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Create your Network

The aim is to establish links between your institution and implementation teams with some peer organisations that have already experienced institutional transformation and/or implemented gender action plans, ans also to identify and engage with Higher Education and Research Institutions to benchmark best practice initiatives as well as exchange experience.
Phase One: Identify Institutions
The initial phase involves identifying institutions that have relevant experience according to your needs. This experience may relate to individual initiatives which have demonstrated results (e.g. a successful mentoring programme for women academics) or broader, holistic programmes of institutional transformation.
Resources for the identification of suitable institutions include the list of Athena SWAN Awardees, members of the League of European Research Universities (LERU) and US NSF ADVANCE Awardees.
In addition, the UK Equality Challenge Unit can recommend and advise on specific universities and individuals.
Phase Two: Make Contact
Once suitable institutions have been identified, the next step is to initiate the mentoring relationship. A line of communication should be established and preparations made for site visits and/or meetings.
Phase Three: Initiate Programme for Mentoring Interactions
Where a site visit is to take place, arrange a list of interviews to be conducted (e.g. with people directly involved in the institutional transformation, research/academic staff in the relevant departments, human resources director, key senior management figures…). 
Visits to the targeted institution and implementation teams by representatives of the mentoring institution are also recommended and may precede site visits to the mentoring institution.
Phase Four: Maintain Mentoring Relationship
Communication should be maintained throughout the process in order to facilitate the sharing of experience. Once a mentoring relationship has been established and secured, contacts in the mentoring institution should continue to provide support and guidance to the implementation teams when needed.
Concurrent with All Phases:
Information and updates should be shared so that every stakeholder may be alerted on potentially useful contacts and organisations.

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