American University of Beirut

Targeted MPI

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​WHY TARGETED-MPI?

Transparent & Resilient Gender Equality Through Integrated Monitoring Planning and Implementation (TARGETED-MPI)focuses on institutional changes through the development and effective implementation of Gender Equality Plans​ in business and management schools to drive more inclusive, sustainable and transparent academic cultures. We understand gender equality as concerning fair treatment, equality of opportunity, equal access to resources, and equal rights and protection regardless of one's gender, which should not be limited by stereotypes, gender roles or prejudice (ILO, 2015; Van den Brink, Benschop, and Jansen, 2010).


Our project will, therefore, produce significant benefits beyond the confines of the partner institutions to other research organizations in the countries of the consortium and across European Research Area (ERA). It will address critical societal needs, contribute to the achievement of the ERA objectives on gender equality, and contribute to the development of sustainable, resilient research organizations.

OSB Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Commitment Statement

The Suliman S. Olayan School of Business at the American University of Beirut is committed to fostering an inclusive community which promotes a culture of diversity, equality, equity and inclusion. We strive to uphold an environment in which the rights and dignity of all its faculty, staff and students are respected. In order for OSB to remain a leading business school, we strive to continue making the above values embedded in all of our activities. We are committed to the implementation of  transparent policies, practices and procedures that allow everyone to grow, flourish and develop a sense of belonging. We count on the support of the OSB community to ensure an inclusive workplace for all.

Objective 1: Collect Sex-Disaggregated Data

During the first phase GEP, the AUB TARGETED-MPI has been working on their first objective: collect sex disaggregated data. The team set out first on identify a gender equity periodic assessment framework, benchmarks, gender equity indicators, and targets for each academic and non-academic unit at the school through developing an assessment framework for faculty, students and staff including various KPIs about representation, recruitment, promotion, retention, publications, etc.. The team also conducted a periodic gender equity assessment and have collected sex disaggregated data for faculty, students, and staff using the developed KPIs. Moreover, analysis of the data was performed as well as identifying the red flags that need to be addressed through structural changes.

Objective 2: Institutionalize Gender Equality

On November 25, around fifty #genderequality and #inclusion focal points gathered to witness the #TargetedMPI Project launching event - Towards Gender Equality Plans in Business and Management Schools - at the Suliman S. Olayan School of Business at AUB.

Objective 4: Address Unconscious Bias

As part of OSB Impact, and part of TARGETED-MPI Objective # 4, the TARGETED-MPI team at AUB worked on addressing unconscious bias, in the month of March 2023. The TARGETED-MPI team planned, designed, and implemented an awareness campaign about unconscious bias. There was an amazing level of engagement from the Suliman S. Olayan School of Business at AUB students, faculty, and staff supporting the TARGETED-MPI objectives towards achieving gender equality. Nine focus group discussions were organized at OSB whereby OSB students where invited to participate in this initiative. The purpose of the focus group discussions is to understand and become aware of the types of biases we are subjected to, discuss and express any issues we face related to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and identify ways we can minimize the occurrence of such incidences and create a climate of inclusion.

Objective 5: Promote Well-being among Faculty and Staff

Over the last few months, the TARGETED-MPI AUB team has been busy developing and implementing well-being activities, particularly addressing the needs of female faculty and staff. Such initiatives revolve around organizing extracurricular activities, creating interaction opportunities, and encouraging participation in university-wide well-being programs are part of this plan. The Well-being Programme, features activities such as monthly wellbeing breakfasts for staff and faculty in order to get together, enjoy a healthy breakfast and connect with one another, hiking trips and step challenge that allow OSB community to delve into mindfulness breathing and walking exercises and the family well-being day that was organized with the aim of creating an informal space for colleagues to connect outside the regular work setting, nurturing a sense of community and mutual support. This program has significantly improved the work environment at OSB, fostering a supportive and collaborative atmosphere, enhancing communication, morale, and job satisfaction, especially among female staff.

