Promoting gender equality is a key principle of the EU in all its activities. European research still shows a pronounced under-representation of women, particularly in the hard sciences and in leadership positions. Gender equality in research is essential not only for fairness and inclusiveness, but because it could help address current and future deficits in skilled labour within the EU and support the transition to a fair, green and digital society.
The EU’s new Research & Innovation funding programme, Horizon Europe, addresses gender inequalities and gender bias in the research area. All organisations applying for funding must have a gender equality plan (GEP) in place to be eligible for funding. A GEP is a systematic and strategic instrument that aims to combat and reduce gender imbalances and gender inequalities. EIGE’s gender equality in academia and research (GEAR) tool provides guidance for Research & Innovation organisations and research funding bodies on developing and implementing an effective and sustainable GEP.
There are success factors that support gender equality work in research and innovation (R & I) organisations and in research funding bodies like the involvement of stakeholders and capacity building. When these elements are present in organisations, efforts towards gender equality are more likely to succeed. These success factors can also be understood as basic requirements or impact drivers to ensure that gender equality actions are resilient and impactful.
EIGE’s Resources and Documentation Centre (RDC) is undergoing a transformation to better address the needs of its users. After more than eleven successful years, the Resource and Documentation Centre will further develop its knowledge management dimensions. For EIGE’s library, this transformation means that EIGE will donate a large number of books from its collection to Vilnius University library. Resources are now available to a wider audience than ever before, giving the public a chance to learn more about gender equality.
The independent Observatory for Research on Scientific Careers was created following the joint decision of representatives of the different French-speaking universities, the FWB and FNRS. It aims to create and follow up (missing and random) data on researchers in order to create a comprehensive, objective data collection. Its main goals are to monitor and use the expertise of different universities and partners to carry out analytical evaluations and statistics on researchers in the FWB.
The FWF published its Equal Opportunity Monitoring, as recommended by the Ministry of Digital and Economic Affairs. The measure seeks to increase the participation of women researchers in Austria since 2015. The monitoring is part of the FWF’s action plan on changing structures. Published each of the past two years, it presents a visualisation of facts and data to bring to life the insights in the annual report.
In April 2021, the State Social Insurance Fund Board (SODRA) under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour) analysed data from the Vilnius Academy of Arts. It found that, on average, women earned slightly less than their male colleagues (the gender pay gap amounted to 2 %). This result reflects the implementation of the “Plan of Measures for the Implementation of Equality at the Vilnius Academy of Arts”.
The CNR published its first gender budget in 2020. The CNR is the largest public research organisation, with more than 9,000 employees. The report showed that the general composition of CNR staff is equally distributed, but a gap becomes evident in the subsequent career levels: 38 % of senior researchers and 26 % of research directors are women. That gap is even wider at top management level, where women make up only 22 %.