After our first virtual consortium meeting, we met again on the 30th of April and continued what turned out to be a very successful online meeting series. Building on results of our sister project FESTA, internal CHANGE expert Dr. Andrea Wolffram (RWTH Aachen University) shared her expert knowledge on the nature of change in organizations and the inevitable resistances against it. It was great to realize once more that we are not alone in our effort to ensure gender equality in research and academia and can build on the valuable knowledge created by our sister projects.
After the in-depth presentation, we shared and discussed best practices on how to overcome resistances. It was no surprise that especially the involvement of Transfer Agents (intrainstitutional project supporters with power, e.g., HR managers or heads of institutions; for more information on the concept of Transfer agents see Thaler, 2016) has proven to be a key element for change and the reduction of resistance.
Finally we reflected on the institutional and external resistances, which might occur during the upcoming two years of CHANGE. Building upon our experiences of bringing change to our institutions, we concluded, that no matter what resistance we encounter in each institution, we have to assume there is always a way, we just have to find it.
*we even CHANGEd [sorry] our clothes.