The KORSEAI – Institute of Historical and Archaeological Research was created in 2017 after two diving expeditions that led to the discovery of 58 wrecks around the small island of Fournoi, Aegean Sea. The Institute hopes to become a communication platform that will revive the historical and archaeological interest in this region of the Aegean. Its main objectives are the financial and logistical assistance of all projects of the Archaeological Service and other scientific entities, encouraging research and the general promotion of any studies that will contribute to the understanding of cultural heritage and the historical restoration of the Fournoi archipelago islands and their surroundings.

Today, KORSEAI Institute continues scientific work, focusing on field research and the promotion of its historical and archaeological results, as well as playing the role of coordinator among public and private institutions that collaborate for the progress of the project.

This Gender Equality Plan (GEP) legitimizes and protects every strategy aimed at achieving gender equality at KORSEAI. The GEP is devised according to national and European laws and aligns with national initiatives and actions focusing on equality of women and men, rights, discrimination banning, equality treatment, harassment in the workplace, social responsibility, etc.

Regulatory Framework

European Legislation

Equality between people and non-discrimination are the founding cornerstones of the EU. They are embedded in the Treaties of the European Union, the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and secondary legislation. In the development of the GEP, KORSEAI considers: a. the Directive 2006/54/EC on implementing the principle of equal opportunities and equal treatment of men and women in matters of employment and occupation (recast). b. the Directive 2010/41/EU on applying the principle of equal treatment between men and women engaged in an activity in a self-employed capacity and repealing Council Directive 86/613/ EEC. c. the Council Directive 92/85/EEC on the introduction of measures to encourage improvements in the safety and health at work of pregnant workers and workers who have recently given birth or are breastfeeding. d. the Council Directive 2010/18/EU implementing the revised Framework Agreement on parental leave. e. the Council Directive 97/81/EC concerning the Framework Agreement on part-time work. f. the Council Directive 2000/43/EC implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin. g. the Council Directive 2000/78/EC establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation, covering the grounds of religion or belief, disability, age and sexual orientation.

Greek Legislation

Aligning with the EU principles on gender equality, instructing public research bodies, Greek policy documents related to research, innovation, technology and higher education, including the latest National Strategy for the European Research Area (2015-2020), are aiming “to establish Gender Equality Plans and to include relevant provisions in their internal regulations and strategic plans”.

Law 4386/2016 entitled, “Regulations on research and other provisions” recognizes that research institutes need to achieve greater gender balance in the composition of scientific councils, committees and advisory bodies, indicating that at least one-third of the members to be from one sex, “as long as the candidates have the necessary qualifications as required by each position” (Art. 25). In addition, the Greek Constitution guarantees equality between the sexes (Art. 2, §4) and the right to equal pay for the work of equal value regardless of gender or other differences (Art. 22, §1).

At the same time, Greece’s constitution recognizes substantive equality between the sexes. In the constitutional revision process in 2001, it is foreseen that “positive measures for promoting equality between men and women does not constitute discrimination on the grounds of sex” and that “the state shall take measures to eliminate inequalities to the detriment of women that exist in practice” [Art. 116(2)]. This amendment paved the way for positive measures in different domains, such as, for example, the
adoption of gender quotas for local, national and European Parliament elections and the gender provision for advisory bodies and scientific councils.

As a result, several new laws and provisions were devised for research and private organizations. Law 4604/2019 on “Promoting substantive equality between the sexes and combatting gender-based violence” encourages and research content universities and research organizations to integrate gender in their study programs (Art. 17) on “Promoting substantive equality between the sexes and combatting gender-based violence,” Government Gazette, No. 50/1, March 2019). Private and commercial enterprises are also encouraged to adopt equal opportunity policies through the development of GE Plans. For those companies, an official distinction, namely the “Equality Badge” (Sima Isotitas), is foreseen (Art. 21).

At the same time, Law 4589/19, Art. 33 on the restructuring of universities, includes a provision on the establishment of Committees for Gender Equality (CGE) in all Greek universities will act as consultative bodies to assist the university administration in promoting gender equality. In addition, the provisions of Law 4808/2021 provide for the prevention and treatment of violence and harassment at work and the fight against workplace bullying. Based on the existing institutional framework, the aim is to consolidate a culture of equality, protect the world of work from violence and harassment and cultivate a healthy work environment.


This gender equality plan suggests the development of specific interventions for areas in need of more practical and strategic approaches in order to ensure the empowerment of gender-diverse individuals as a step towards gender equality.

For the development of the GEP, many factors and procedures had to be defined and taken into consideration, adjusted to the current small size of our center. These have been applied in distinct development phases: Audit, Planning and Implementation.

  1. Audit phase: This phase involves collecting gender-disaggregated data from 2017 to 2022 and reviewing practices to identify possible gender inequalities and related causes. It also includes reviewing relevant national and regional laws, regulations, or funding requirements (Tables 1 – 4).
  2. Planning phase: During this phase, the KORSEAI sets targets for the GEP while mapping potential actions and measures.
  3. Implementation phase: A roadmap of activities is being carried out, including setting up working groups to develop and implement new policies and procedures. This phase includes awareness-raising and training efforts to achieve broad engagement regarding the GEP within KORSEAI and to the public.

