Skip to content

Research project

IncluLeader - Inclusive Leadership for Sustainable Governance

This project has received funding from the Open Society Foundations.

The Inclusive Leadership Initiative, based at the European University Institute, provides new instruments, in the form of original research, policy dialogues and trainings, to transform leadership starting with bridging the gender gap in European politics.

We have developed a strategy to address the lack of diversity in politics, going beyond quota systems and traditional empowerment and leadership programmes for women or minorities. Our theory of change focuses on raising awareness of the main principles of gender economics, budgeting and impact assessment, and gendered political communication. In parallel, we focus on addressing practical dynamics perpetuating power imbalances and inequality in parties, governments, and legislatures. As a test ground for the proposed strategies and tools, we have targeted mainstream male political leaders in European parties from across the political spectrum with educational, training, and communication tools.

Since the beginning of the project, 27 politicians from 17 European parties, seven EU countries and Montenegro have taken part in the activities.

The training curriculum has been presented in political and academic settings, including a High-Level Policy Dialogue where the European Union’s Commissioner for Equality, the Chair of the Committee on Gender Equality of the European Parliament, MEPs and MPs from many political families, and the mayor of Istanbul endorsed it. We implemented a pilot (2021) and a final format (2022). A network of 15 experts from academic institutions, NGOs, UN Women, think tanks, specialized party organisations, and international foundations have engaged as advisors and commented on the training curriculum in various phases of its development.

The project supports the development of a set of skills and competences among political leaders, including:

  • Transformational leadership skills: favouring and communicating inclusive environments and policy
  • Awareness of privileges, gendered conceptions of leadership, and gaps in political leadership.
  • Mechanisms in party statutes and electoral laws which affect equal representation and political careers;
  • Effects of inclusive leadership in terms of representation, decision-making practices, and quality of public policies;
  • Basic of gender economics and gender-based policy analysis
  • Arguments, theories and data countering anti-gender and anti-equality theories and movements


Inclusive Leadership: A Curriculum for Politicians - High Level Policy Dialogue

Inclusive Leadership for Sustainable Governance - Empowering the new role models - Executive Training


HERMANIN C. et al., Training politicians towards a more inclusive leadership : a proposal, Cadmus, 14/06/2022.

HERMANIN C., Women leaders are always (from the) right 24/01/2022.

HERMANIN C., Inclusive leadership, COVID and sustainability, EUIdeas blog, 19/03/2021.

HERMANIN C., Beyond quota systems: bridging the political gap for women, EUIdeas blog, 26/11/2020.

External Partners

Go back to top of the page