Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Discrimination against women scientists confirmed : A new report with statistical data concerning 30 European countries


A report published today by the European Commission establishes for the first time the situation of women scientists in 30 European countries . The report is presented at a seminar opening today in Madrid and organised with the Spanish Presidency of the European Union on "Women and Science: promoting women in the scientific sector".

The report, prepared by a group of national representatives known as the `Helsinki Group on Women and Science`, compiles national statistical profiles which are rich data sources showing scientifically how sex-segregation is a feature of scientific careers in all the countries, although there are variations in the specificity of patterns. There is considerable wastage of women’s skills and knowledge as a result of the ‘leaky pipeline’, whereby women drop out of scientific careers in disproportionate numbers at every level. Broadly, women now constitute the majority of undergraduates overall. Although they remain a minority in some science subjects and in engineering, they are in the majority in medical and biological sciences. The nearer the top of the academic hierarchy, the lower the proportion of women. Indeed, universally, women are just a tiny minority of people in top scientific jobs.

Said Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin: "The data demonstrate that women scientists are indeed underrepresented in the key positions of scientific research. This confirms that the picture painted in preliminary studies is not an emotional one, but the result of discrimination arising from multiple factors. These need to be addressed if we are to improve the position and role of women in scientific research, and hence reinforce the European Research Area."

“No statistics, no problem, no policy. Statistics help identify problems and can monitor the effectiveness of remedies”, said Hilary Rose. Now, for the first time, we have the data.

Since the last decade, concern is growing at European Union (EU) level about the issue of women and science, and more specifically, the under-representation of women in scientific careers. This has prompted significant and concerted action at transnational level. The European Commission adopted a Communication in February 1999 setting out an action plan to promote gender equality in science: Women and science - Mobilising women to enrich European Research. It also commissioned a European Technology Assessment Network (ETAN) report on women and science in the EU .

In 1999, the Council of Research Ministers adopted a Resolution on women and science inviting Member States to engage in dialogue and exchange views on national policies, taking into account benchmarking and best practice.

Many Member States and associated countries have instituted positive action measures to support women and science, ranging from the support to local initiatives to the systematic integration of gender equality into all policies and programmes.

The report (see executive summary in annex 1) provides for the first time a synthesis of all the measures and policies devised and implemented at local, regional, national and European level to encourage the participation of women in scientific careers and research. It will contribute to promote further discussion, dissemination and exchange on these measures and policies.

The seminar (see programme in annex 2) will present the actions undertaken by the European Union and promote a debate about the actual situation of women in R&D (public and private), as well as about further initiatives and perspectives, such as the platform for networks of women scientists.

Brigitte Degen | alphagalileo

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht New population data provide insight on aging, migration
31.08.2016 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht PRB projects world population rising 33 percent by 2050 to nearly 10 billion
25.08.2016 | Population Reference Bureau

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>