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Abstract

NOTE: The final version is labelled Aug_2020. This version corrects an error in the author names, and removes specific deadlines from the recommendations. The WISDOM Forum was set up to provide a platform to support, empower and encourage the participation of all genders in Operational Research within EURO. 3 We cannot solve problems that we do not see or understand. This White Paper aims to highlight some of the issues that may face women working in OR and Analytics, and to recommend best practices within the discipline. The adoption of these best practice recommendations in EURO instruments, by EURO national societies, Working Groups, at OR conferences, and in OR publications can serve to raise the visibility of the contribution of women in OR, and make it an attractive career option for women. Encouraging diverse perspectives will benefit the OR discipline in its entirety, not just its female actors. Equality, diversity, and inclusivity (EDI) are challenging societal problems. OR lends itself to formulating difficult challenges, and to assessing the relative success of different interventions, so may contribute to progressing EDI objectives. We conduct a systematic literature review to gain a broad array of disciplinary perspectives to understand the context of EDI problems, and to identify which initiatives may be useful for the OR community. We synthesise the reviews into a set of EDI recommendations. The participation and commitment of all members of the EURO community is of paramount importance for the success of our EDI recommendations.
WISDOM White Paper, Final Draft 11th August 2020 for submission to the EURO Council Page 1
Promoting Gender Equality and Inclusivity in EURO Activities: WISDOM
Forum White Paper
Paula Carroll
1
,
2
, Annunziata Esposito Amideo, Maria Andreina Francisco Rodriguez, Renata Mansini,
Nicola Morrill, Frances O’Brien, Tatiana Tchemisova
Abstract
The WISDOM Forum was set up to provide a platform to support, empower and encourage the
participation of all genders in Operational Research within EURO.
3
We cannot solve problems that
we do not see or understand. This White Paper aims to highlight some of the issues that may face
women working in OR and Analytics, and to recommend best practices within the discipline. The
adoption of these best practice recommendations in EURO instruments, by EURO national societies,
Working Groups, at OR conferences, and in OR publications can serve to raise the visibility of the
contribution of women in OR, and make it an attractive career option for women. Encouraging
diverse perspectives will benefit the OR discipline in its entirety, not just its female actors. Equality,
diversity, and inclusivity (EDI) are challenging societal problems. OR lends itself to formulating
difficult challenges, and to assessing the relative success of different interventions, so may
contribute to progressing EDI objectives. We conduct a systematic literature review to gain a broad
array of disciplinary perspectives to understand the context of EDI problems, and to identify which
initiatives may be useful for the OR community. We synthesise the reviews into a set of EDI
recommendations. The participation and commitment of all members of the EURO community is of
paramount importance for the success of our EDI recommendations.
1. Introduction: A Spotlight on Gender Inequality
In this section we seek to raise awareness of general gender inequality issues. Most readers
will be broadly aware of the issues. However, the practical implications for women in OR may not be
immediately apparent to all. Solutions to these problems are the responsibility of all members of the
OR community.
UN Sustainable Development Goal 5 aims to “Achieve gender equality and empower all
women and girls”. However progress towards gender equality is slowing (UN 2020). Hunt et al.
(2018) argue that progress on gender diversity at work has stalled. Despite many organisations
adopting gender equality strategies there is no evidence that the words have translated to action.
Hunt et al. (2018) highlight statistical evidence for the business case that diversity brings value to
organisations but comment that only around half of all employees think that their company sees
gender diversity as a priority and is doing what it takes to make progress. Around 20 percent of
employees say that their company’s commitment to gender diversity feels like lip service. And few
companies are making a strong business case for gender diversity: while 76 percent of companies
have articulated a business case, only 13 percent have taken the critical next step of calculating the
positive impact on their business.
1
Correspondence to wisdom@euro-online.org
2
The following author naming convention was used: the lead author is the person who worked most
substantially on drafting and editing the article, and organising the underlying research. The remaining authors
made an equal contribution to reviewing and drafting sections of text and are listed alphabetically by surname.
