizing partner, Grand E-Nov+, had gathered an impressive range of good practices to be presented:

  • 42 Mulhouse Grand Est - a coding school with no teachers
  • RoboTech Girls aiming to attract girls in the digital sector
  • UNISTRA’s Strategy plan – combating discrimination and inequality – and the OPUS project which creates a link between society and science
  • Grand Est Transformation ”GET” – a responsible digital cluster approach

Our project partners ART-ER (Emilia-Romagna), Ecoplus (Lower Austria) and ADR North-West (North-West Region Romania) also presented one of their good practices each, giving the ground to learning from these regions as well.

Visit to the EU Parliament

The second meeting day included a visit to the European Parliament. Thank you again to MEP Anne Sander for welcoming us! It was highly instructive to learn more about the history of EU policymaking, the role women have played in this process and the current ways of working in the EU parliament in Strasbourg, at the heart of European democracy.

Project partners working and learning together

As our project partners from different European regions were brought together, we also took the time for a steering committee meeting to discuss the next steps in the project and in supporting one another. We ended the second meeting day with a learning experience hosted by Karlstad University that gave each person attending a lot to think about and reflect upon. 

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