Gender Aspects

Three reasons gender diversity is crucial to science

The need for more women in science goes beyond issues fairness and ethics: Scientific research is more accurate when gender is considered.
Women bring unique perspectives to research and scientific conversation. We need more STEM professionals!

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Gender aspects in the PROTrEIN consortium

PROTrEIN beneficiaries will follow an equal-opportunities policy, paying careful attention to proper and fair management of all non-discrimination issues during the advertisement, recruitment, and project implementation. All Consortium members represent equal opportunity employers. Throughout the project run time PROTrEIN will tackle gender related challenges through dedicated workshops and allying with relevant stakeholders and networks like R-ladies Global, Females in Mass Spectrometry, Women in Machine Learning, Women in AI and Bioinfo4Women.

Gender aspects on a European level

The European Commission is committed to promoting gender equality in research and innovation. It is part of the European Commission Gender Equality Strategy for 2020-2025, which sets out the Commission’s broader commitment to equality across all EU policies. The EU also has a well-established regulatory framework on gender equality, including binding Directives, which apply widely across the labour market, including the research sector.

We are also increasingly opening our gender equality policies for research & innovation to intersectionality with other social categories and grounds for discrimination, such as ethnicity, disability or sexual orientation. Such an inclusive approach is crucial to secure Europe’s leadership in science & technology and support social fairness and prosperity.
As an illustration, the EC-funded Gendered Innovations expert group has contributed to the new factsheet on ‘Gender & Intersectional Bias in Artificial Intelligence’(factsheet).

Want to learn more about our new vision for equality? Watch the recording of the European Research and Innovation Days 2020 session on “Get ready: A new ERA for Equality is calling” that highlights how to strengthen gender equality provisions in Horizon Europe, and how to advance inclusive gender equality plans.

Though gender inequalities in R&I persist, the latest “She Figures” publication shows that some progress has been made, although attrition continues to exist at higher levels of a scientific career. The most recent data indicate that women made up 47% of Ph.D. graduates in the EU (EU-28 in 2016), but made up only 33% of researchers and 21% of top-level researchers (grade A). It is even lower at the level of heads of institutions with a mere 20 %. These figures show that only limited progress has been made since 2011.

Because of the peculiarities of the research sector, specific action is necessary to overcome persisting gender gaps. Gender equality is addressed in European Research and Innovation policy in two different ways: through its main funding instrument Horizon 2020, and within the European Research Area in collaboration with the Member States and research organisations. It pursues three objectives, namely:

– gender equality in scientific careers,
– gender balance in decision making, and
– integration of the gender dimension into the content of research and innovation.