The Elcano Royal Institute is a private non-profit foundation with a history of over 20 years. As a leading think tank in international and strategic studies, our mission is to contribute to innovative, robust, inclusive and informed responses to global challenges and governance and to analyse the role of Spain in the world, with a particular emphasis on its position in Europe. We analyse the international outlook and assess how major global transformations affect Spanish society. Our objective is to contribute ideas that promote and strengthen sustainability, peace and security, prosperity, the reduction of inequalities, democracy, freedom and human rights, and equality between men and women.
The Institute seeks to bring rigour, independence, pluralism and a wide range of perspectives to bear on our complex and rapidly changing world. We aim to contribute innovative ideas to public debate for use by institutions, public administrations, the private sector, academia, research institutes and civil society as a whole. We do this by working in interdisciplinary teams and maintaining permanent exchanges and dialogues with all sectors of society, research institutes and national and international organisations and institutions.
The Institute is committed to ensuring that the results of its research are permanently available to everyone through open-access documents produced in accessible formats and published on our website.
- Independence: independent, rigorous and innovative thought.
- Dialogue: interdisciplinarity, diverse points of view and a wide range of approaches.
- Sustainability: commitment to the environment and to reducing our carbon footprint.
- Equality and non- discrimination: objective of gender equality across our organisation and in our public presence and activities, underpinned by the principle of non-discrimination.
- Transparency and good governance: the principle of efficiency, transparency and accountability.
Our commitment to full and effective equality between women and men
Equality between men and women is one of the fundamental principles of the Elcano Royal Institute. It is set out in our Bylaws (article 6.1) and forms part of our Code of Good Governance (article 2). We are committed to putting in place and implementing policies that incorporate equal treatment and opportunities between women and men, without direct or indirect discrimination on grounds of sex. We are also committed to taking steps to achieve real equality in our Institution. Equality between women and men is one of the strategic principles of our corporate and human resources policy, in line with Spanish legislation on delivering effective equality between women and men (Organic Law 3/2007).
Across all the areas in which it is active, the Elcano Royal Institute strives to uphold the principle of equal opportunities for women and men, including in recruitment, promotion, remuneration policy, training, employment and working conditions, occupational health, flexible working arrangements and work-life balance. The Institute has a zero- tolerance approach to direct discrimination and has specific procedures in place for dealing with indirect discrimination, as defined in Spanish legislation (‘a situation in which an apparently neutral provision, criterion or practice places a person of one sex and a particular disadvantage compared to people of the other sex’, article 6.2, Organic Law 3/2007). The Institute will ensure the effective internal and external communication of decisions in this area.
These principles will be implemented by promoting active policies and implementing a package of measures set out in an equality strategy identifying steps to improve the current situation and the corresponding monitoring systems in order to make progress towards real and effective equality between women and men within the Institution and more broadly for society as a whole.
These measures will cover specific areas, including career development and working conditions, training, work-life balance, shared responsibility, decision-making and equal pay for women and men.
The guide Gender, think-tanks and international affairs: A toolkit, produced by Chatham House, Comexi, the Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy and the British American Security Council, highlights the limited presence of women in the strategic studies sector, including in leadership and senior analyst roles at many think tanks. Think tanks also have a fundamental role to play in ensuring research reflects the diversity of realities by including a wide range of voices and experiences and in ensuring this diversity is also present in public debates and contacts with decision makers, businesses and academic institutions. The analysis by the Elcano Royal Institute Women, gender and think tanks: political influence network in Twitter 2018 also revealed the relative lack of influence of female think tank experts on social media compared to their male counterparts. While the analysis found clear room for improvement in ensuring the gender agenda forms an integral part of the global conversation, it also highlighted a growing tendency to include a gender approach more broadly across different areas of research and different disciplines.
Gender is embedded in the mission and values of the Elcano Royal Institute. The Institute is committed to furthering gender awareness in order to incorporate a gender perspective in all its activities as a think tank in the strategic studies sector, both in terms of its work and internal structure.
A representative commission of the Elcano team was established in November 2021, as part of an initiative promoted by the Chair, to ensure progress towards the goal of full and effective equality. The commission comprises members of the leadership, management and research teams commission and has an equal number of men and women. In 2022, it also incorporated legal representation of workers, following elections in December 2021.