3
The WISDOM Terms of Reference are available at https://www.euro-online.org/web/pages/1654/wisdom
WISDOM White Paper, Final Draft 11th August 2020 for submission to the EURO Council Page 2
While women living in the EU benefit from legislative equality, there is often a gap between
institutions’ stated equality policies and their practices (Davis et al. 2016). We coin the term pink
washing” for organisations who build reputational capital using EDI as a commodity, but who
demonstrate significant gaps between the rhetoric of their EDI policies and their actions and
practice. We give as an example State Street Global Advisors (SSGA) who designed a US stock market
index to measure the performance of U.S. large capitalisation companies that are "gender diverse".
They define gender diverse as a company that exhibits gender diversity in their senior leadership
positions. The SHE SPDR SSGA Gender Diversity Index was launched in 2016. SSGA commissioned the
Fearless Girl sculpture in 2017 anticipation of International Women’s Day. It depicts a girl four foot
high, promoting female empowerment and was installed on New York’s Wall St. In October 2017
SSGA reached an agreement with the United States Department of Labor to pay over $5M to settle
claims that it had discriminated against female and black employees
4
.
Kossek et al (2017) note that women remain underrepresented in leadership, and that what
appear to be women’s individual “choices” are shaped by social context factors in which they are
embedded major institutions from business to politics in every country. A report commissioned by
the government of Ireland on gender in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) concluded that The
reason why women are not found in the same proportion as men in the most senior positions is not
because women are not talented or driven enough to fill these roles, it is because numerous factors
within HEIs, conscious and unconscious, cultural and structural, mean that women face a number of
barriers to progression, which are not experienced to the same degree by their male colleagues;
systematic barriers in the organisation and culture within higher education institutions mean that
talent alone is not always enough to guarantee success” (HEA 2016).
Guyan & Oloyede (2019) looked at EDI challenges and interventions in the UK Research &
Innovation sector. While their focus is broader than OR, the discussion and points highlighted are
relevant for OR. The unique contribution is the comprehensive nature of their look and the up to
date nature of the material they considered. The work highlights that women are ‘least represented
in high-productivity sectors, including STEM and high-salaried occupations’. On the academic front
and research grant applications, in particular, women have, on average, a lower success rate and
request smaller grant sums. Guyan & Oloyede (2019) highlight that most EDI interventions focus on
gender; data collection practices vary; and there is a wide variation in the way EDI activities are
evaluated. The work highlights a number of interventions ‘that work’ and this includes unconscious
bias training and embedding EDI within strategies, policies and processes. They suggest that a
longitudinal evaluation is needed to assess the efficacy of mentoring programmes.
We do not currently have any evidence of how OR fares in comparison to other disciplines.
Many of the problems are societal/institutional and beyond the remit of EURO and the WISDOM
Forum. However, we can play a role in assessing the current situation, recommending best practices
within/for the OR and Analytics discipline, proposing metrics to evaluate the success of any adopted
recommendations and promoting transparency and accountability.
Our White Paper aims to understand the general context of EDI issues and identify best
practices so as to make a set of recommendations for EDI best practice within EURO instruments,
national societies, working groups, conferences and the OR community. Our objective in answering
research questions one and two below is not to contribute to the theory of EDI, but to learn which
practices may be useful for adoption by the OR community. By answering research question three,
4
https://src.bna.com/s55
WISDOM White Paper, Final Draft 11th August 2020 for submission to the EURO Council Page 3
we aim to make a set of recommendations to narrow the gap between the words articulated in EDI
strategies, and effective actions toward meaningful equality and inclusion. If effective, our
recommendations will improve the image of OR, and assist in attracting and retaining women in the
discipline. We apply a Systematic Literature Review (SLR) methodology using the search strategy in
Table 1. As OR is often located in Business Schools, we restricted the articles for review to those
within the Association of Business Schools (ABS) journals where business and management
academics publish.
