Gender bias in academic recruitment and promotion. Recognizing and overcoming it [2021-10-05]


5 October 2021


09:30-16:45 (Brussels time)




1 day

Learning Objectives

  • Provide an overview of the main imbalances and bias with regards to HR management in research and academia (vertical and horizontal segregation, gender pay gap, international mobility)
  • Sensitise about unconscious bias, challenging allegedly objective and gender-neutral career enhancement criteria
  • Provide examples of measures aimed at tackling those biases
  • Build capacity for self-reflection and enhancement of HRM processes


Target Group

  • Decision-makers (heads of institutes/departments)
  • GE/Focal/Equality/Diversity officers
  • GEP teams
  • Middle managers/team or unit leaders




Cristina Maria Dragomir

Associate Professor, Constanta Maritime University; President - European Center for Social Responsibility; General secretary and Founding Member - Women's International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) Romania

Dr. Cristina Dragomir is scholar and gender equality expert, with input in developing fair access to education and employment in maritime transport. Dr. Dragomir is associate professor PhD at Constanta Maritime University from Romania, department Management in Transports. She gives lectures of Transport Technologies, Management of Ship Commercial Operations and Human Resources Management since 2008, being invited as lecturer in other universities and as speaker in international and national events. She is reviewer for prestigious SSCI journals indexed in Web of Science Clarivate as WMU Journal of Maritime Affairs
(Springer publisher), Journal of Navigation (Cambridge Core publisher), MDPI and Technium. Considering the importance of long life learning and the need to perceive holistically the maritime sector, from both the technical and social side and, also, in relation with other sectors and modes of transport, Ms. Dragomir constantly updated her diverse educational background in transport studies, earning 2 PhDs (one in Port Mechanical Engineering and one in Human Resources
Management in Maritime Transport), 2 MScs degrees (one in Cybersecurity and Risk Management and the second one in Maritime and Port Management) and 3 BSc titles (one in Navigation and Naval Transport, one in Port Engineering and the third in International Business). She also holds Dr. Cristina Dragomir got certification for the following programs of specialisation related to gender expertise:
• “Gender Equality Academy - Train the Trainers Programme” organized by Gender Equality Academyin Europe, 2021
• “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace”, program organized by the University of South Florida, Muma College of Business, 2021
• “Gender equality in Responsible Research & Innovation”, Gender Equality Academy capacity building program, 2021
• “Understanding and facilitating change for gender equality in research and the academia", 2020
• “Certificate for Gender and Environment and Gender and Biodiversity”, United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), Geneve, Switzerland, 2019.
As academic researcher, Ms. Dragomir is specialized in gender studies in transport, being project manager of such dedicated research as well as the author and co-author of more than 40 published articles and 4 books on gender in transports and associated topics.
Currently (2021-2022), she is the project manager of the visionary project “Digital Leader”, grant by the International Association of Maritime Universities (IAMU) and the Nippon Foundation, aiming the update of Maritime Education and Training (MET) with digital skills urgently needed in the dynamic sector of transports affected by the COVID 19 pandemics. She was previously the project manager of the academic research „Gender Equality and
Cultural Awareness in Maritime Education and Training” GECAMET (2017 -2018) coordinating a complementary expertise team of researchers from 9 countries: Australia, Canada, Ghana, Norway, South Korea, Spain, Philippines, Romania and Vietnam in a study aimed in updating the Maritime
Labour Convention (MLC) with gender requirements. Final research report is available here: and was cited by the International Labour Organisation when preparing strategic documents for updating MLC: In 2019, Dr. Dragomir participated as gender research specialist at the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Geneve, Switzerland during discussions for updating Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) with gender requirements, and in 2018 she has participated in the ILO session of MARITRANS meeting of the Special Tripartite Committee for amending MLC, 2006.
Regarding social involvement for the local and global community, Dr. Dragomir is the President and Founding Member of the European Center for Social Responsibility ( since 2008, where she has implemented impactful cultural, educational and academic projects:
• „ Smart Transport Sustainability in the Real Life”, 2021 – international contest with participants from 6 countries and jury from other 9 countries across 3 continents, aiming in motivating the youth to understand the utility of smart transport for sustainability and wellbeing.
• International academic Focus Group “The role of the European Commission, IMO and ILO for empowering gender in maritime”, available here:, virtual event developed in partnership with 3 international universities and 6 International associationsfor gathering academia and institutional maritime stakeholders sharing bright ideas and timely suggestions on how the policy makers European Union (EU), the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) can jointly contribute to the motivation and empowerment of women in maritime.
