For International Women's Day 2021 we asked the women members of our Governing Board about their own experiences as women leaders and discussed what is or can be done to improve gender equality in research.
Gender and Diversity
Gender equality and diversity are essential components of scientific quality. Science Europe works to promote a research ecosystem where all scholars can realise their potential regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, religion, disabilities, ethnic origin, or social background.
Why do gender and diversity matter?
Diversity leads to better research and can be a major resource for scientific excellence. All researchers should be enabled to realise their full potential and rewarded for the quality of their scholarly contributions, independently of their gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, disabilities, ethnic origin, or social background. Research organisations have a crucial role to play in addressing gender inequality, not only for the benefit of the science ecosystem, but to contribute to progress in wider society.
What are the current priorities?
To ensure that their research processes are fair, Science Europe’s Member Organisations aim to scrutinise their activities against any form of bias. To that end, they seek to avoid unconscious bias in peer review processes, monitor progress towards gender equality, and improve grant management practices. There is an increased realisation that gender inequality can affect the design and content of research itself. An increasing number of research organisations require researchers to integrate or specify the sex and gender dimensions in the research they fund or perform.
What is Science Europe doing to achieve these aims?
In 2017, Science Europe published the ‘Practical Guide to Improving Gender Equality in Research Organisations.’ It makes concrete suggestions on how to implement effective change through a number of recommendations and includes many good practices from Science Europe Member Organisations.
Science Europe actively collaborates with other relevant initiatives, institutional groups, and stakeholders to further promote gender equality in the research ecosystem. Science Europe is currently an active partner in the Global Research Council’s Gender Working Group where it promotes gender-sensitive research policies and the integration of the gender and sex dimensions in the content and design of research.
Research organisations have a crucially important role to play in addressing gender inequality; not only for the benefit of their own ecosystem, but to contribute to progress in wider society. This practical guide sets out good practice examples and guides the further development of context specific approaches including how to avoid unconscious bias in peer review processes, how to monitor gender equality, and how to improve grant management practises.
Summary of Implemented Indicators and Measures: Survey Results and Data on Improving Gender Equality in Research Organisations
This document complements the ‘Practical Guide to Improving Gender Equality in Research Organisations.’ It provides the qualitative and quantitative background data on which parts of the guide are based and measures the implementation of gender equality measures within Science Europe Member Organisations.
The Roadmap, approved by the Science Europe General Assembly in November 2013, is Science Europe’s action plan to contribute to the elements of a successful research system. It acts as a framework for voluntary collective activity, providing a long-term strategy for the association. The ‘Priority Action Areas’ are those in which Science Europe members believe that there is a potential to achieve tangible and substantive progress, and where they can add real value by working together.