As an institution that does not employ any staff at the moment, KORSEAI focuses on field research and promoting its historical and archaeological results, counting “members,” “friends,” and external collaborators. Since its establishment, KORSEAI has been very committed to empowering women’s participation and creating an inclusive workplace culture. KORSEAI also takes a leading role in recognizing and valuing the diversity of its members based on language, cultural background, gender, age, religion, geographical region, sexual orientation, functional disability, and socio-economic situation. This role is positively associated with the institutional situation given the age diversity of members ranging from 20 to 70 years, the variety of cultural backgrounds present and more than 50% of its members being women. KORSEAI recognizes that its community may include people who do not identify with the binary construct of being either male or female and who may be gender diverse, including those who affirm their gender as being different from the sex assigned at birth, who were born intersex or whose sex is indeterminate; or who identify as transgender or no gender.

The GEP will be appointed and approved by the Board of Directors of the Institute. The Board of Directors and KORSEAI’s General Assembly will monitor the plan. The work suggested under the GEP will be complemented and will operate in parallel with all KORSEAI functional sectors (administration, operation, research, Board of Directors). It is essential for GE,P to be implemented, monitored and updated continuously and smoothly, and adequate human resources and timelines should be ensured. Thus, a special sector in the Regular Annual Objectives Report should be included.

Existing toolkits, methodologies and available GE Plans from several universities and institutes in Europe were surveyed. In addition, data was collected in order to estimate the current situation at KORSEAI regarding gender balance (Tables 1-4). To this end, data on the number of male/female members/friends/honorary members was collected from 2017 till the past year (Tables 1-2).

The Plan constitutes a living document that the Institute will be committed to updating regularly. A future assessment of the status regarding gender balance should be performed after a three-year period to evaluate the progress and mitigation measures to be taken if needed. After quantitative and qualitative research, a set of Evidence-based policy proposals will be constructed to ensure gender equality and balanced representation.
In order to successfully implement the proposed GEP, KORSEAI is aiming to organize its activities in a participatory way, discussing the overall progress and achievements, identifying traits that can be improved, and developing mitigation measures with respect to deviations from the original planned actions.


With its Gender Equality Plan, KORSEAI aims to establish its priorities for addressing gender equality and setting guidelines for future activities to enhance gender equality and monitor the application of the GEP. The cornerstone of the high-quality science that KORSEAI promotes, produces and applies is equality of opportunity and participation. Fair access and equity are ensured for all members, either in managerial, technical, or administrative roles, and external collaborators. KORSEAI, according to international, community and internal standards, does not only limit equity to gender bias but also – as previously mentioned – considers other inequality grounds such as disability, age, sexual orientation, religion or ethnicity.

KORSEAI expects all members, friends, honorary members, future occasional staff and collaborators to act with “Responsibility, Integrity and Respect”:

  • Responsibility: all members of KORSEAI should behave in an inclusive and supportive manner without undermining, intimidating, or discriminating against colleagues and visitors;
  • Integrity: demonstration of professional and appropriate behaviour while at work is expected;
  • Respect: Consideration and thoughtfulness are anticipated in relation to members, friends, honorary members, possible staff, and collaborators, regardless of their background, culture, and beliefs.

Priority Axes

According to the guidelines of the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE2), KORSEAI focuses on the following key areas to “identify and implement innovative strategies to promote cultural change and equal opportunities in Universities and Research Centers”:

  • Key Area 1: Governance and decision-making: Despite the high participation of women members within KORSEAI (Tables 1 & 2), their presence on the Board of Directors is underrepresented (Table 5). Measures should be undertaken to achieve balance on the Board of Directors by encouraging women to participate more actively in those posts and ensuring inclusivity and gender balance in decision-making processes.
  • Key Area 2: Recruitment, Selection Procedures and Career Progression: Currently, regular employees have yet to be recruited by KORSEAI. Occasionally, KORSEAI participates in EU programs as a beneficiary, and employees can be recruited. In those specific cases, KORSEAI must provide both women and men with professional support, attract suitable applicants based on gender equality and support their admissions.
  • Key Area 3: Flexible and Agile Working: As KORSEAI does not employ regular staff, the balance between professional and personal life cannot be directly discussed. Nevertheless, KORSEAI must take measures to ensure the ‘well-being’ of its members, researchers and collaborators, with flexible working-in-the-field models, coordination and clear assignment of responsibilities and provide support for women researchers affected by career breaks in regaining research momentum as quickly as possible on return.
  • Key Area 4: Gender Strategy in Research: KORSEAI fosters equality in scientific careers by practicing equity and excellence at all levels through the training or participation of researchers, members and possible staff, contributing to the national and European needs for female experts, particularly in archaeology. The Institute has always encouraged the nomination of women for research positions in organizations, universities or other entities, as well as their participation in conferences, congresses, seminars, scientific meetings, publications, etc.
  • Key Area 5: Gender in events, courses and activities: KORSEAI informs the public about its actions and research progress, including participative discussions and events, local community building and open-air work. Every event is open to the public, and people of all genders are welcomed and given equal time and space to participate. All discussions are moderated in a way where nobody is excluded, and all voices are heard. Speakers and event contributors are selected based on their experience, knowledge and relevance to the topic/activity, regardless of gender. All of the activities and events (both for children and adults) are gender-neutral.
  • Key Area 6: Gender in the Institute’s Culture: The Institute has continuously focused on its wellbeing plan since its foundation. Specifically for the GEP, free access is provided through KORSEAI’s website. Also, GE principles are embedded into the Institute’s regulations and policies, whereas using inclusive, gender-neutral language around it is encouraged. In the future, procedures and support services against discrimination, harassment or violence must be established to ensure that all participants, regardless of gender, age or social background, have equal rights to participate in research.