To improve the effectiveness of existing dedicated committees, a clear commitment of the high level management of the university and of the departments is needed, as well as the explicit intent to go beyond the simple fulfillment of bureaucratic and legislative obligations.
Actions aimed to trigger structural changes in terms of gender equality require long times to be carried out and to produce touchable and measurable results. Hence, a long-term strategy is needed. Only in this way it will be possible to start an internal recognition to identify all the available resources and existing expertises, that are usually fragmented in different areas and departments, and to effectively promote their cooperation in achieving shared objectives.
Within the Italian universities, several dedicated machineries usually already exist, like the Unified Committee for Guarantees (CUG), the Committee for Equal Opportunities, the Committee for Well-being, the university ombudsman, the counseling service, even if their existence is not always known by everybody within the institution as it should be. What may be improved is the coordination among these resources, that need to agree upon medium and long term objectives, and actively and effectively cooperate to achieve them. Existing committees should work in close collaboration also with the heads of the single departments, avoiding to undertake not coordinated initiatives, but working together to persevere shared goals in terms of equal opportunities.