The processes required for the improvement of gender equality and diversity need to be sustainable to make a change. Usually it takes years before the changes in numbers can be observed. According to the work done by Athena Swan, the results of successful interventions promoting gender equality become visible only after at least five years since the start of their implementation.
Therefore, it is crucial to develop a strategy to ensure the sustainability of the activities designed and implemented within the EQUAL-IST project also beyond the project runtime.
All doctoral candidates at the Department of Information Systems have temporary contracts and are expected to finalise their doctoral studies within 4 years and leave afterwards (unless they decide to do a habilitation). Therefore, a strategy needs to be developed and implemented on how to pass on to new staff members in a sustainable way the achievements and knowledge related to gender equality and diversity.
The sustainability of the interventions promoting gender equality could be best achieved in case such interventions trigger a societal change. However, societal change is a difficult process which cannot be achieved in a short term.