The strategy set out in this document is based on a diagnostic of the current situation of gender in the Institute. The diagnostic included quantitative and qualitative information and was produced externally
Alignment with European Commission guidelines
Gender equality is a fundamental value of the EU. The European Commission has emphasised the many benefits of the principal of gender equality to research and innovation and how it can strengthen the quality of democracy. While a series of policies and initiatives have delivered some progress towards gender equality in research and innovation in the EU, there is still much work to be done. The most recent data shows that the EU’s progress in recent years has been limited:
The limited progress made so far on gender equality has depended on structural change across the whole of research and innovation. However, further progress will require the clear and concerted action of research and innovation organisations, national ministries and funding bodies in cooperation with the European Commission.
Gender is one of the key overarching priorities of the EU’s Horizon programme. The Horizon Europe Guidance on Gender Equality Plans states that the criterion of gender equality ‘helps to improve the quality and impact of research and innovation by helping to ensure it is reflective of and relevant to the whole of society; creates better working environments that enable good quality research and learning and help maximise the potential and talents of all staff and students; [and] helps to attract and retain talent by ensuring that all staff can be confident that their abilities will be valued and recognised fairly and appropriately.’
This approach is linked to the European Commission’s gender equality strategy A Union of Equality: Gender Equality Strategy 2020–2025, which includes the objective of all participating organisations having a gender equality strategy. In the conclusions on the New European Research Area in December 2020, the European Council requested that the European Commission and Member States adopt a renewed approach to gender equality and mainstreaming, including the integration of the gender dimension in research and innovation.
The European Commission has set the following mandatory criteria to be included in the gender equality strategies of organisations participating in Horizon:
- It must be a publicly available document, signed by senior management and communicated within the Institution. It must show a commitment to gender equality, set clear goals and detailed actions, and measures to achieve them.
- Specific resources must be available for the design, application and monitoring of the equality plan, in addition to the working time assigned to academic, management and administrative staff.
- It must include provisions for the collection and monitoring of data. It must be evidence-based and grounded in sex/gender-disaggregated data, gathered across all employee categories. This data serves as the basis for the objectives and targets of the plan, as well as indicators and the continuous evaluation of progress.
- It must be reinforced with training and capacity-building, including the development of skills on gender and preventing unconscious bias among employees, management and decision makers, creating working groups for specific issues and raising awareness through workshops and communications activities.
The recommended areas of action include:
- Work-life balance and organisational culture.
- Gender balance in leadership and decision-making.
- Gender equality in recruitment and career progression.
- Measures against gender-based violence, including sexual harassment.
This Strategy for Equality between Men and Women is available on the website of the Elcano Royal Institute. It has been signed by the Chair and the leadership team and communicated to all Elcano employees. It sets clear objectives and measures, with details of how to achieve them, and appoints specific figures for ensuring their application and monitoring, including details of the time to be spent on them. It has mechanisms for collecting and monitoring sex-disaggregated data across all categories of the workforce. This data has been used to set objectives and targets, to define indicators and to continuously evaluate progress. Lastly, the measures include training for skills and capacity-building on gender and addressing stereotypes based on prejudices and bias. This contributes to developing a new culture and new skills on gender equality within the organisation. All employees of the Elcano Royal Institute are aware of these objectives and are committed to achieving them.
Scope: workforce and time scales
This strategy covers the four-year period 2022-26 and applies to all members of the Elcano team. The strategy came into force after being approved by the Board of Trustees of the Elcano Royal Institute on 20 June 2022.
The diagnostic was based on four criteria:
- An instrumental approach: undertaken to identify specific areas of action, with a focus on decision-making.
- Flexibility: content, duration and format that reflect the institution’s specific needs.
- Dynamic nature: adapted to the needs and characteristics of the Elcano Royal Institute.
The diagnostic set out to identify the presence and estimate the scale of inequalities, disadvantages, barriers and obstacles present in the Institute to ensure effective equality between women and men and the availability of accurate information for designing measures to correct them.
