FELISE, the mentoring programme offered by FECYT closes with good satisfaction results

Monday, October 4, 2021
FEminist Leadership In SciencE - FELISE, is a mentoring programme offered by FECYT that pairs young women researchers with other more senior women researchers. It aims at making pairs jointly reflect about the neccesary institutional changes to achieve gender equality in research and higher education

The Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT) has closed and evaluated the mentoring  programme “FEminist Leadership In SciencE - FELISE”. FELISE has been developed within the European project o GEARING-Roles and it has put 35 young women researchers in touch with 35 senior women researchers from Slovenia, Spain, Estonia, Portugal, United Kingdom and Turkey. 

Recently, FECYT launched the end of programme satisfaction survey to FELISE participants. 77% of the mentees and 66% of mentors replied and these are some of the main results:

Satisfaction of young women researchers:

  • 80% is very or extremely satisfied with FELISE and her mentor
  • 80% plans to stay in touch with her mentor
  • 81% would recommend a FELISE-like programme to their peers and 93% believe these programmes should be implemented widely in research institutions.

Satisfaction of mentors and sponsors:

  • 65% was very or extremely satisfied with FELISE.
  • 90% was very or extremely satisfied with her mentee
  • 96% would recommend the programme to their peers and believe this kind of programmes should be implemented widely in research institutions

Besides, these are some of the comments gathered fom participants:

“The program for me was a success: I managed to meet not just professionals from my institution but to connect with professionals around the world. The workshops and meetings were excellent and provided a different perspective”

“At my institution, mentors and mentees had a collective meeting and we created a WhatsApp group which have improved communication on gender-related topics and have enhanced our professional relations among women in the institution”

“I believe that the mentoring programe contributed to change the narrative about gender inequalities in the organization. It was important to counterbalance the dominant discourse on meritocracy with a growing individual awareness of gender inequalities as a structural issue. In addition it was also a good opportunity for me as a mentor to reflect on what the ideal academic should be and also encourage me to create opportunities to listen to the perspectives of my PhD students, young researchers, colleagues, etc”.

During eight months between 2020 and 2021, young women researchers have met with a mentor woman with a feminist perspective at her institution and, most of them, have also been paired with a “sponsor” from another institution and coming from the same academic discipline. Mentees have met virtually with their mentors and sponsors to jointly reflect about different issues related with gender equality in research such as policies and institutional norms, narratives around excellence in research, integration of gender in education and research and the impact of COVID 19 in the development of women in science, among others.

Besides, FELISE has included two training sessions about career development and three keynote of women in science in which they have reflected about their careers with mentors and mentees.  

GEARING-Roles has published a handbook about FELISE under CC-by 4.0 licence to foster its reuse.

GEARING-Roles aims at implementing six gender equalit plans in 6 European institutions. The project has received funding from Horizon 2020 under grant agreement n 824536. It started on 1st January 2019 and will run for 4 years.


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