Objective 6: Promote Gender Inclusive Communication


During the fall and spring semesters, the AUB TARGETED-MPI team has been working on organizing focus group discussions, designing inclusive communication guides, and holding workshops on inclusive communication. The team set out first on initiating focus groups on inclusive communication in order to systematically understand the current state of communication among faculty, staff, and students. On November 23, 2023, Dr. Fida Afiouni conducted focus group discussions on inclusive communication for OSB staff, faculty and senior students. The aim of this focus group discussion is to explore how we can enhance our campus's inclusive communication practices.

On February 22 and May 17th, the AUB TARGETED-MPI project hosted two highly attended Inclusive Communication Workshops at OSB for graduate students, faculty and staff. The workshops were about promote understanding and action around inclusivity. OSB faculty, staff and graduate students came together to address communication challenges, working collaboratively to develop practical strategies for a more inclusive environment. During the workshops Dr. Fida Afiouni and Dr. Yasmeen Makarem presented the inclusive communication guidelines the AUB TARGETED-MPI has brainstormed, and co-created ways in which a more inclusive and professional communication can be upheld by all OSB constituencies.

Objective 7: Integrate the Gender Perspective in Research and Teaching

The Targeted-MPI team at AUB worked on integrating the gender perspective in teaching and research during the fall semester at the Suliman S. Olayan School of Business (OSB). On January 17, 2023, Dr Fida Afiouni, associate provost, associate professor of human resource management, and founding partner of the Center for Inclusive Business and Leadership (CIBL), who is leading the TARGETED-MPI project at AUB OSB, took part in the first webinar series, “Multistakeholder Mobilising for Inclusion”, and shared her experience about the TARGETED-MPI project, showing the importance of multistakeholder mobilising. During the webinar, Dr Fida Afiouni expressed that TARGETED-MPI project is a good example of multi stakeholder mobilising across borders making it a model for other universities to follow suit and institutionalise gender equality globally in all institutions. On November 8, Dr. Fida Afiouni, the lead Principal Investigator (PI) on the Targeted-MPI project at AUB, co-organized and delivered an interactive workshop on "Institutional Ageism" whereby she explored the multifaceted nature of ageism and delved into its intersection with gender discrimination. The workshop was attended by a multi-generational audience including participants from the university of seniors, as well as AUB students. During the workshop, Dr. Afiouni shared insights into strategies adopted by companies and employers to mitigate institutional ageism, emphasizing the importance of creating inclusive work environments. moreover, the AUB TARGETED-MPI team organized a highly attended webinar on 'Navigating Talent Management Challenges' on Friday, November 17, 2023. Trailblazing Academic and Business Women shared their insights at the Suliman S. Olayan School of Business at AUB on post-pandemic talent hurdles, highlighting the pivotal role of #Diversity, #Equity, and #Inclusion in attracting and retaining talented women in the workplace.
As part of the leadership program, Dr. Fida Afiouni delivered a 2 days’ workshop on institutional ageism on April 24 and 25 and 2 days’ workshop on DEI for AUB faculty and staff on April 23 and 25. as part of the leadership academy program. Both workshops aimed to address ageism and DEI in the workplace through discussions and activities, fostering a respectful and inclusive environmnet.


Transparency - Resilience - Integration

TARGETED-MPI brings together academic research excellence and impact, leadership in engagement with a wide range of stakeholders, and expertise from partner institutions with diverse academic environments, traditions, and cultures. Knowledge exchange between our culturally diverse institutions is vital to develop and enhance gender equality initiatives and outcomes, including learning from current initiatives at national and institutional level.


The TARGETED-MPI project was made possible through the generous funding of EU Horizon 2020.


Our milestones have been made possible thanks to the partners we have worked with in five countries Athens University of Economics and Business (AUEB), Greece; Lancaster University (ULANC), United Kingdom; Stockholm School of Economics (SSE), Sweden; Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Belgium; and, American University of Beirut (AUB), Lebanon. These partnerships are critical to the building and delivery of an inclusive research culture in and beyond European RPOs and RFOs.​


Principle Investigator Dr. Fida Afiouni
Co-Investigator Dr. Yasmeen Makarem​


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