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.
The 2015 edition of the She Figures introduces new specific indicators on gender equality progress in research organisations but also consider new areas such as patent applications and scientific publications for the first time.
The 2018 edition of the She Figures is a testimony to the progress achieved over the past years through a wide range of actions and policies. For example, Horizon 2020 supports research organisations who promote active change through gender equality plans. The European Commission reached their targets in the Horizon 2020 decision-making bodies: women now make up 55% of the advisory boards and 41% of the evaluation experts at the commission.
Europe’s research and innovation community must continue to take practical steps to honour our gender equality commitments. The findings indicate that there is still much room for improvement. Ultimately, Europe will only have the best research, when Europe provides equal opportunities for its best researchers.