Female researchers still struggle to reach decision-making positions in the EU

A report published by the European Commission shows that women are still under-represented in EU research. According to this report, women represent only 33% of European researchers, 20% of full professors and 15.5 % of heads of institutions in the Higher Education sector.

The "She Figures" report, published by the European Commission, shows that although the proportion of female researchers in Europe is increasing, the under-representation of women in scientific disciplines and careers still persists. According to this report, women represent around 40% of all researchers in the Higher Education Sector, 40% in the Government Sector and 19% in the Business Enterprise Sector. In June 2012, the European Commission launched a campaign to get more girls interested in choosing research as a career.

The report also shows that while in all sectors their number has been growing faster than that of their male counterparts (+5.1% for women annually compared with +3.3 % for men from 2002 to 2009), female researchers still struggle to reach decision-making positions with, on average, only one woman for every two men on scientific and management boards across the EU.

Moreover, the proportion of female students (55%) and graduates (59%) exceeded that of male students in 2010, but men outnumbered women among PhD students and graduates (respectively 49% and 46%). Furthermore, climbing up the ladder of the academic career, women represented 44% of the researchers with a PhD at the first grade of an academic career and only 20% of the researchers at the top grade of an academic career. The under-representation of women becomes even more striking in fields such as science and engineering.