Gender equality

Institutional framework

The Jules Bordet Institute, the Erasme Hospital and the Queen Fabiola Children's University Hospital have created, at the initiative of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (U.L.B.) and the City of Brussels, the approved hospital group known as the "Hôpital Universitaire de Bruxelles" [Brussels University Hospital], abbreviated to H.U.B.

Inspired by the values promoted by the ULB and City of Brussels, the H.U.B. pursues missions of general interest and public service in the field of care, research and education. 

It should be remembered that, in Belgium, the ULB was the first university to welcome female students, to appoint a female assistant professor and full professor and to see the first woman accede to the post of dean and rector.   Within the "Horizon Europe" framework programme (2021-2027), the ULB has acquired a "Gender Equality Plan"[1] and "Gender Charter".[2]

The H.U.B. is intrinsically attached to the values and missions of the ULB, in particular in the framework of the medical training given by the ULB's Faculty of Medicine within the H.U.B. As such the H.U.B. is also acquiring a Gender Equality Plan (G.E.P.) that is aligned with that of the ULB while at the same time taking into account the specificities inherent in a hospital activity. This G.E.P. is applicable to the institutional processes that govern both the activities and functioning of the H.U.B. group as such as well as to those of the hospital members that constitute it. 

The H.U.B. recognises the importance of having such a G.E.P.

Given the statutory prerogatives of the H.U.B.'s board of directors, this G.E.P. will apply to all the institutional processes and activities of the H.U.B. and of its members. 

To ensure the widest possible dissemination of this G.E.P., it will be published on the websites of the three hospitals as well as on the group website.  

This G.E.P. shall apply as from the 2022-2023 academic year and constitutes a dynamic process covering subsequent years. Further developments and activities that result shall thus be the subject of ad hoc publications and monitoring.

Gender equality within the H.U.B. and its members

Gender equality is a principle destined to be applied at all times and to all the institutional processes and activities of the group and its members. 

Support for the effectiveness of gender equality within the H.U.B. and its members

The institutional players

For the HUB group: The H.U.B. General Director Renaud Witmeur, General Medical Director Jean-Michel Hougardy and Human Resources Manager Ann De Permentier.

For Erasme and Bordet : H.U.B. General Director Renaud Witmeur, General Medical Director Jean-Michel Hougardy, Deputy General Director Francis De Drée, assisted by Human Resources Manager  Ann De Permentier.

For the Queen Fabiola Children's University Hospital: H.U.B. General Director Renaud Witmeur, Medical General Director Jean-Michel Hougardy, Deputy General Director Anna Groswasser, assisted by Human Resources Manager Ann De Permentier.

Gender contact person: Ann De Permentier.

ULB representatives for gender respect

Vice-Rector for academic policy responsible for diversity and gender policy at the ULB, President of the Erasmus Board of Directors and member of the H.U.B. Board of Directors:  Michel Verstraeten.

STRIGES that, as stated in the ULB's Gender Equality Plan, acts "as a structure for interdisciplinary research on gender, equality and sexuality of the MSH, bringing together several dozen members of the teaching and research staff from eight faculties (including the Faculty of Medicine), schools and institutions of the ULB." 

With a quality scientific journal, Sextant, the Tassier Chair, numerous conferences and many other quality tools, Striges boosts the visibility of gender studies and makes it possible to generate innovative research structures. 

Dedicated resources

The H.U.B. allocates useful resources with which to promote respect for the principle of gender equality within the group and for developing the required internal expertise within the "Gender" Unit. A contact person will be designated within the Human Resources Department.  

Summary of gender indicators and annual report

The Gender Unit is responsible for collecting all data concerning gender in the various fields in which the H.U.B. and its members are active. 

These data are analysed and summarised in an annual report drawn up by the Gender Unit for the purposes of:  

1) taking stock of the gender issue within the group;

2) proposing to the institutional authorities actions for dynamic improvements in the respect for gender and in related institutional orientations;

3) ensuring the follow-up of actions already undertaken;

4) identifying points that need attention and subjects or action that should be the subject of specific measures; 

5) identifying useful information for gender awareness and avoiding unconscious bias. 

The Annual Report is published on the H.U.B. website and on the websites of the constituent hospitals. 

Combatting implicit bias, especially when recruiting and promoting

As part of its G.E.P. the ULB has produced an information video to draw attention to the existence of implicit biases. 

The H.U.B. fully embraces the principles set out in this video conceived and created by the ULB to support its G.E.P. and available at the following address:

All the aforementioned principles should be applied, mutatis mutandis, at the time of recruitment and career promotions within the HUB and its member hospitals. All persons destined to sit on a recruitment or promotion jury will receive, in advance, a copy of the said video from the Gender Unit.  

Members of the ULB's academic and scientific staff are also employed internally at the H.U.B. . The H.U.B. stresses that these are given a training developed by the ULB for its teaching staff. "The ULB's G.E.P. states that this training with the title 'Is my education sexist?  Equality between men and women in higher education' aims to clarify various concepts useful to the debate: gender, equality, parity, equity; awareness of mental representations concerning gender issues and of the various stages in education when unequal treatment may be apparent." [3].

Actions in favour of gender equality

  • Making contact with Actiris so as to consider if and how to include the tool for the diversity plan in the hospital environment
  • Development of partnerships in the framework of actions already undertaken with the ULB's Gender Unit
  • Drawing up of a charter for gender equality in the fields of the  general policy of the H.U.B. and its members, research, careers and communication 
  • Identification of training and complementary communication tools concerning  gender equality
  • Communication campaign concerning gender equality and the fight against sexism and harassment
  • Reworking of institutional texts and documents in an inclusive form

This G.E.P. has been approved by the Board of Directors that granted the General Director  the mandate to sign it, implement it and monitor its application. 

Signature of the competent person for the H.U.B., the Queen Fabiola Children's University Hospital, the Jules Bordet Institute and the Erasme Hospital.

Best regards,


Renaud Witmeur

H.U.B General Director


[1], authoress : Patricia Mélotte