The baseline gender equality diagnostic for the Institution was carried out externally and independently by the ISEAK Foundation, a non- profit organisation established as a foundation under Spanish law.
The analysis was based on two data sources. First, the Elcano Royal Institute provided ISEAK with access to anonymised administrative data on its employees, including sociodemographic characteristics (eg, age, sex and level of education) and information on working conditions (eg, remuneration, contract type and working hours). Secondly, ISEAK invited Elcano employees to complete an anonymous survey on perceptions of equality in the Institution. The two sources were used to produce a detailed diagnostic to permit evidence-based decision-making.
This has allowed decisions to be made based on quantitative (the anonymised data covering the full work force) and qualitative analysis (the surveys completed by all employees). As the Elcano Royal Institute is a relatively small institution, a number of factors should be taken into consideration when analysing and interpreting the results of the statistics. The main findings of the diagnostic were:
- There is vertical segregation in senior management, with a concentration of men above a certain level of the hierarchy: one women / two men appointed by the Board of Trustees and more generally eight women / two men in the Institute’s senior leadership and management teams. There are also examples of horizontal segregation, where a majority of one sex dominates one position: seven women / 12 men among senior analysts and a high presence of women in the management team. The diagnostic identifies clear room for improvement to ensure the gender balance of the Institute’s teams (leadership, management and research).
- The aggregate gender pay gap is around 20%, which is comparable with the figure for Spain as a whole. However, it should be noted that this is not necessarily a consequence of gender discrimination but may reflect differences in the composition of the workforce, such as years of service, prior experience and level of education. The gap for years of service is 13% (on average, men have worked for longer at the Institute than women).
- While the vast majority of contracts are permanent, only women work part-time (just two employees, which is a small proportion of the total).
- There is broad support for activities to promote gender equality, with 90% of the workforce in favour. There is also a significant perception among women (over half) that the current balance between men and women in the Institution is inadequate.
- The vast majority believe the Institution values gender equality (although a third of women believe it is not valued enough).
- There is a significant gap between men and women in valuing work by the other sex: for research and management teams, an average of 42% of women believe the work of men is valued more, while just 6% believe the work of women is valued more. Similarly, 12% of men in the research team believe the work of female colleagues is valued less. Half of women also believe that men have more opportunities for internal career progression. There is also a perception of improvement both in the required rebalancing towards better valuing the work of women and in making them aware of opportunities for career progression. However, the size of the Institution and the specialist nature of many roles limits opportunities for promotion.
- A third of employees highlighted problems with work- life balance and the majority do not switch off from their work. This is an area for improvement for internal communication training, as well as part of a specific policy on teleworking and a reflection on measures related to the need to switch off from work in the digital age. A clear and well-communicated policy is also needed on work-life balance, both in terms of its family (parental leave) and personal dimensions.
- There is a gender gap in perceptions of the Institution as being open to dialogue, understanding, inclusive, collaborative and respectful. This is an aspect that can be promoted within the Institution as part of enabling an organisational culture that promotes equality between men and women, alongside a human resources policy that aims to achieve this objective.
- Additionally, the majority of the Elcano workforce is interested in training.
- Ninety percent of the workforce regard teleworking as positive.
The independent diagnostic report was used to draw up a series of priority areas for action and improvement, with specific measures that must be tailored to the needs and circumstances of the Elcano Royal Institute.
The European Commission defines a gender equality strategy as a package of commitments and measures that seek to promote gender equality in an organisation through a process of structural change. Strategies should pursue the sustainable transformation of processes, cultures and organisational structures that produce and sustain gender imbalances and inequalities. They should address not only the visible structure and practices of an organisation (for example, policies and procedures) but they should also take into account how the values adopted by employees change (declared values), as well as underlying assumptions (beliefs, thoughts and unconscious feelings), including in the production of knowledge and its applications.
The primary objective of this strategy is to design and implement specific measures that accelerate achieving effective equality between men and women at the Elcano Royal Institute, ensuring compliance with the principle of equality in the Institution.
This general objective is complemented by the following specific objectives:
- Work-life balance and organisational culture.
- Gender balance in leadership and decision-making.
- Gender equality in recruitment and career progression.
- Measures against gender-based violence, including sexual harassment.
