Welcome to the AFDESRI website ! Our association works at promoting women's positions in higher education, research and innovation. We encourage and support women to break the glass ceiling by all means: debates, meetings, sharing of practices, training, mentoring... Discover our missions and actions, and join us !Sophie BéjeanAFDESRI's President
AFDESRI (Association pour les femmes dirigeantes de l’enseignement supérieur, de la recherche et de l’innovation, or, in English, Association for leader women in higher education, research and innovation) is a non-profit organization founded in 2014 within the framework of the French law of 1901 on associations.
AFDESRI’s goal is to contribute to the promotion of women to managerial positions in the academic world and to strenghten the role of women and gender equality in higher education, research and innovation in France. AFDESRI’s activities include the organization of seminars and training sessions for mid-levels women wishing to improve their skills to reach decision-making positions. These actions are supported by the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation.
AFDESRI is a member of « Administration Moderne » (Modern Administration) which is a French network of women occupying high level positions in most French ministries (Defense, Interior, Justice, Culture, etc.).
AFDESRI was created by several women Presidents (Rectors) of universities and engineering schools in France, including Professor Brigitte Plateau, former President of the INPG (Institut National Polytechnique de Grenoble), who was AFDESRI’s first President. The current President of AFDESRI is Professor Sophie Béjean, Rector of the Académie de Montpellier and the Académie Région Occitanie (region of National EducationSouth of France), where the headquarters of AFDESRI are now located.
AFDESRI (Association for leader women in higher education, research and innovation) was founded in 2014. The goal of AFDESRI is to assist women in attaining leadership positions in the academic world and to promote their key role of women in the sector of Higher Education, Research and Innovation in France. The activities of AFDESRI include the organization of seminars, as well as coaching and training workshops for women at intermediate levels wishing to upgrade their skills to reach decision-making positions. It is supported by the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation.
Our main actions
Each year, AFDESRI organizes a seminar designed for both its members, and external participants such as members of the HER community, associative partners, politicians and journalists. On January 22, 2021, the 6th annual AFDESRI seminar exceptionally took place in a webinar format. The topic of this 2021 edition was the status of women in the multifaceted crisis related to COVID-19: Does the current crisis contain the seeds of a real transition? Organizations such as AFDESRI have a major role to play to ensure that this crisis leads to the implementation of a valued and enriching parity that would be at the core of the world of tomorrow.
The seminar brought together nearly 150 participants, with seven main speakers: Member of parliament, presidents of HERI institutions and organizations, an epidemiologist woman member of the Academy of Sciences and a woman chief technology officer of an international industrial group.
The mentoring program has been in place since 2019. It aims at supporting women in their career development. Each of the women mentored is paired with a women mentor who shares her experience and knowledge. The approach is volunteer-based for both parties and operates on mutually accepted values of sincerity, respect and confidentiality.
Training of women leaders in higher education and research
In partnership with the CPU (Conference of University Presidents) and the UPE (Université Paris Est), AFDESRI is annually organizing one training cycle for women in higher education and research (HER) institutions. This cycle targets women academic or administrative position intermediate responsibility and are in a professional dynamic of increasing responsibility. It is based on brainstorming sessions on ESR themes led by recognized personalities / It operates thanks to the collaboration of well-known and respected ESR personalities that lead brainstorming workshops on Higher Education themes. Participants can benefit from guest testimonies and exchange on their professional careers, which adds a more personal dimension to the training. A time for exchange on professional careers is planned, based on the testimonies of the guests, which adds a more personal dimension. Finally, this cycle allows participants to develop their network.
During the different sessions of the 2020 – 2021 cycle, participants and speakers were able to discuss their views on various themes: higher education in France and in Europe, management and training in HER institutions, research and ethics, etc.
Coaching for high-level responsibility
AFDESRI had scheduled its 2-days coaching session in March 2020 entitled ” High-level responsibility training – Breaking the glass ceiling” in partnership with the CPU and the CDEFI (conference of French engineering schools’directors). It was designed for fifteen future women leaders in higher education and was supposed to be led by professional coaches (Annie Cattan and Didier Bras). Due to the sanitary lockdown, it has now been postponed to 21 and 22 June 2021 and will take place at Chateauform in Romainville (Île de France region).
AFDESRI works with many partners who share the same goals of parity and professional equality between women and men. It is linked with other French and international organizations in the ESRI field, such as Femmes et sciences, EPWS (European platform of women scientists) and RESUFF (Network of HER women leaders in the French speaking area). AFDESRI is a member of « 2GAP » (Gender & Governance Action Platform) which is a French network of women occupying high level positions in most French ministries (Defense, Interior, Justice, Culture, Education, etc.).