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GeNeus: how to implement a gender neutral approach in the selection processes

The project GENEUS – Gender Neutral Tools and Tests for selection processes is just concluded. GeNeus has been a project co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme – KA2: Strategic Partnership | VET. It involved 6 partners in 5 different countries: Austria, Bulgaria, Italy, Portugal and Spain.

The project aimed at developing, promoting and mainstreaming a Set of Selection Tools and Tests of Gender-Neutral Recruitment Processes

Achieving a selection process that is free of bias (such as gender bias) is not only a just objective for all types of employers and recruiters, it is also the smart thing to do. Unbiased recruiting allows companies, organizations, etc. to access a diverse and complete pool of talents, without excluding anyone. By developing gender neutral approach, GeNeus wants to overcome the gender bias in the recruitment process, ensuring gender equality in the labour and educational sector in a long term perspective. With this in mind, Geneus’ partners have developed during the 30-months project durationg their statistically-tested gender neutral tools and test for selection processes, and their guide and sets of application specifically addressed to three type of targets:

  • SMEs,
  • Post Secondary Professional Education Institutions
  • Public Administration 

The lifecycle of the project included different phases which aimed at improving recruitment and evaluation processes in the labour market and professional education, focusing on gender equality in performance and aptitude testing.

The main objectives of the project were the following:

  • To get an overview of the reality, demands and gaps of the selection processes in different environments
  • To assess and analyse these processes, with a gender-neutral perspective
  • To produce and deliver useful and free tools guaranteeing a gender-neutral approach in testing candidates.

During the last 30 months, partners have developed tools and tests, validating them by involving more than 1000 people in all the partner countries. After consulting stakeholders from all the interested fields, the partnership managed to achieve the results that have been planned.

The partnership of GeNeus has developed the following products:

  1. Generic report on Gender Neutral Testing: based on a desk research and several interviews, this report collects information on how SMEs, Public Administration and Post-Secondary Professional Education deal with selection processes and testing system in Austria, Bulgaria, Italy, Portugal and Spain.
  2. Set of Gender-Neutral Selection Tools and Test: based on best practices and needs assessed, this document contains examples of Selection Tools for different areas of implementation in education and employment. The tools developed were tested with more than 1000 people: they were statistically analysed and – based on these results – tools have been developed and finalized.
  3. Guide on Implementation of Selection Tools and Test: this guide provides support on the implementation of the GeNeus gender-neutral tools and tests, ensuring its adequate utilization and guaranteeing a relevant and smooth implementation. The tools finally developed are as follows: 1) A Job Analysis Template; 2) A General Competencies for Employment Questionnaire; 3) Problem-solving Exercises; 4) An Interview Template; 5) An Evaluation Checklist of the applicant.
  4. Sets of Application of Gender-Neutral Selection Tools and test for SMEs: the Guide is a crucial document to support SMEs in implementing the selection process avoiding gender bias, focusing the usage of these gender-neutral tools on the working profile and competences needed by the SMEs context.
  5. Set of Application of Gender-Neutral Selection Tools and Test for Public Administration Measures: Together with the suggestions on the implementation of the gender-neutral tools, the document gives space to a decalogue addressed to the Public Administration Sector on gender neutral in guidance, recruitment and selection process to avoid gender biases.
  6. Set of Application of Gender-Neutral Selection Tools and Test for Post-Secondary Professional Education: addressed to decision makers in job orientation centres regarding study choice at high school and university level and post-secondary education institutes, it gives an overview on Post-Secondary Professional Education in Europe, focusing on the sector in each partner country.

These above-mentioned results will remain at your disposal and freely downloadable on the Results section of the website: 

All the results are available in English, German, Italian, Bulgarian, Spanish and Portuguese.

The Partnership is composed by the following organizations:

Coordinator: Frauen im Brennpunkt / Austria -

Inova+ / Portugal -

Instituto Politecnico of Porto / Portugal -

Bimec / Bulgaria -

Centro per lo sviluppo creativo “Danilo Dolci”/ Italy -

Servicio Regional de Empleo y Formación de la Región de Murcia / Spain -

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