- Training and capacity-building on gender.
- Research with a gender perspective.
- Remuneration and the gender pay gap.
- Continuous training for retaining and attracting talent.
Work-life balance and organisational culture.
OE 1.1. Promote work-life balance in the Institution, in addition to the sharing of responsibilities between men and women.
OE 1.2. Promote a more transparent and inclusive organisational culture.
Gender balance in leadership and decision-making
OE 2.1. Promote balanced representation in decision-making bodies.
OE 2.2. The leadership and management teams should promote eliminating the transmission of sexist stereotypes in internal communications and external relations.
Gender equality in recruitment and career progression
OE 3.1. Ensure processes for promotion include clear criteria and are free from discrimination, avoiding gender bias.
OE 3.2. Ensure recruitment and selection processes include clear criteria and are free from discrimination, avoiding gender bias.
Measures against gender-based violence, including sexual harassment
OE 4.1. Prevent and detect any situations of harassment and discrimination that arise in the Institution, promoting tools to channel and resolve cases, with the corresponding guarantees.
Training and capacity-building on gender
OE 5.1. Promote specific training on gender for all Elcano employees.
Research with a gender perspective
OE 6.1. Promote the gradual incorporation of a gender perspective in research, especially when sex- disaggregated data is available.
OE 6.2. Identify external researchers working on issues that form part of the Institute’s research agenda who can offer a gender perspective and with whom collaboration may be possible.
Remuneration and the gender pay gap
OE 7.1. Address any gender pay gaps across equivalent roles.
Continuous training for retaining and attracting talent
OE 8.1. Promote and facilitate continuous training of Elcano employees as a tool for job satisfaction and for guaranteeing the rigour and quality of work.
A series of specific measures will be implemented to achieve these objectives, with indicators and staff appointed for monitoring.
Promote work-life balance in the Institution, in addition to the sharing of responsibilities between men and women.
Design and implement a teleworking policy at the Elcano Royal Institute to guarantee sufficient flexibility and to help promote work-life balance and the sharing of duties between men and women. This policy must also be properly communicated.
|Indicator 1: definition of the corresponding policy (document with rules, guidelines and instructions) and internal communication to all Elcano employees for immediate implementation.|
Ensure the Institution’s proactive work on parental leave is communicated internally. Use should be promoted among both men and women, beyond the legal requirements. This will help ensure parental leave is free from the consideration or perception of prejudice that could impact people’s careers.
|Indicator 2.1: express written communication on parental leave by the Institute.
Indicator 2.2: gender-disaggregated figures on the use of parental leave.
|Indicator 3: definition of the corresponding policy (document with rules, guidelines and instructions) and internal communication to all Elcano employees for immediate implementation.|
Promover una cultura organizativa más transparente e inclusiva.
Improve internal communication of all decisions that may directly or indirectly affect Elcano employees, particularly those related to organisational culture and key parts of the equality strategy (for example, work-life balance, promotion, prevention of harassment).
|Indicator 4: number of written communications or meetings with the entire workforce on decisions regarding organisational matters.|
Promote an organisational climate and culture based on respect, inclusion, understanding and dialogue at all levels of decision- making in the Institution, as well as in horizontal relationships and between teams.
|Indicator 5: perception of Elcano employees based on a survey before the interim and final evaluations.|
Promote balanced representation in decision-making bodies.
Gradually reduce vertical segregation to achieve parity in the medium term (no less than 40% and no more than 60% of each sex) for leadership and management teams.
|Indicator 6: percentage of women and men in the leadership and management teams.|
The leadership and management teams should promote ending the transmission of sexist stereotypes in internal communications and external relations.
Leadership should promote a respectful and inclusive
organisational culture, ensuring the use of inclusive language and providing a specific training module on this topic.
|Indicator 7.1: number of people who have incorporated inclusive language in their work (measurable through a survey circulated among Elcano employees before the interim and final evaluations).
Indicator 7.2: number of awareness- raising activities and number and grade of participants.
Indicator 7.3: adoption of a series of recommendations on the use of inclusive language in communications and publications.
Indicator 7.4: number of training courses offered and number and grade of participants.