• Smart Transport Summit, international academic event gathering United Nations institutions, government, business and research for sharing best practices in the accomplishment of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through smart transport
• Maritime Coaching Webinar (2020);
• Youth Drawing Contests; Environmental and civic awareness projects etc.
Also, since 2019, Dr. Dragomir is the founding member and General Secretary of the association „Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association” - WISTA Romania having as recent accomplishment being the main facilitator and program designer for the 2021 fundamentals for the Romanian National Strategy for Women Empowerment in the Maritime.
Since April 2021, Dr. Dragomir is member of the WISTA International Technology and Futures Committee, having input in designing strategic programs for women empowerment within IMO Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme, e.g. in programs of sector awareness on the advanced
technology used on new vessels that enable female work much easier on board, with no/less need for physical force.
Since 2020, Dr. Dragomir is the Chair of the International Board of Philippines Association of Extension Program Implementers (PAEPI)- and she involved the association in cultural and educational activities.
Dr. Dragomir has joined other academic projects and international research, including:
• Maritime Innovative Network of Education for Emerging Maritime Issues (MINE EMI) project for preparing joint Master Programme between maritime universities from Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece and France (
• “Diversification of seafarers' employability paths through collaborative development of competences and certification” (DIV SEA, 2019) , Erasmus + Strategic Partnership with partners from Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Netherlands.
• Romanian-Norwegian Maritime grant (RoNoMar, 2011), by Norwegian Cooperation Programme for Economic Growth and Sustainable Development with Romania, where Ms. Dragomir was invited as visiting Lecturer at Molde University from Norway specialised in Logistics;
• “Mathematical Models for Inter-Domain Approaches with Applications in Engineering and Economy” (MIEC, 2010), international academic project between Romania and Republic of Moldova;
• National projects: Romania Secondary Education (ROSE) Project, grant by World Bank (2019-2022); VIA (2013); “Leadership: communication and competitiveness in European Union integration” - LIDEROM (2009) etc.
Among published academic works on the gender in maritime topic:
• Dragomir, C., „Postmodern Maritime Human Resources Management - Amending the Maritime Labor Convention with Gender Requirements”, POSTMODERN OPENINGS, Vol.: 10, Iss.: 1, pp.: 21-35, DOI: 10.18662/po/53, Published: MAR 2019.
• Dragomir, C., „Gender in Postmodernism Maritime Transport”, POSTMODERN OPENINGS, Vol.: 10, Iss.: 1, pp: 182-192, DOI: 10.18662/po/61, Published: MAR 2019.
• Dragomir, C., „The role of Maritime Labour Convention in reducing maritime gender inequalities”,JOURNAL OF PHYSICS: CONFERENCE SERIES, 2018, 1122(1), 012036
• Dragomir, C., Popa, L. „The role of the International Labour Organisation in reducing maritime gender gap and motivating more female towards seafaring careers”, JOURNAL OF PHYSICS: CONFERENCE SERIES, 2018, 1122(1), 012030.
• Dragomir, C, Baylon, AM, Azirh, NT, Leon, A, „Women Leaders in Shipping as Role Models for Women Seafarers”, TRANSNAV-INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL ON MARINE NAVIGATION AND SAFETY OF SEA TRANSPORTATION, Vol.: 12, Iss.: 2, pp.: 279-284, DOI: 10.12716/1001.12.02.07, Published: JUN 2018.
• Dragomir, C., Parsons, J., Choi, J., Estimo, E., „Key Performance Indicators (KPI) for Evaluating Economic Efficiency of Gender Policies in Shipping Companies With Mixed Crews”, CONSTANTA MARITIME UNIVERSITY ANNALS, Year XVIII, Vol.27, nr. 223, 2018, pp.131-136, indexed in Proquest Aquatic Science Journals Proquest Illustrata: Technology Journals Proquest, Natural Science Journals Proquest Scitech Journals Genamics, Journalseek Ebsco Publishing, Index Copernicus, Ulrich’s Zentral Blatt Math,Chemical Abstracts Society, Transportation Research Board.
• Dragomir C., Baylon A., Nguyen T. H. V., Zhang W., External Requirements on Improving Ship Management Policies. A Gender Equality and Cultural Awareness Overview on the Shipping Market, “MIRCEA CEL BATRAN” NAVAL ACADEMY SCIENTIFIC BULLETIN, Vol. XX – 2017 – Iss. 2, “Mircea cel
Batran” Naval Academy Press, Romania, indexed in: PROQUEST / DOAJ / DRJI / JOURNAL INDEX / I2OR / SCIENCE LIBRARY INDEX / Google Scholar / Crossref / Academic Keys / ROAD Open Access / OAJI / Academic Resources / Scientific Indexing Services / SCIPIO / JIFACTOR
• Dragomir, C., Surugiu, F, „Seafarer women – Perception of the seafaring career”, presented at WSEAS/NAUN 2nd International Conference on Economics, Political and Law Science (EPLS 2013), Volume: Advances in Fiscal, Political and Law Science, 1–3 June 2013., cited by the International Labour Organisation -Recruitment and retention of seafarers and the promotion of opportunities for women seafarers, Report for discussion at the Sectoral Meeting on the Recruitment and Retention of Seafarers and the Promotion of Opportunities for Women Seafarers (Geneva, 25 February–1 March 2019), 978-
92-2-132869-8 (print)[ISBN]; 978-92-2-132870-4 (Web pdf)[ISBN], disponibil la:
• Lau, Y.Y, Dragomir, C., Tang, Y. M., Ng A. K. Y., „Maritime undergraduate students: Career expectations and choices”, SUSTAINABILITY, 2021
• BOOK: Dragomir, C., Bătrânca, G., Popescu, C., Surugiu, F, „Study on Motivation of Targeted Groups to Join the Maritime Sector”, Romanian Norwegian Maritime Project 2008/111922, Nautica Publisher, Constanta, 2012, ISBN 978-606-8105-71-0

