FRRB final TARGET event – gender equality in health research and healthcare

FRRB organised the final TARGET event on 15 December 2021. The objective was to present the results achieved by the project, including the two Gender Equality Plans approved, and further discuss the issue of gender equality in health research and healthcare.

Following the introduction of the Director of the Foundation, the Regional Councillor for equality, Mrs Pellegrini, expressed her gratitude for the good outcomes of the TARGET project, highlighting they go in the way of a more general promotion of gender equality in different policies. 

Paola Bello, the TARGET project manager for FRRB, explained the results achieved by the project and specifically highlighted what it meant for FRRB to take part in the project. Thanks to its participation in TARGET, FRRB introduced a number of policies, both internal and external, started a wide promotion of gender equality issues through its Community of Practice, and most of all adopted their first and second Gender Equality Plan. 

Barbara De Micheli from Fondazione Giacomo Brodolini presented the new EU Horizon Europe GEP requirements, providing advice and insight.

There was then a round table, involving representatives of the main hospitals in Milan, on the topic of Gender Equality and gender medicine: the idea was not to discuss gender in the content of research, but how the issue of gender equality, along with the initiatives of FRRB to promote it, is changing hospitals and medical research. 

Participants in the round table were 

  • Franca di Nuovo (Lombardy Region Contact Person for Gender Medicine; Member of the National Technical Board and of the Observatory of Higher Institute of Health; Director of the Operative Unit of Pathological Anatomy; ASST Rhodense)
  • Cinthia Farina (Group leader at INSpe, Institute of Experimental Neurology; San Rafaelle Hospital Contact Person for gender medicine and coordinator of the GEDI Team (GEnder, Diversity and Inclusion in medicine, research and governance); IRCCS San Raffaele Hospital)
  • Susanna Chiocca (Director of the ‘Viruses and Cancer Unit’ and the ‘WoMen in Science Program’; European Institute of Oncology Contact Person for Gender Medicine; IRCCS European Institute of Oncology (IEO)
  • Barbara Garavaglia (Head of the Genetics Structure of Movement Disorders and CUG President and Gender Medicine Contact Person, IRCCS “Carlo Besta” Neurological Institute Foundation
  • Roberta Gualtierotti (Researcher at the University of Milan and IRCCS Ca ‘Granda Foundation Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico of Milan)

It was highlighted how the initiative of a funding agency can really help trigger the change in healthcare organisations, and also how the topics of gender equality and equal opportunities can no longer be neglected in the clinical practice, both in the organisations and in the care pathways.  

Finally, Elena Bottinelli, from Gruppo San Donato, closed the meeting, recognising the advancements towards a more equal healthcare system in Lombardy, also thanks to the role of FRRB. She invited FRRB to apply to the award “Donne Leader in Sanità” (Women Leaders in Healthcare), which recognises organisations, both public and private, that have distinguished themselves for positive actions to promote female leadership and change towards gender equality.