Policy cycle in research
In this phase, it is recommended to gather information regarding the situation of women and men in a particular area. This means looking for sex-disaggregated data and gender statistics, and checking for the existence of studies, programmes or project reports and/or evaluations from previous periods.
Examples of gender and research statistics
European Commission, Directorate-General for Research & Innovation: The She Figures report
The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation’s She Figures report is the main source of comparable pan-European statistics on the state of gender equality in R & I.
Published every 3 years since 2003, She Figures is the European Commission’s publication that presents human resource statistics and indicators in the research and technological development sector and on gender equality in science. It provides information on the situation of women in science and research, based on data collected every 3 years by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, in close cooperation with the Helsinki Group on Women and Science and its statistical correspondents. It covers a wide range of themes, including the proportions of women and men among top-level graduates, academic staff and research/advisory boards, the working conditions of women and men researchers, the integration of the gender dimension into the content of peer-reviewed scientific articles and various indicators measuring gender gaps in scientific and innovation outputs. In She Figures, the joint repository for these data is referred to as the Women in Science (WiS) database.
In 2021, the European Commission published the seventh She Figures. In addition to new data on gender equality in the EU, the handbook provides input on the indicators used for She Figures 2021. The current version of the handbook aims to strengthen the ability of other stakeholders to systematically generate meaningful, systematic data on gender dimensions in R & I. Furthermore, the She Figures 2021 policy briefs deal with, for example, women’s presence, participation and progression in science, institutional culture and institutional change, and gender imbalance in Europe’s research leadership (https://op.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/d9fbd9da-4da0-11ec-91ac-01aa75ed71a1).
The Eurostat Statistics on Research and Development
Eurostat’s statistics on research and development is a collection of data concerning R & D expenditure and personnel, broken down by the institutional sectors of BES, GOV, HES and private non-profit (PNP). It also provides the total of all sectors. All data are broken down by the sectors of performance. R & D personnel data are available in FTEs, in head count (HC), as a percentage of employment and as a percentage of the labour force. The data are further broken down by occupation, qualification, sex, size class, citizenship, age group, field of science, economic activity (NACE Rev. 2) and region (NUTS-2 level). At the EU level, the sector is the basis for the calculation of the main sex-disaggregated indicators concerning R & D, in particular for the She Figures publication and database.
The UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS)
The UNESCO Institute for Statistics started to study STEM gender indicators in 2006. It follows an innovative methodology. In 2007, the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), together with UNESCO Natural Sciences Sector, published the first international report on science, technology and gender. Through its biennial survey and partnerships with other statistical organisations, the UIS collects cross-nationally comparable, gender-disaggregated statistics on research and experimental development– by sector, area of research and level of education – for more than 200 countries and territories. This data is used to support national and international policymaking to promote gender equality in science and technology and to expand the role of women in all fields of scientific research.
MORE4 study (funded by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation)
The MORE4 study (funded by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation) has improved the set of indicators defined in the previous studies MORE1–3. The European Commission was able to identify what is important to researchers in their career and mobility, to what extent they still encounter obstacles to mobility or career, but also what impact policies have (had) on these aspects. As in MORE3, the current study also focuses on policies for young researchers. Within this framework, a set of internationally comparable indicators on stocks, flows, working conditions and career paths of European researchers as well as a database were implemented. It also offers an online indicator tool to view and download key indicators from the EU Higher Education Surveys in the consecutive studies MORE2, MORE3 and MORE4 by country, gender, field of science, career stage and year (2012, 2016 and 2019; https://www.more-4.eu/indicator-tool).
The European Tertiary Education Register (ETER)
The European Tertiary Education Register (ETER) is a database holding information on higher education institutions in Europe including the number of students, graduates, international doctorates, personnel, fields of education, income and expenditure, along with descriptive information on the characteristics of the institutions. Providing data at the level of individual institutions, ETER currently covers the academic years 2011/2012 to 2016/2017. Sex-disaggregated data is available for the number of students and graduates by ISCED class as well as for personnel by different categories. One specificity of ETER is that data can be connected with other institutional-level datasets (e.g. publications, patents, EU projects) as well as databases such as the European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education and the European University Association. This has a huge impact on higher education research in Europe. Currently, data is being collected for the academic years 2017/2018 up to 2019/2020 and will be published in spring 2022.
