Higher Education, Research University, SDU

Supporting Gender Diversity Dialogues 

Very inspiring. Most of all I noticed the excellence of balancing between presentation, facilitating and tools that put the participants’ curiosity and learning in the center. It makes people talk, disagree, giving feedback and laughing, showing that it is possible to approach difficult issues in a rewarding and constructive way.
Carsten Salling

HR-development, Senior Consultant, SDU

Case:
Supporting Gender Diversity Dialogues, SDU

Sector: Higher Education, Research University
Contact: Eva Sophia Myers, Team Leader, Gender Equality Team, SDU (GET-SDU)
Date: 28 March 2019

Assignment: The central gender equality committee for SDU (consisting of members from all five faculties, the joint administration and GET) needed a good way to begin their work on identifying and addressing gender quality challenges at SDU.  SDU’s HR-team and GET had participated in a demonstration of Mosaic® and recommended doing a Mosaic®-based workshop. The central gender equality committee accordingly requested a 2-hour workshop that would include a Mosaic® facilitation with a view to creating a common starting point and constructive approach to their future discussions about common gender equality challenges in academia.

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How did it work?

On the Agenda’s Lynn Roseberry gave a short presentation of the research and key findings from her book, Bridging the Gender Gap (Oxford University Press 2014, 2016), which provides the theoretical basis for and cases that form the core of the game, Mosaic®. 

She introduced the rules of the game and gave the participants a chance to practice using the cards in pairs before facilitating the game for all 15 participants.  The participants were seated around one big table throughout the workshop.

At the beginning of each round, the participants were invited to choose from a list of 7 general subject areas that they would discuss during that round:

  1. Work/family conflicts
  2. Biological sex differences
  3. Social norms
  4. Ambition
  5. Male resistance
  6. Female resistance
  7. Equal treatment law

They chose work/family conflicts, social norms and ambition. Lynn selected a case (included in the game set) from each subject area. They spent on average 30 minutes on each round, including short debriefs where they were invited to share their experience from playing the game, e.g. what they found challenging, what was new to them, what impressed them.

I got to know Lynn at a conference and was instantly struck by her interest, openness and clear and vibrant competence and nuanced understanding. I have since had the great pleasure of working with her in several ways: She is a member of our advisory board, she has trained our team in facilitating Mosaic, and she has facilitated Mosaic workshops in various of our contexts several times.

With great warmth and humor, Lynn is able to nuance and put into perspective difficult and complex situations and issues with precise and insightful understanding of the context. Her vast knowledge and experience is especially obvious in her deft facilitation of Mosaic, which challenges participants to step into unfamiliar territory without feeling exposed.

The Mosaic game itself is a gift – it sets a fine framework for a common study of complex issues, and we have benefited from using it as a starting point to talk in-depth about gender equality issues in entities and groups. The game’s frameworks and rules help bringing important themes to the surface and ensure that the interaction remains investigative (and not judgmental and distancing). Being able to keep it in an easy and playful tone, often with a lot of laughter, gives the participants a positive experience and more courage to address the themes afterwards. Occasionally, we have encountered some difficult and unresolved dynamics that have already characterized the group – but here too Mosaic has given the participants a different and more positive shared experience to build on constructively.

The return on investment in getting to know the background of the game, being able to facilitate the game properly, using and experimenting with the different aspects of the game, and especially learning from the master, Lynn, herself, shows itself abundantly in the joy and practical insights – often with a long reverberation time – experienced by the participants.

I recommend Lynn as often as I can.

Eva Sophie Meyers

SDU

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