Shirin Heidari

GENDRO, Founding President; Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Senior Researchers

Dr Shirin Heidari is the founding president of GENDRO, an association with the mission to advance gender-sensitive research and data analysis. She is also Senior Researcher at Global Health Centre and Research Affiliate of Gender Centre, at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. She is the Principal Investigator of a multi-country multi-disciplinary research project on sexual and reproductive health in forced displacement. Dr Heidari also serves as Senior Technical Advisor on Gender to the World Health Organization, where she provides technical and scientific advice and strategic support on mainstreaming gender into the work of WHO departments and normative guidelines.

Previously, Dr Heidari was the Executive Director of Reproductive Health Matters and Editor-in-Chief of its peer-reviewed journal. Between 2007 and 2014, she oversaw the Research Promotion department of the International AIDS Society and was the Executive Editor of the Journal of the International AIDS Society (JIAS). At IAS, she spearheaded efforts towards gender-sensitive research and programme delivery, particularly within the HIV field. She introduced the first editorial gender policy for an HIV journal.

Dr Heidari received her doctorate at Karolinska Institute in 2001, where she continued her research in the HIV field until her move to Geneva.

As a feminist and human rights advocate, she has served as a board member of Amnesty International, Sweden, where she advocated for the sexual and reproductive rights of women and girls and the right to health. Dr Heidari established and co-chaired a Gender Policy Committee while a member of the Council of European Association of Science Editors. She led the development of the Sex and Gender Equity in Research (SAGER) guidelines to help address the gender bias in scholarly communication. She has given a TEDx talk encouraging gender-sensitive research and scholarly communication and is a commissioner of the Lancet Commission on Women and Cancer.

Further Information

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