The 2020 gender report published by Elsevier (The researcher journey through a gender lens: An examination of research participation, career pro- gression and perceptions across the globe) analyses the gender gap in research participation and research productivity, and in careers and mobility, mainly based on data from Scopus. It provides important insights into gender disparities in R & I based on robust data.
Examples of studies, research and reports
Gender Equality: Achievements in Horizon 2020 and recommendations on the way forward
This report aims to present the results of the gender equality projects funded in the context of the Science with and for Society part of Horizon 2020. It served as input for the preparation of the implementation of the Horizon Europe programme.
Analytical Review: Structural change for gender equality in research and innovation
This report aims to present the results of the gender equality projects funded in the context of the Science with and for Society part of Horizon 2020. It served as input for the preparation of the implementation of the Horizon Europe programme.
Report on Monitoring of ERA Priority 4 Implementation
The report of the GENDERACTION project provides results from an analysis of national action plans (NAPs), an online survey conducted in 2017, an update of the survey in early 2019 and interviews with members of the Standing Working Group on Gender in R & I. It offers a set of indicators for monitoring NAP implementation, presents good practice policies and formulates recommendations for the next period of ERA implementation. The report clusters the Member States in relation to the implementation of their NAPs and correlates gender equality with research excellence and innovation performance of countries.
Meta-analysis of Gender and Science Research
This report sets out the first comprehensive view of experiences and practices in Europe and abroad relating to women and science/research. Its aim is to collect and analyse research on horizontal and vertical gender segregation in research careers, along with the underlying causes and effects of these two processes. The objectives of the study were to provide an exhaustive overview and analysis of research on gender and science carried out at the European, national and regional levels, to make the study results accessible to researchers and policymakers via an informed bibliography (online database) and a set of reports, and finally, to steer policymaking on gender and science and define future research priorities within the framework programme, in particular through examples of good practice and gap analysis in the various research topics.
Gender equality plans as a catalyst for change
This report, published by the Standing Working Group on Gender Research and Innovation Task Force on Gender Equality Plans, discusses the policy instrument of GEPs and presents the main findings of a survey carried out by the Standing Working Group on Gender Research and Innovation to evaluate the adoption of GEPs by Member States and associated countries and to identify the needs and challenges related to the implementation of GEPs at the national level.
One of the first steps to take when defining your policy/project/programme is to gather information and analyse the situation of women and men in the respective policy area. The information and data you collect will give you an understanding of the reality of the situation and assist you in designing your policy, programme or project. Specific methods that can be used in this phase are gender analysis and gender impact assessment.
Examples of gender analysis
Gendered Innovations: How gender analysis contributes to research
This publication uses case studies as concrete illustrations of how gender analysis leads to new ideas and excellence in research in several fields, such as health and medicine, environment and climate change, food and nutrition, transport and technological development.
Gendered Innovations 2: How inclusive analysis contributes to research and innovation
This is an update of the publication from 2013 and it presents the results of the expert group. The focus is more on an inclusive and intersectional analysis. The report provides interdisciplinary case studies displaying how to integrate the gender dimension into various fields of R & I, along with concrete policy recommendations and guidance for the Horizon Europe framework programme.
IGAR TOOL: Recommendations for Integrating Gender Analysis into Research
This website offers manuals/tools to support organisations that fund or perform research, researchers and peer reviewers/evaluators by integrating sex and gender considerations into policies, programmes and projects and by raising awareness about the importance of sex and gender in R & I.
Toolkit for integrating gender-sensitive approach into research and teaching
This toolkit helps researchers to integrate the gender dimension into their research and teaching and to apply it when conceiving new projects and student curricula. It also aims to help research and teaching staff consider in what way gender is relevant for their research and curricula.
An example of gender impact assessment
Interim Evaluation: Gender equality as a crosscutting issue in Horizon 2020
This report evaluates the implementation of gender equality as a crosscutting issue in Horizon 2020 and presents possible improvements at the various stages of the implementation of Horizon 2020 from the work programme definition to the funded projects. It aims to provide a solid evidence base for designing future activities and initiatives, in particular the preparation of the ex ante impact assessment of the next framework programme for R & I.
