The research paper Gender Equality Plans in the private and public sectors in the European Union prepared for the European Parliament's Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality, maps out the existing Gender Equality Plans (GEPs) in the EU Member States and analyses the impact that GEPs have on the economic situation of women in the EU. The research focused particularly on cases of Austria and Spain and included the analysis of GEPs in the higher education and research sector.

The study reveals a high variability across the EU countries relating to the type of work organisations in which GEPs are expected to be implemented, the institutions that drafted the plan, and the type of gender biases addressed. However, the common problems identified in all countries are a lack of detailed monitoring and evaluation process and the difficulty in obtaining cross-country comparable data.

In the specific context of higher education and research institutions, the report showed that public universities are usually more devoted to designing and implementing gender equality policies. For example, in Spain, 73% of public universities and only 33% of private universities had a valid GEP in 2015.

The report encourages all EU Member States to ensure that all their universities and research centres have GEPs in place and produce periodic reports on their application, as well as maintain equality units and the balanced representation of women and men on all boards for elections, promotion and peer evaluation.