Ensure the work of employees is valued equally, avoiding gender bias. Recognition of individual work will be open, transparent and standardised across the workforce, guaranteeing support for and visibility of similar contributions from men and women.
|Indicator 8: perception of Elcano employees based on a survey before the interim and final evaluations.|
Ensure balanced participation in public debates organised by the Elcano Royal Institute, in line with the commitment made in 2018 through the European Parliament’s #DóndeEstánEllas initiative.
|Indicator 9: number of expert panels with the same number of women and men; number of panels with only men; number of panels with a minority of women; percentage of panels with the participation of women; percentage of panels without the participation of women. Number of events organised throughout the year and gender- disaggregated figures on their composition and roles; number of women speakers; number of women moderators.|
Ensure all processes for promotion include clear criteria and are free from discrimination, avoiding gender bias.
Establish and communicate clear, transparent and non-discriminatory criteria for promotions, explaining roles whose nature or specialised nature do not allow promotion.
|Indicator 10: definition of criteria for potential promotion and their written communication to all employees.|
Ensure recruitment and selection processes include clear criteria and are free from discrimination, avoiding gender bias.
Ensure selection and recruitment campaigns are openly and publicly communicated, without discriminatory language and explicitly encouraging women to apply. Apply the general principles and requirements of the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers for selection and recruitment processes, terms of employment and career progression across all Elcano employees. These principles include open and public application processes, their communication in English, a clear description of the role, selection criteria (including qualifications and experience) and a deadline for applications.
Indicator 11.1: number of public job adverts and analysis of their terms of reference.
Indicator 11.2: evaluation of the selection processes (gender of candidates and selection criteria for the successful candidate).
Gradually reduce horizontal segregation in the research team to achieve parity in the medium term (no less than 40% and no more than 60% of each sex), particularly for senior analysts.
|Indicator 12: percentage of women senior analysts, either through promotion or new selection and recruitment processes.|
Prevent and detect any situations of harassment and discrimination that arise in the Institution, promoting tools to channel and resolve cases, with the corresponding guarantees.
Guarantee that all Elcano employees are fully aware of the measures designed to avoid unacceptable behaviour and harassment.
|Indicator 13.1: internal written communication of the measures.
Indicator 13.2: document signed by employees stating they are aware of the Code of Good Governance and of measures against harassment.
Produce a specific protocol for the prevention of sexual and gender- based harassment.
|Indicator 14: process for producing the protocol, in line with best practices.|
Adequate internal communication to ensure all employees are aware of the protocol for the prevention of sexual and gender-based harassment, when it is in place.
|Indicator 15: internal written communication of the sexual and gender-based harassment prevention protocol, when it is in place.|
Plan the training required to identify and learn to respond to situations of sexual and gender-based harassment in order to guarantee a safe environment.
|Indicator 16: number of training courses offered and number and grade of participants.|
Consider specific training on gender for all Elcano employees.
Organise specific training on equality, guaranteeing access to men and women and ensuring it takes place during the working day.
|Indicator 17: número de formaciones y número y responsabilidad de las personas asistentesnumber of training courses and number and grade of participants.|
Ensure specific measures on non- sexist and inclusive communication for both internal and external purposes.
|Indicator 18: number of measures adopted and their content.|
Ensure all employees are informed of and receive the Elcano Equality Strategy.
|Indicator 19: number of presentations of the strategy and queries answered on its content, with written communication to all Elcano employees.|
Promote the gradual incorporation of a gender perspective in research, especially when sex- disaggregated data is available.
Provide training on how to apply a gender perspective to research projects.
|Indicator 20: number of training courses offered and number and grade of participants.|
Identify external researchers working on issues that form part of the Institute’s research agenda who can offer a gender perspective with whom collaboration may be possible.
Produce a list for the different thematic priorities.
|Indicator 21: number of researchers identified for each thematic priority.|
Address any gender pay gaps across equivalent roles.
Analyse the existence of pay gaps across equivalent roles based on the evaluation of roles within the Institution.
|Indicator 22: number of pay gaps across equivalent roles.|
Ensure they are eliminated, in addition to measures to prevent them being replicated.
|Indicator 23: percentage of reduction in pay gaps across equivalent roles.|
Promote and facilitate continuous training of Elcano employees as a tool for job satisfaction and for guaranteeing the rigour and quality of work.