Examples of stakeholders that can be consulted
European Platform of Women Scientists
The European Platform of Women Scientists is an umbrella organisation bringing together networks of women scientists and organisations committed to gender equality in research in all disciplines in Europe and the countries associated with the EU’s framework programmes for research and technological development. The platform welcomes researchers working in any discipline and working in science in its widest sense, ranging from the natural to the social sciences, and including, but not restricted to, science, engineering and technology. The European Platform of Women Scientists currently includes more than 100 member organisations and represents more than 12 000 women researchers all over Europe who are active in academia and industrial research.
UNESCO Chair on Gender Equality Policies in Science, Technology and Innovation
The UNESCO Chair aims to improve the participation of women in STI on all levels. It also promotes the integration of a sex and gender perspective into research, technology and innovation. To this end, it cooperates with universities, research organisations, private companies, etc.
GenPORT is a developing online community of practitioners, served by an internet portal and made up of organisations and individuals working across the globe for gender equality and excellence in science, technology or innovation.
Standing Working Group on Gender in Research and Innovation
The Standing Working Group on Gender in Research and Innovation (SWG GRI) under the European Research Area and Innovation Committee (ERAC) is a policy advisory committee that advises the Council of the European Union, the European Commission and Member States on policies and initiatives related to gender equality in R & I (Priority 4 of the European research area), for the benefit of scientists, research institutions, universities, businesses and society at large. SWG GRI is a successor to the Helsinki Group on Gender in Research and Innovation (1999–2017). SWG GRI provides, for example, work programmes and annual reports to the European Council and the European Commission monitoring the implementation of the gender equality priority in the ERA. The SWG GRI was disbanded at the end of 2021.
The EU-funded project ACT initiated eight Communities of Practice (CoPs) as agents to develop gender equality actions at universities, research bodies and research funding organisations in the ERA. The ACT CoPs are groups of representatives of universities, R & I institutions and research funding organisations across Europe that share an interest in advancing the implementation of the ERA gender goals.
Centre of excellence on inclusive gender equality in R & I (INSPIRE)
Within the framework of Horizon Europe, the European Commission is funding a centre of excellence that will advance the empirical research and evidence on gender equality policies in R & I organisations in Europe by building on an intersectional, intersectoral and geographic inclusive approach. It will contribute to reducing the gender equality implementation gap between Member States and consequently strengthening the ERA (no website available yet).
The GENDERACTION project (2017–2021) has developed a policy community to foster an effective and coordinated implementation of the gender equality priority in the ERA through engaging representatives appointed by national authorities in Member States and associated countries. The follow-up project starts in 2022 and will continue to support policymakers promoting gender equality in R & I. Specific attention will be paid to gender equality in research funding.
European University Association
The European University Association (EUA) represents more than 800 universities located in 48 European countries and is a key stakeholder influencing EU policies on higher education and R & I.
It promotes the development of a coherent system of education and research at the EU level. The EUA is committed to promting gender equality in the framework of diversity and inclusion and facilitates the sharing of experiences and peer-learning on approaches and strategies for promoting gender equality.
League of European Research Universities
The League of European Research Universities(LERU) network is comprised of 23 leading European research universities and aims to promote the understanding of the importance of research- intensive universities for innovation and the progress of society at large among key decision-makers and policymakers in Europe. In this effort, LERU also emphasises the relevance of gender equality and diversity for research quality and innovation. The LERU equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) policy group discuss (EDI policies, practices and actions to advance organisational strategies and EU policies. The EDI policy group published several LERU policy papers on EDI issues.
CESAER is an association of leading specialised and comprehensive universities of science and technology in Europe and beyond and is an acknowledged stakeholder organisation for the ERA. It published a declaration on ‘EDI at the universities of science and technology’ in 2019, in which it commits itself to accelerating the momentum to foster EDI. The CESAER Task Force Human Resources will be monitoring the EDI pledges of the declaration by 2024.
Science Europe is an association that represents major public organisations that fund or perform research in Europe. Among its 38 members are many research funding organisations. One of its priorities is to ensure the quality of research assessments so as to guarantee robust and fair outcomes either in research funding or hiring and promotion decisions. Another Science Europe priority is opening up the discussion on a research culture where all researchers are able to thrive, which is closely related to gender equality and inclusion.
