Gender Equality Plans belong to Sustainable Horizons

Gender Equality Plan (GEP) is a mandatory document for organisations that apply to any part of Horizon Europe funding programme if they belong to public bodies, higher educational institutions (HEIs) or research institutes. That is because gender equality improves the quality and relevance of research and innovation and can also be a changemaker in the field of research.

Sustainable Horizons project

The Sustainable Horizons (SHEs) partners got together at the Tomas Bata University in Czech Republic to introduce and reflect on each other’s GEPs. The partners are six higher educational institutions (HEIs) from Portugal, Spain, Romania, Czech Republic, Germany, Finland, and 15 associated partners outside the EU.

At the stage of application, it was already necessary to meet the following GEP requirements set by the European Commission:

Table 1. Horizon projects’ minimum and recommended GEP contents. (Source: European Commission 2021, 18-46)

The meeting supported awareness on gender issues. The common goal is to create a common GEP within the consortium for the future activities.

Meeting audience listens to a speaker at Zlin partner meeting.
Image 1. Romanian partner university’s representative Dr. Laura Smuleac introduces the GEP. (Photo: Jiri Pernica)

GEP at LUT Universities and EU funding perspective

The LUT consortium’s GEP is part of the LUT Universities’ equality and non-discrimination plan. The fundamental approach is the responsibility of every individual to promote equality in studies and work. The plan gives everyone equal rights, responsibilities, and opportunities for employment, career advancement and professional development. LUT GEP is also influencing on decision-making and the development of research and education. (eLAB.)

During the past years, there have been also special RDI gender equality projects at LAB, as examples: ongoing project TOIVE – Towards equal working life and implemented project Mainstreaming Gender in Social and Health Care Training. These projects are targeted to stakeholders and communities widely. Gender equality at LAB is a continuously developing process with feedback from students, employees, and stakeholders. Equality and gender equality are integrated and evolving topics in the European HEIs and in the European Union funded projects.

Link to the website of TOIVE – Towards equal working life project.

Link to the website of Mainstreaming Gender in Social and Health Care Training project.

People seated in a meeting room.
Image 2. GEP meeting at Tomas Bata University in Zlin. (Photo: Jiri Pernica)


Anne-Marie Tuomala is a Senior Lecturer at LAB University of Applied Sciences and works as a Project Manager in the Horizon 2020 project Sustainable Horizons – European universities designing the horizons of sustainability.  She has been involved in the project consortium building and planning since 2019.


eLAB. Equality plan. Cited 14 Sep 2023. Available at

European Commission. 2021. Directorate-General for Research and Innovation. Horizon Europe guidance on gender equality plans. Publications Office of the European Union. Cited 15 Sep 2023. Available at

Sustainable Horizons. 2023. Project website. Cited 15 Sep 2023. Available at


Link 1. LAB University of Applied Sciences. TOIVE – Towards equal working life. Project website. Cited 15 Sep 2023. Available at

Link 2. LAB University of Applied Sciences. Mainstreaming Gender in Social and Health Care Training. Project website. Cited 15 Sep 2023. Available at