Search string
"Equality, Diversity and inclusion" AND "best practice"
Database
ABI/INFORM Global (Proquest)
Filters
Peer reviewed, scholarly journals, past 10 years
Count
58, of which 37 in ABS journals
Table 1: SLR Search Strategy
We selected 15 of the 37 articles for more detailed analysis. We focused on articles which seemed
most relevant to answer our questions, omitting those that were purely theoretical or focused on
narrow case studies. Our questions are:
1. What does this paper contribute to EDI best practice?
2. What does the paper say works well/doesn’t work well?
3. How could the best practice be adapted as a WISDOM recommendation?
Section 2 contains a brief review of the SLR papers. Section 3 summarises the WISDOM
recommendations. Section 4 concludes our White Paper by outlining proposed next steps.
2. Systematic Literature Review: EDI Best Practice
Four main themes emerged in our review of the papers to answer questions one and two:
what contributes to EDI best practice, and what works well/doesn’t work well. We summarise the
themes as 1) the business case for EDI; 2) language, imagery, cultural norms and biases; 3)
networking and career support, and 4) EDI initiative success factors.
2.1. Business case for EDI Initiatives
The business case for EDI is cited as the main motivation organisations engage in EDI
initiatives, there is evidence that a more diverse inclusive workforce adds value to the business. The
SLR papers highlight the challenge to achieving meaningful EDI progress when initiatives take a
surface learning or superficial approach to understanding and then addressing the underlying
problems.
Davis et al. (2016) define diversity management as the process and programs by which
managers make everyone more aware of and sensitive to the needs and differences of others. They
note many benefits for organisations who proactively manage workforce diversity such as improved
performance outcomes, increased levels of job satisfaction and loyalty, better retention of talented
employees, a workforce that mirrors its customer base.
Martín-Alcázar et al. (2012) explore how diversity can be managed through Strategic Human
Resource Management (SHRM) systems. They note a lack of consensus about the concept of
diversity and suggest that isolated interventions cannot deliver benefits of diversity. They argue that
a total cultural change is needed at the organisational level to promote the ‘appreciation of
individual differences’. They used two surveys instruments at the firm level of 250 Spanish chemical
WISDOM White Paper, Final Draft 11th August 2020 for submission to the EURO Council Page 4
companies focusing on demographic and human capital attributes and group processes and
outcomes. They use structural equation modelling to explore a number of hypotheses and conclude
that to take advantage of group diversity a rethink of SHRM practices is needed. To benefit from
cognitive, affective and communicational effects of diversity, organisations need to promote
inclusiveness, collectivism, and appreciation of individual differences.
Michielsens et al. (2014) show that flexible work arrangements (FWA) are an integral part of
diversity strategies, but that organisational imperatives, particularly management concerns about
client interaction, constrain the acceptance of FWA and therefore restrict their impact as a means to
greater diversity. They also note the limited scope for the business case for EDI to bring about real
change as business imperatives are prioritised over the social argument for diversity. They note that
different companies show different understandings of both flexibility and diversity, leading to
different interpretations, policies and implementation.
Guerrier and Wilson (2011) argue that diversity is a commodity that “sells”, making a
company seems more interesting, colourful and “cool”. Evans (2012) is also critical of organisations
who undertake EDI initiatives to serve business needs. The author presents a case study on a
programme to fill a technical soft-skills gap in the Information Technology, Electronics &
Communications (ITEC) sector. Evans (2014) revisits the same case study using institutional theory to
situate the motivation of institutions who engage in gender mainstreaming projects as building
reputational capital and creating legitimacy as a rationale for the organisation’s behaviour. The
author argues that a top-down “business case” approach helps positioning a company as a “good
employer” and so builds reputational capital rather than achieving EDI objectives.
2.2. Language, Imagery, Cultural Norms and Biases
We each operate within a social and cultural environment and context. We influence and are
influenced by our surroundings. As mature adults we may reflect on and try to understand the
cultural and organisational constructs that regulate our actions, and how language and imagery
encode messages and meaning. Other disciplines are concerned with the development of theories to
understand these concepts. Here we are more interested in the question of how these issues
manifest in practice. We wish to be alert so as to avoid pitfalls.