In this phase, it is useful to analyse budgets from a gender perspective. Gender budgeting is used to identify how budget allocations contribute to promoting gender equality. Gender budgeting brings visibility to how much public money is spent on women and men, respectively. Gender budgeting ensures that public funds are fairly distributed between women and men. It also contributes to accountability and transparency about how public funds are being spent.
Example of gender budgeting in research
Gender Budgeting in Academia
This working paper, published by the GARCIA project, discusses the collected data about gender budgeting in six academic institutions. The overall objective was to gain insight into the managerial and financial frameworks of different European academic institutions and to analyse the budgetary process in the fields of STEM and social sciences and humanities.
The ACT Community of Practice GenBUDGET aims to share knowledge and experiences on the approach of gender budgeting. The site provides various types of resources concerning gender budgeting.
Examples of indicators for monitoring gender and research
She Figures Handbook (2021)
The She Figures Handbook provides input on the indicators used for She Figures 2021. The current version of the handbook aims to strengthen the ability of other stakeholders to generate meaningful, systematic data on gender dimensions in R & I.
ERA Progress Report 2018
In this report, the ERA monitors and assesses the recent progress in the ERA implementation process made towards achieving six ERA priorities. Priority 4 focuses on gender equality and gender mainstreaming in research. The headline indicator identified by ERAC for Priority 4 is the share of women in Grade A research positions in the HES, as a percentage of all such research positions. Further, the two indicators ‘gender dimension in research content’ and ‘share of female PhD graduates’ also assess the progress.
The indicator ‘share of women researchers (by sectors of performance)’ is calculated as the percentage of women researchers out of the total number of researchers. It can be calculated as a percentage of the total researchers in all sectors or disaggregated by sector: BES; GOV; HES; PNP. This indicator provides a means of measuring gender imbalances in research. The indicator is available in HC, (i.e. people employed), and in FTEs. The latest figures are from 2021, when 32.8% of researchers in all sectors were women. The indicator is available from Eurostat’s statistics on research and development – R & D personnel at the national and regional levels (online data code: rd_p_femres; http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/ data/database?node_code= rd_p_femres).
The indicator ‘proportion of women researchers in the sectors of performance (by fields of science)’ is calculated as the percentage of women researchers out of the total researchers in each sector of performance (BES, GOV, HES, PNP) and in different field of sciences (natural sciences, engineering and technology, medical and health sciences, agricultural sciences, social sciences and humanities). The indicators provide a means of measuring gender imbalances in the field of research and can be calculated using the number of women and total HC, derived from Eurostat statistics on research and development – R & D personnel at the national and regional levels (online data code: rd_p_perssci; http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/data/database?node_ code= rd_p_perssci).
The indicator ‘proportion of women in Grade A academic position’ is calculated as a percentage of women in a Grade A academic position out of the total members of academic staff at Grade A. Grade A is the single highest grade/post at which a researcher is normally employed. The statistics on the seniority of academic staff are collected at the national level through higher education and R & D surveys or directly from higher education institutions as part of their own monitoring systems and administrative records. This indicator is included in the set of indicators for monitoring Area B of the Beijing Platform for Action – education and training of women. Data are available from the WiS database, which was implemented for the realisation of the She Figures reports by the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation and is updated triennially with every new edition of She Figures. The latest available data are from 2018 and show that women represent only 26.2% of academic staff at Grade A.
Examples of gender and research funding
The Gender Dimension in Research and Innovation: Results from a global survey on research funding organisations
This report provides information on how research funding organisations deal with gender in the research they fund. The study was able to examine patterns in how research funding organisations work and which challenges occur.
Practical guide to improving gender equality in research organisations
This guide presents good practice examples and explains how to further develop context-specific approaches, including how to handle and prevent unconscious bias in peer review processes, how to monitor gender equality and how to improve grant management practices.
