Articles

from The European Commission

Women in research and innovation

Working towards gender equality is an essential part of European research and innovation policy. Since 2003, the She Figures have monitored new developments related to careers, decision-making and, most recently, how the gender dimension is considered in research and innovation content. More and more, European women are excelling in higher education, and yet, women represent only a third.

of researchers and around a fifth of grade A, top-level academics. Although the number of female heads of higher education institutions rose from 15.5 % in 2010 to 20 % in 2014, there is clearly still a long way to go before we reach gender equality in European research and innovation professions. Therefore, I want to encourage research organisations to be the agents of change, taking practical steps to eliminate any remaining bias which prevent or hinder women from entering, or fulfilling their potential in research careers. To this end, this edition of the She Figures introduces new specific indicators on gender equality progress in research organisations.

I am pleased to note that political support for gender equality in European research and innovation continues to find new momentum. In December 2015, the Council of the European Union invited Member States to set targets for gender balance among full professors and in research decision-making bodies. I am therefore hopeful that the next edition of our She Figures will show further, tangible progress as a result of that clear political signal.

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