Evans (2012) notes that while organisations may tailor their language in job adverts to be
more subtly encoded with feminine words, the competency based frameworks under which
applicants are judged are generally based on male norms leading to a mismatch.
Davis et al. (2016) also observe a gap between EDI theory and practice. They find that
managers can be unaware of their own biases and identify a need to educate managers on the
issues relating to and benefits of workforce diversity management. They note some of the issues
faced by women in academia such as under-representation on editorial boards of scholarly
management journals, and under-representation as first named authors on papers in scholarly
management journals.
Jonsen and Maznevski (2010) explore how different beliefs regarding gender differences and
leadership can influence company diversity policies and initiatives. They suggest that women and
men exposed to gender stereotypes become more accepting of existing gender inequalities. They
explore three different gendered leadership theories:
(1) The gender-blind view: Female and male leaders are not significantly different and
should therefore be treated the same;
WISDOM White Paper, Final Draft 11th August 2020 for submission to the EURO Council Page 5
(2) The gender-conscious view: Female and male leaders are significantly different and
should be treated accordingly;
(3) Perception creates reality: Female and male leaders are not significantly different. But
people believe they are different (stereotyping) and these stereotypes create barriers to women’s
advancement.
They also consider the role of culture on these beliefs and conclude that sensitivity to local
cultures mean there is no one-size-fits all best practice EDI solution.
North-Samardzic and Taksa (2011) assess the efficacy of policies designed to increase the
number of women at senior levels in a financial institution in Australia by analysing institutional
documents. They find women are obliged to comply with male norms because of the gendered
subtext. They discuss the symbols, images and values that explicitly and implicitly encode and
normalise gender inequalities. The implicit meanings of organisational texts reveal the organisation’s
true gender culture which is often hidden by rhetoric of equality. The “old boy’s network” excludes
women, but those who can perform the appropriate forms of masculinity can be included in the
network and rewarded with managerial or leadership positions. Weak legislation allows
organisations to represent policies as addressing gender inequalities without have to address
underlying systematic and cultural processes. Women who fail to fit the profile are disadvantaged.
They note the challenges of family responsibilities in a sector that demands long hours, mobility and
fast paced technology which is an obstacle for women returning from maternity leave.
Guerrier and Wilson (2011) analyse how diversity policies are represented on web sites of 28
large UK companies. They also focus on the language and images used to communicate diversity to
stakeholders in general, and to prospective employees in particular. Diversity policies are usually
communicated in careers pages and as part of the corporate social responsibility (CSR) pages.
Frequently companies use only images of people that are considered as aesthetically more
appropriate to represent the brand as others, thus reinforcing cultural stereotypes. Statistical
evidences and a discussion are provided on the three ways used to present diversity on company
web sites (no imagery, abstract imagery and pictures of employees).
Evans (2012) reviews ITEC job specifications that have been adapted to be more appealing
and accessible to women through subtly coded female language and imagery.
2.3. Networking and Career Support
Having summarised the conflict between the business case and social argument for diversity,
and highlighted the challenges of culture and unconscious biases to achieving EDI progress, and the
difficulty of language and imagery as communication tools (or weapons), we turn our attention to
practical insights that may provide constructive ideas for the OR community.
Broadbridge (2010) defines human capital as the ensemble of resources that define an
individual based on his/her education and training. Human capital is complemented by social capital
which is defined as the ability of people to acquire benefits through their membership in social
networks or other social structures and the reputation they have because of their connections. The
author argues that women prefer to develop human capital through direct ties to immediate
individuals (e.g., department colleagues), while men tend to develop more indirect varied ties
beyond their immediate connections which may open a wider range of opportunities. Men and
women act similarly at the early stage of their careers and depend on supportive senior
managers/bosses. A difference is apparent at later career stages where men tend to create more
social capital through indirect ties to develop their career. Women may create women-only social
WISDOM White Paper, Final Draft 11th August 2020 for submission to the EURO Council Page 6
support networks as “a mechanism for coping with a male (and hostile) dominated organisational
culture”. The author argues that as a result, men are better positioned to exploit social capital to
advance in their careers while women expend their social capital on social support to overcome
macho culture. The study is based on qualitative interviews with 11 men and six women, so may not
generalise well.