Promoting Gender Equality in the Evaluation Process: Guideline for jury members, reviewers and research funding organizations’ employees
This guideline, published by Gender Equality in Engineering through Communication and Commitment, is for research funding organisation employees and evaluators of research proposals (peer reviewers and members of evaluation committees and panels) to support them by promoting gender equality in the evaluation process. Practical recommendations for the evaluation of proposals are given, along with recommendations on how to increase diversity awareness.
The Gender Challenge in Research Funding: Assessing the European national scenes
This report focuses on research funding across Europe, mainly, but not exclusively, from a gender perspective. It is the result of the work of an EU expert group set up by the European Commission to provide recommendations on the improvement of transparency and accountability of procedures used in selection committees for grants and fellowship awards and access to research funding in general. The report analyses the gender dynamics among applicants, recipients and gatekeepers of research funding, in funding processes, instruments and criteria, and the role of key funding organisations in promoting gender equality in research. An overview of the national situations in terms of research landscape and gender settings is annexed to the report.
Examples of diversity/intersectionality
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at Universities: The power of a systemic approach
In this paper, the LERU universities give an overview of the principles of EDI, along with relevant research evidence on that topic. It also presents some inspiring and practical examples of actions.
Diversity, equity and inclusion in European higher education institutions
This report contains evidence on how universities can promote diversity, equality and inclusion. On the basis of a survey and in-depth conversations with EUA members about their practices and challenges, it paints a quantitative picture of how universities are tackling the issue.
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Research and Innovation: International review
Advance HE examined the challenges of EDI in R & I on behalf of the United Kingdom Research and Innovation funding agency. In order to understand what works in a range of R & I contexts (e.g. research funding, policy, employment and doctoral studies), an evaluation framework was applied to a total of 109 sources covering 130 interventions. An evaluation framework was developed that focuses primarily on ‘mapping’ the range of activities related to different contexts and identities, and using evaluation methods to understand the impact or outcomes of these activities.
In the implementation phase of a policy or programme, ensure that all those involved are sufficiently aware about the relevant gender objectives and plans. If not, set up briefings and capacity- building initiatives according to staff needs. Think about researchers, proposal evaluators, monitoring and evaluation experts, scientific officers, programme committee members, etc.
Example of capacity-building initiatives on gender and research
Gender in EU-funded research
GE Academy offers seven freely accessible online courses related to the topics recommended by the European Commission to build a GEP, along with an additional course on gendered innovations in sustainable housing design. The individual courses are dedicated to introductory concepts, gender in research and teaching content, gender-based violence, gender equality in recruitment and career progression, gender balance in leadership and decision-making, work–life balance and organisational culture and designing and implementing GEPs.
The GENDERACTION project, funded by Horizon Europe, provided training events to build consistent and professional capacity in gender equality in R & I among responsible national representatives and Horizon 2020 national contact points, along with mutual learning workshops, which can be accessed online.
ACT is a Horizon 2020 project, which created and supported collaboration between experienced institutions in the implementation of GEPs with less experienced ones. International networks of CoPs were established in order to develop gender equality actions at research-performing and research-funding organisations in the ERA. The CoPs targeted three typical problems: gender bias in human resource management, gender imbalances in decision-making processes and integrating the gender dimension more into R & I content and higher education curricula (https://act-on-gender.eu/communities-practice).
Gender in EU-funded research is a training programme that was financed under FP7 by the Euro- pean Commission, delivering 73 one-day training sessions across the EU on gender in EU-funded research. A toolkit and training activities are available on the website.
Example of gender language in research
The use of language and concepts can determine the direction of scientific practice, the questions asked, the results obtained and the interpretations of those results.
Toolkit on Gender-sensitive Communication
EIGE provides a toolkit for gender-sensitive communication. Besides general information on a gender-sensitive approach and how to overcome known challenges, there is the possibility to test your knowledge and draw on various tools.
Tailor-made guides for gender-sensitive communication in research and academia
The ‘Supporting the promotion of equality in research and academia’ project created guidelines for a gender-sensitive communication in research and academia culture. It aims to increase awareness of gender-sensitive approaches and language use. The guidelines offer support with the adoption of gender-sensitive communication in research organisations.
Examples of measures against gender-based violence and sexual harassment
Mobilising to eradicate gender-based violence and sexual harassment: A new impetus for gender equality in the European research area
This paper, published by the European Research Area and Innovation Committee, aims to unite all involved stakeholders to fight gender-based violence and sexual harassment. It also offers various recommendations for different types of stakeholders.
