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Promoting women scientists in the EU For years excellence in science has been considered neutral from a gender point of view. The situation is now changing due to: the availability of better gender sensitive data at European level. the Barcelona Summit in March 2002. The Barcellona Summit

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promoting women scientists in the eu
Promoting women scientists in the EU
  • For years excellence in science has been considered neutral from a gender point of view. The situation is now changing due to:
    • the availability of better gender sensitive data at European level.
    • the Barcelona Summit in March 2002.
the barcellona summit
The Barcellona Summit
  • the EU Council decided to increase the "talent pool" of researchers by more than 50 %.
  • A large opportunity to achieve this goal lies in the existing but unused human potential.
  • women scientists constitute the largest pool of unused potential.
equal opportunities in science
Equal Opportunities in science
  • Equal opportunities are an integral part of the EU employment strategy and the Structural Funds covering the years 2000-2006.
  • At the same time equal opportunities are rarely perceived as a strategy both by university management and the policymakers.
basic questions
Basic questions
  • Is it true that women are discriminated against?
  • Can we prove that the under-representation of women in science sector is the consequence of a gender discrimination?
  • If yes, can actions be taken to counteract it?
horizontal segregation
Horizontal segregation
  • There are scientific fields where women are scarcely present, in particular engineering and technology , and others where they are occasionally the majority such as medical sciences.
vertical segregation
Verticalsegregation

Finland has the

highest value

of just 22 women

for every 100 men.

two distinct career models
The first model, called "The Overtaking", characterises countries as France, Italy, Spain, Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Sweden and to a lesser extent Finland, and UK.

The second model, called “The Impossible Pursuit”, characterises Nordic and Central European countries such as Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, and the Netherlands.

Two distinct career models
the impossible pursuit model in science chemistry and medicine italy
“The Impossible Pursuit” model in science, chemistry and medicine, Italy

Medical science, men

Chemistry, men

Science, men

Chemistry, women

medical scinece, women

science, women

the overtaking model in biology and social sciences italy
"The Overtaking“ model in biology and social sciences , Italy

social science, men

biology, men

biology, women

social science, women

explaining the gap the 3 most common stereotyped explanations
Explaining the gap: the 3 most common stereotyped explanations
  • “Women have to be patient and wait. The phenomenon of their under-representation at the top of the scientific hierarchy will naturally disappear over time as their numbers increase at the entry level”
  • “The family and children are a handicap for female scientists, because science is a totally demanding job”
  • “Women publish less than men; it is therefore normal that they fail to arrive at the top grades”.
how long do we have to wait
How long do we have to wait?
  • At EU level 31,305 grade A male professors need to be substituted by the same number of women in order to achieve equality.
  • If women’s shares in the different grades continues to increase at the current annual growth rate,in Belgium it will take 40 years to reach equality in the C grade, 140 years in the B grade and 211 years in the A grade.
  • In Italy, equality between the sexes in the A grade could be reached in 179 years.
the family
The Family
  • Female scientists are confronted with a “choose-or-lose” dilemma: to have a family and children or to strive to achieve a top position in their scientific career.
  • From empirical studies it emerges that there is no evidence that being childless will produce positive results in terms of upgrading the hierarchical ladder.
productivity the case of italy
Productivity: the case of Italy
  • 23,000 publications examined
  • Women appear to publish less than men: an average of 4.8 publications a year for female researchers and 6.2 for male researcher.
  • The overall average impact factor is 1.82, and is very similar for men (1.83) and women (1.77).
building a bridge beyond the glass ceiling
Building a"Bridge" Beyond the Glass Ceiling

Possible actions

Positive

actions

Observing,

monitoring

and data

collecting

Promoting

women

scientific

excellence

examples from eu
Examples from EU
  • Observing, monitoring, and data collecting.Initiatives taken at EU Commission level through the Helsinki Group and specific working group (ENWISE being one of the most recent ones).
  • Promoting women in scientific research. There numerous initiatives taken at EU level . One of the most recent is a call for Ambassadors for Women and Science.
  • Positive actions. At EU level there is a target of at least 40% of women among evaluators. The same target can be introduced at country level in all evaluation committees, examining boards for competitions in which women are currently poorly represented.