Hardcastle et al. (2018) analyse barriers for women and underrepresented minority (URM)
faculty in STEM departments at University of Cincinnati USA. The authors use surveys (concerning
recruitment, retention and faculty movement) and social network analysis (SNA). Recruitment is not
found to be a barrier to broadening participation, but retention and promotion are. The authors
provide statistical evidence that a greater percentage of women than men hired as tenure-track
assistant professors leave the institution without obtaining tenure, and a smaller percentage of
women than men are promoted from associate to full professor. Results from SNA are astonishing:
although research productivity rates for women exceed those of men in the same position, women
have a lower centrality of placement in the research network but a central position in the socio-
affective one. The authors propose proactively developing women’s network connections by writing
articles together and through the activation of sponsored grants. They describe a successful Career
Development Planning tool to help women increase research productivity and interdisciplinary
collaborations, get funding, construct a professional identity corresponding to personal values and
fitting into the overall goals of the university.
Laursen and de Welde (2018) take an in-depth look at the ADVANCE program of the US
National Science Foundation which aims to increase the presence of women in STEM academic
faculties. The authors found a double-loop learning process (i.e., “a change in the broad strategic
approach or theory of change”). Two main changes were identified: (1) targets; and (2) providing
advice to build a successful proposal. They highlight the need to emphasise equity rather than simply
the lack of diversity noting that rising numbers of women in STEM faculties does not necessarily
ensure equitable opportunities.
2.4. EDI Initiatives Success Factors
The final theme we identified is concerned with indicators of success. We recognise the EDI
is a wicked societal problem, and here we aim to identify practical insights on how we may design
success into any OR EDI initiatives.
Evans (2014) notes that most institutions copy well tried “best practices” even though such
practices had previously failed to address underrepresentation of women in ITEC. The author
recognises that (EDI) project reports may not be read by busy decision makers and recommends the
use of different metrics and deliverables (other than reports) for gender mainstreaming projects to
facilitate more innovation. She also proposes the use of a “critical friend” to review gender
mainstreaming initiatives.
de Vries (2015) examines the role, challenges, risks, and choices of male and female EDI
champions. She describes the role as critical to the success of EDI initiatives but notes gendered
aspects. Male champions are perceived as powerful and effective, while female champions can be
accused of self-interest. EDI initiatives usually have more credibility if supported by senior men who
have the capacity to influence other men through their position of authority. Female EDI champions
are visible role models. The stand out as examples of what women can achieve, but shoulder much
of the burden of working for gender change in organisations. Women may also face additional
constraints and difficulties coming from a lower power base. The paper proposes a model of
WISDOM White Paper, Final Draft 11th August 2020 for submission to the EURO Council Page 7
partnership, where senior men and women play complementary roles leading gender change, and
ensuring that gender change is men’s and women’s business. Participation of senior members in EDI
initiatives signals the importance of and commitment to EDI. Champions should be aware of the
associated time commitment.
Buttner and Tullar (2018) developed two metrics (D-Metric and U-Metric) for use by
organisations in measuring progress towards a representative workforce. The Metrics assess how
representative an organisation is across different skill categories when compared to the relevant
labour market. The U-Metric is for use when there is a unitary labour market. The values of the
Metrics represent distance from the ‘ideal’. Both require data to be available in the public domain to
support the cross-comparison. The authors highlight that the use of the Metric’s value on its own
has little meaning and, instead, it should be considering over time comparisons between
organisations, comparisons between different parts of the same organisation and comparison
between different types of jobs and levels. In line with continuous improvement principles ‘one
must have a metric to progress’, the metrics can be used to track progress towards a representative
workforce.
