Gender Equality Forum


The Gender Equality Forum (GEF) is a taskforce for both early career and senior scientists of any gender identity, that aims to:

  • raise awareness about the concept of gender inequality and the impact that inequality has on people of all genders and/or identities
  • identify current issues and attitudes regarding gender inequality within the ESRS and wider sleep research field
  • promote equal treatment for all European Sleep Research Society members regardless of their sex, gender, or gender identity

As a newly (re-)established group, the GEF is currently building its foundations and planning the first steps towards an equitable society. In the short-term, we aim to actively engage with our community and conduct detailed surveys of ESRS-member attitudes and experiences towards gender equality within the society and sleep research field. These surveys will inform a long-term Gender Equality Evaluation Framework to track progress.

In the long-term, the GEF will create a culture of inclusivity and gender equality within the ESRS, provide training opportunities and develop strategies to stop the ‘leaky pipeline’ of women and minoritized gender identities leaving research.

Graphical illustration of the aims & actions of the ESRS GEF
Graphical illustration of the aims & actions of the ESRS GEF.



The ESRS Forum for Women in Sleep Research was founded by Irene Tobler, Tarja Porkka-Heiskanen and Myriam Kerkhofs, initially as a women’s discussion group. In 2000, the forum became a working group within the framework of the ESRS.

At first announcement, the Forum was given the title of Forum for European Women in Sleep Research. In 2021, it was decided to rename the Forum to the ESRS Gender Equality Forum to reflect the inclusion of researchers of both genders operating within Europe and beyond, in the effort to attain gender equality in science.

Working Groups

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