UniSAFE is a Horizon 2020 funded project and addresses gender-based violence and sexual harassment within universities and research organisations. It will provide reliable quantitative and qualitative data in order to improve knowledge about the problem and develop and improve policies to eradicate gender-based violence in research and academia.
Examples of dealing with COVID-19
Position paper on the current COVID-19 outbreak and gendered impacts on researchers and teachers
The SWG GRI published a paper regarding the impacts of COVID-19 on gender relations in research and academia. It also presents inspiring practices that arose due to the COVID-19 pandemic and formulates recommendations.
A policy cycle or programme should be checked both by monitoring and – at the end – evaluating its implementation. Monitoring ongoing work allows those involved to follow up progress and remedy unforeseen difficulties.
This process should take into account the indicators set out in the planning phase and data collection based on those indicators. At the end of a policy cycle or programme, a gender-sensitive evaluation should take place. Make your evaluation publicly accessible and strategically disseminate its results to promote its learning potential.
Examples of monitoring and evaluating gender in research
Interim Evaluation: Gender equality as a crosscutting issue in Horizon 2020
This report aims to identify possible improvements in the implementation of gender equality as a crosscutting issue in Horizon 2020.
EFFORTI Toolbox V 2.0
The `Evaluation framework for promoting gender equality in R & I’ (EFFORTI) project evaluates gender equality policies and determines the links between approaches aiming to foster gender equality. The toolbox provides, for example, information on impact models, a tool to design a programme theory and a collection of reports about the evaluation.
A conceptual evaluation framework for promoting gender equality in research and innovation
This report provides the analytical background for EFFORTI, including the methodological approach, smart practice examples and the theories of change that form the basis of the analytical framework. Especially useful is the comprehensive list of collected promising indicators to measure gender equality.
Indicators for promoting and monitoring responsible research and innovation
Early in 2014, the European Commission appointed an expert group to identify and propose indicators and other effective means to monitor and assess the impacts of responsible research and innovation (RRI) initiatives and evaluate their performance in relation to general and specific RRI objectives. This report presents the results of the work of the expert group. It contains three parts: a conceptual introduction of RRI, a detailed review of possible indicators in eight key areas for RRI policy and a number of concrete proposals for indicator design and implementation. One of the eight key areas is gender equality.
Monitoring the evolution and benefits of responsible research and innovation
‘Monitoring the evolution and benefits of responsible research and innovation’ was a project that implemented a monitoring system for RRI across five different dimensions, including gender equality. This monitoring report provides the results of monitoring the evaluation of RRI, along with a rich set of RRI indicators. For each indicator, explanations and an assessment are presented in the annex.
Examples of national legal and policy frameworks for gender mainstreaming in research
The following section describes legal and policy frameworks promoting gender equality in R & I in selected EU Member States and Switzerland. These countries represent strong legal and policy frameworks and therefore show a high commitment towards promoting gender equality in R & I but have slightly different approaches. Other Member States, like France, Austria, Sweden and Finland have strong legal and policy frameworks in place but have not been included in this chapter. The EIGE GEAR tool provides detailed descriptions of national legal and policy frameworks on gender equality in R & I for each Member State.
In the GENDERACTION report, Denmark scored high in the EIGE gender equality index, and in innovation performance and research excellence indicators, providing evidence that higher levels of gender equality positively correlate with innovation performance and research excellence. The Gender Equality Act, in place since 2000, stipulates that all public authorities (including universities and other research organisations) shall seek to promote gender equality in all planning and administration. All public institutions are required to report on the status of gender equality work to the Department of Gender Equality:
- the gender composition in the highest management body (the board) and all employee categories,
- whether the institution set specific targets for the under-represented sex on their boards and other collective management bodies and if so, the nature of these and a time period in which the university expects to achieve these targets, and
- other conditions that may affect the institution’s gender equality initiatives. Gender equality is defined in the legislation as no less than a 60/40 % divide between men and women.