Williamson et al. (2019) examine the gender equality policies of all 18 Australian government
departments across the five elements of Diefenbach’s typology: changing business environment,
decentralised and devolved organisational structures and processes, organisational and individual
performance measurement and evaluation to ensure costs are reduced whilst efficient services are
provided, the role of managers, and employees and corporate culture. In their analysis they find the
element of effective measurement and accountability was largely absent. They note that a lack of
measurement and accountability indicates a symbolic rather than real commitment to progressing
gender equality. Most Gender Equality Action Plans (GEAPs) did not define gender equality which
was often conflated with parity in numbers in senior leadership. The GEAPs stipulate that managers
should be role models and advance behaviour change, such as by encouraging male employees to
work flexibly. Increased usage of flexible working by male employees can assist in subverting
gendered organisational norms. This compliments the issue of presentism for women noted in
North-Samardzic and Taksa (2011). The very existence of the GEAPs reflects a corporatisation of
gender equality as noted in Guerrier and Wilson (2011). For gender equality to progress, greater
accountability and measurement must be built into the system.
3. Wisdom Recommendations to improve EDI within EURO
The business case for EDI recurs throughout many of the SLR papers. While this motivates
corporations to engage in EDI initiatives and use diversity as a commodity to build reputational
capital, EURO have no such financial incentives. We are freer to act altruistically for the greater
good. Success in EDI initiatives within the OR discipline will enhance the OR brand. Having reviewed
the literature on EDI best practices we created one suggestion from each paper as an action on how
the EDI best practice could be adapted as a WISDOM recommendation to promote EDI within EURO.
In summary:
Create networking opportunities for women in OR to create both direct and indirect ties and
so develop social capital and social support (Broadbridge, 2010).
Identify the current diversity management policies and practices across all EURO
instruments. Explore diversity training for those EURO officers (Davis et al., 2016).
EDI initiatives should be championed by all genders (de Vries, 2015).
WISDOM White Paper, Final Draft 11th August 2020 for submission to the EURO Council Page 8
Design metrics to track the progress of women in academia and practice within OR, such as
the number of women on committees etc. (Buttner and William, 2018).
Define innovative EDI metrics for EURO activities such as networking links built at EURO
events. Assign an outsider/critical friend/reviewer to EURO WGs/conference and journal
aims/ scope /call for papers to review gender mainstreaming initiatives. Take care that
language is gender neutral (Evans 2012, 2014).
Care should be taken to avoid a superficial definition of diversity through the use of clichés,
imagery and cultural stereotypes (Guerrier and Wilson, 2011).
EURO national societies should adapt WISDOM recommendations to take account of the
local culture (Jonsen and Maznevski, 2010).
EURO through WISDOM could form links with women in STEM initiatives in their own
institutions and national programmes (Laursen and de Welde,2018).
EURO could invite national OR societies, WGs and EURO instruments to indicate how they
promote inclusiveness, collectivism, and appreciation of individual differences (Martín-a
lcázar et al., 2012).
EURO instruments should support the social arguments for EDI, and be flexible in how it
conducts meetings to enable the participation of all genders in all EURO activities
(Michielsens et al., 2014).
Gather data on the symbols and images used within OR artefacts to identify any gender
culture subtext (North-Samardzic and Taksa, 2011).
Organise OR specific career planning workshops, and events to developing women’s
network connections by writing articles and funding proposals. Consider a special issue
pairing young women with senior OR academics. Gather data to model the OR network of
actors (Hardcastle et al. 2018).
Define metrics for OR activities to enable greater accountability (Williamson et al., 2019).
We synthesised the recommendations to remove overlap and propose the following set of
recommendations for adoption by EURO instruments (WGs, conferences, and journals) and national
societies:
1. Identify current diversity management and promotion policies. Gather data on how EURO
instruments and national OR societies promote inclusiveness, collectivism, and appreciation
of individual differences. Each EURO Instrument and national society should aim to write a
one page summary on how it addresses or aims to address EDI.