Establish a training policy to provide opportunities for people who are interested in training.
|Indicator 24: definition of the policy (documents including rules, guidelines and instructions) in the area.|
Promote the continuous development of employees and provide the internal communication needed to ensure all employees are aware of this initiative.
|Indicator 25: internal communication to all Elcano employees of the continuous development policy, accessible to everyone.|
Application and monitoring
The leadership team will be responsible for the development and implementation of the measures in this gender equality strategy, particularly human resources, with participation and contributions from the Programmes Department and Project Office. These three departments comprise the body responsible for the implementation of the strategy and will actively support this process. The measures implemented will involve the participation of the legal representation of workers.
The required material and human resources will be provided for implementation (for example, time allocations, training budget).
The monitoring committee for the strategy will comprise the members of the commission for defining the strategy, representing the leadership, management and research teams.
Once a year, taking into account the indicators for each measure, quantitative and qualitative information will be gathered to measure the level of progress and design additional contingency measures if needed. Information will be gathered in June 2023, 2024, 2025 and 2026.
Monitoring will not be a secondary process but will take place in parallel to implementing the measures, checking and verifying that they are correctly implemented. It will also be used to detect imbalances and adopt corrective measures. An annual monitoring report will be produced, which will also permit evaluation of the strategy and achievement of the objectives.
The monitoring commission will receive and analyse information on the implementation of the measures and any other relevant information on the strategy for the period it is in force.
As the principle of equality applies across the Elcano Royal Institute as a whole and given its priority nature, the strategy will be evaluated to determine its impact on existing gaps, with an evaluation system, a commission and a frequency established for this purpose.
There will be an interim evaluation (July 2024) and a final evaluation (November 2026). These evaluations will look at all the strategy’s 25 measures to determine the level of implementation and/or performance (significant, limited or no progress). The evaluation will be performed by a commission comprising the members of the commission for defining the strategy and for its monitoring, representing the leadership, management and research teams.
The evaluation seeks to determine the level of compliance with the strategy and its implementation, determining if objectives have been met and identifying areas for improvement or new needs that require the adaptation of existing measures or the design of new ones. The following will participate in the evaluation: the leadership team, the monitoring commission, the legal representation of workers (notwithstanding forming part of the monitoring commission) and the Elcano workforce as a whole, which will be able to participate in the surveys that feed into the evaluation report.
The evaluation of results will analyse the level of compliance with the objectives and the results delivered. The impact evaluation will measure the changes in the institutional culture (attitudes of the Elcano workforce, changes in the internal climate and the internal/external image of the Institution) and the reduction of inequalities in the presence and participation of women and men.
The evaluation reports will incorporate the data and analysis obtained from the various sources (monitoring reports, evaluation surveys, etc) and will form the basis of a new diagnostic report at the end of the period covered by this strategy in 2027. The evaluation reports will be circulated among Elcano employees.
Over the coming months, after approval by the Board of Trustees, the strategy will be gradually implemented in line with the required analysis and design process.
Measures that can be immediately implemented will take effect straight away (for example, selection and recruitment, communication of organisational decisions to the Elcano workforce, informing and consulting on the equality strategy).
Measures that require the design of policies, the provision of training on gender, a detailed analysis of pay gaps and the creation of a protocol for preventing sexual and gender-based harassment will be implemented in line with the corresponding time scales. The aim is for all measures to be ready for implementation in the first half of 2023.
The strategy will be continuously monitored, following each measure implemented and in line with the indicators that have been set. An annual report will be produced by the monitoring commission.
There will be two evaluations during the period covered by the strategy: an interim evaluation (July 2024) and a final evaluation (November 2026).
 The funding criteria for the European Commission Horizon Europe programme includes the mandatory incorporation of a gender approach in teams and research.
 In alphabetical order, the members are: Haizam Amirah, Angel Badillo, Marta Carrasco, María Dolores de Azategui, Sara Megía, Juan Antonio Sánchez, María Solanas, Manen Taibo and Álvaro Vicente.