The Innovation Fund Denmark started four initiatives to achieve gender balance among its applicants:
- appointing role models to inspire other women to apply,
- adjusting application requirements to include gender perspectives,
- focusing on gender diversity among candidates for panels and awards and
- including gender diversity in the overall strategy of the Innovation Fund Denmark.
Germany has a thorough and tightly knit legal and policy framework promoting gender equality in R & I that connects different stakeholders and policy levels (regional and national). The Joint Science Conference provides a framework for federal and state governments to support gender equality in jointly funded research organisations and initiatives and monitors the progress towards gender equality in public research in Germany. The Pact for Research and Innovation aims to increase the competitiveness of public research organisations in Germany and established concrete targets for advancing gender equality in these organisations. Furthermore, the federal programme for women professors follows a two- fold approach. Organisations which implement comprehensive gender equality strategies receive funds for up to three professorships for women for 5 years. Additionally, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research operates the National Pact for Women in STEM Careers that aims to promote the participation of women in STEM profes- sions by intervening at different levels and career stages. The German Research Foundation (DFG) established research-oriented standards on gender equality and DFG member organisations set up gender equality concepts to comply with these standards. Following the example of Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe, the DFG also requires appli- cants to state how they will implement a sex and gender dimension into their research proposals.
In 2016, the Irish Higher Education Authority published the results of the National review of gender equality in Irish higher education institutions, which stipulated the slow progress towards gender equality in Irish higher education institutions (HEIs). Since then, a comprehensive policy framework has been developed to promote gender equality. At its heart is the National Gender Action Plan 2018–2020, which required all HEIs to apply for an Athena Swan Institutional Bronze Award by 2019. This was backed by the three main research funding bodies in Ireland that announced that Irish HEIs need to have an Athena Swan Bronze Award until 2019 and a Silver Award until the end of 2023 to be eligible for funding. Furthermore, HEIs were supported in their efforts to develop GEPs and strategies by a newly established Centre of Excellence for Gender Equality. To support the HES to engage in intersectionality work, the national Athena SWAN Ireland Intersectionality Working Group was founded in 2019 to develop an approach to collect data on staff and student ethnicity, which resulted in a guidance document on the rationale for collecting data on ethnicity and on how to deal with the complexities of data categorisation.
The Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science released a NAP for greater diversity and inclusion in higher education and research in 2020. This plan was signed by the main stakeholders of the Dutch R & I system and formulated five concrete goals until 2025. A National Advisory Committee will advise the ministry on how to ensure goal attainment and monitor progress. In 2017, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science started the Westerdijk Talent Impuls initiative, which aimed at increasing the share of women professors by providing additional funds for the appointment of 100 women professors under the condition that these positions should become permanent positions. In 2018, the 100 new women professors were appointed. This increased the annual average growth rate of the number of women at Dutch universities, but since 2018, the growth rate has decreased again, which indicates that specific additional actions are needed to increase the share of women professors at a higher pace. A similar approach was applied by the Eindhoven University of Technology, which started a special recruitment programme aiming at exclusively hiring women for a predefined period. The Dutch Research Council is also promoting gender equality within its portfolio and aims to establish fair and transparent evaluation procedures.
Spain has developed a thorough legal and policy framework for gender equality in higher education, science and research, which, for instance, requires public organisations and companies with more than 50 employees, including universities and public research organisations, to adopt GEPs and to establish organisational units for their implementation. In addition, quotas for gender-balanced panels, advisory boards and committees in R & I were introduced, and R & I organisations were asked to revise their selection and evaluation procedures for recruitment, promotion and research funding decisions and to promote the integration of the sex and gender dimension into research projects and programmes. The Women, Science and Innovation Observatory is supporting and monitoring the implementation of these policy objectives.
Switzerland is among the countries with the most extensive requirements for GEPs. Since 2000, the Swiss federal government strives to raise the share of women full and associate professors to 25 % and those of women assistant professors to 40 % with a programme called Equal Opportunity at Swiss Universities. The progress towards these goals and the implementation of the programme activities are monitored on a yearly basis. Additionally, the Swiss National Science Foundation is highly committed to promoting gender equality in research funding through different measures and specific research funds. These measures aim at facilitating equal opportunities for women and men, for instance through specific funding schemes supporting the careers of women researchers or grants covering costs for mentoring programmes for young women researchers.