2. Explore diversity training for officers. Each EURO Instrument and national society should aim
to identify EDI training needs and a design a training plan.
3. Assign an outsider/critical friend/reviewer to EURO WGs/conference and journal aims, scope
and call for papers. Take care that language is gender neutral. Take care that images avoid a
superficial definition of diversity that uses clichés and cultural stereotype images. Each EURO
Instrument and national society should review its branding and resources and write a one
page summary on how they support or plan to support the WISDOM EDI objectives.
4. Appoint male and female EDI champions for each EURO instrument. Each EURO Instrument
and national society should aim to appoint an EDI champion.
5. Design all activities to support the social arguments for EDI. Create suitable networking
opportunities for women in OR to develop social capital and social support. Each EURO
WISDOM White Paper, Final Draft 11th August 2020 for submission to the EURO Council Page 9
Instrument and national society should review their meeting and networking arrangements
and write a one page summary highlighting their EDI aware modus operandi.
6. Enhance flexibility in conducting meetings to enable the participation of all genders in all
EURO activities, consider ways that families can attend EURO events, or childcare can be
provided. Each EURO Instrument and national society should aim to identify family friendly
opportunities for participation and possible funding mechanisms for participation in its
activities.
7. Design metrics to track the progress of women in academia and practice within OR, such as
the number of women on committees etc. Define innovative EDI metrics to promote
transparency and accountability for EURO activities such as networking links built at EURO
events. Link metrics to funding. Each EURO Instrument and national society should aim to
identify the numbers of men and women participating in its activities. Each EURO
Instrument and national society should agree a suitable set of EDI targets.
8. Gather data on the symbols and images used within OR artefacts to identify any gender
culture subtext. Gather data to model the OR network of actors. Consider a journal special
issue pairing young women with senior OR male and female academic mentors. The
WISDOM Form should design a research plan to collaborate with EURO WGs and national
societies.
9. Organise OR specific career planning workshops and events to support the development of
womens networks. Organise collaborative journal and funding proposal writing workshops.
The WISDOM Forum should design programmes of events to support the WISDOM Forum
objectives.
10. Form links with women in OR/STEM initiatives, national programmes and professional
associations. The WISDOM Forum should identify a list of initiatives and associations. The
Form should design a work plan for interaction.
Recommendations 1-7 should be considered by all EURO instruments and national OR societies who
may adapt the EDI recommendations to take account of local culture of EURO national societies. The
WISDOM Forum will consider recommendations 8-10 to define our programme of events and
research. We welcome collaboration with all EURO WGs, national OR societies and their members.
4. Conclusions and Next Steps
In this White Paper we set out to identify some of the issues that may face women working
in OR and Analytics, and to recommend best practices within the discipline. We have been partially
successful. Our SLR serves to shine a light on general issues. The identification of, and responses to
the specific issues within OR can only be created when recommendations 1-10 have been
implemented. We look forward to the support of the EURO and wider IFORS communities.
In next steps, the WISDOM Forum will focus on recommendations 8-10 and define a
programme of events and research. We plan a formal launch at the 31st European Conference on
Operational Research (EURO 2021), 11 14 July 2021, Athens. We invite EURO WGs and national
societies to join us in Athens and report on their initial progress with respect to recommendations 1
7.
We recognise the limited scope of the SLR. As noted, our objective was to gain insights from
the EDI literature on practical ideas to promote EDI within EURO instruments rather than a review of
WISDOM White Paper, Final Draft 11th August 2020 for submission to the EURO Council Page 10
every aspect of EDI. There are possibly other initiatives that would complement those we have
identified. We welcome feedback and constructive suggestions on how the EURO community can
collectively achieve the WISDOM aims to support, empower and encourage the participation of all
genders in Operational Research within EURO.
Acknowledgements
The authors acknowledge the support and encouragement of the EURO executive committee,
particularly President Prof Immanuel Bomze. We thank Vice Presidents Claudia Archetti and Julia
Bennell for acting as reviewers to finalise the White Paper.
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