Women in Science Moving Forward (1)

Report
Women in Science
Moving Forward
Heraklion, 3 May, 2011
PART I
CONCERNS OVER GENDER IN SCIENCE

2
i. Why is it important to integrate gender
in science?

Since women have equal education rights and in many areas girls are
now outperforming boys it only makes sense to ensure that we do
not lose scientists with high potential into the ceiling effect.

The future prosperity of Europe depends upon the scientific and
technological innovation. By restricting the pool of the best and
brightest minds mainly to men, the outcomes that influence the
scientific community and research will be less than it could be.

If science is striving for excellence, gender bias should be avoided as
we could be missing out talented scientists merely because of this
bias.

Scientists influence the focus of research and the general
development of society. Such a responsibility cannot be a male‐only
responsibility.
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i. Why is it important to integrate gender
in science?

The contribution of women in scientific developments - that in turn
influence society - could bring out different findings and results as
well as different points of view. By taking different points of view
into consideration we achieve better scientific results and we
further contribute to the development of an all-inclusive society.

Finally, it is a democratic principle that power and influence should
be distributed equally among different groups in society. For this
reason we should make sure that equal opportunities are indeed
provided in all sectors of society. The elimination of discrimination
based on gender, ethnicity, race, ect should remain a priority in all
institutions.
European Commission considers that without gender equality in
science and without a better use of the human resources available
scientific excellence will never be truly achieved within the
European Research Area
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i. Phases of Key Recent European Union
Recommendations and Interventions for Gender Equality
a)
b)
c)
d)
Phase 1: 1990s; Focus on Gender Equality for Women – Mapping
and Identification of the Problems
Phase 2: early 2000s; Focus on Gender Differences – Reflections
on Statistics: Measurement, Mainstreaming, Evaluation
Phase 3: late 2000s; Focus on Context – Integrated Perspective:
Work-Life Balance, Scientific Excellence, Research
Phase 4: current situation (2009); Focus on Tools – Social
Mainstreaming, Tool Development on Basis of the Problem

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Gender Action Plans
i. What do we know about Gender and Science

Gender pay gap (across Europe women earn around 17% less than men
and in some country the gender pay gap is widening (European Commission,
Information Society and Media:Women and ICT status Report 2009, March
2010)

There is country differentiation in females working in S&T occupations (LT,
EE higher than other EU countries)

Average proportion of female researchers is less than 35% (both for
government and higher education sectors)
Leaking pipeline effect at all levels/types of activity


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In science and engineering women account for around 31% of the student population

36% at PhD

33% in grade C academic staff

22% in grade B and only 11% in grade A (32% for Romania and 2% for Malta)

New Member States representation of women in academia is higher than EU15

Lowest in MT, LU, CY, IE, BE and GR
i. What do we know about Women in Decision
Making positions

Leaky pipeline

Glass ceiling
decline in career progression
male-norm for seniority
Women in Boards across Europe
Country
Norway
Sweden
Finland
Denmark
Total top
UK
Rep of Ireland
Germany
France
Austria
The Netherlands
Total middle
Switzerland
Greece
Spain
Belgium
Italy
Portugal
Total low
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% Companies with
Women on Board
100,0
100,0
100,0
100,0
100,0%
86,0
60,0
72,0
75,0
50,0
50,0
75,0%
58,0
57,0
48,0
43,0
33,0
0,0
41,0%
% Women on
Board
28,8
22,8
20,0
17,9
22,5%
11,4
8,1
7,2
7,6
9,5
6,5
8,6%
5,9
4,4
4,1
5,8
1,9
0,0
3,8%
Average number
Women on Board
3,0
3,7
2,2
2,5
3,1%
1,4
1,0
1,7
1,2
1,8
0,8
1,3%
0,9
0,6
0,6
1,0
0,3
0,0
0,6%
i. What do we know about Women in Decision
Making positions
Women in Boards across Europe
35.0
30.0
25.0
20.0
15.0
10.0
5.0
28.8
22.8
20.0
17.9
11.4
8.1 7.2 7.6 9.5 6.5
5.9 4.4
5.8
4.1
0.0
% Women on Board
8
1.9
0.0
i. The situation of women scientists in
Europe
Data from She Figures 2009 (http://ec.europa.eu/research/sciencesociety/document_library/pdf_06/she_figures_2009_en.pdf)
What has improved in the last 10 years, and how much?
 The number of female researchers increased in Europe in all economic sectors: the
Higher Education Sector, the Government Sector and the Business Enterprise
Sector. In the former, the proportion of female researchers grew from 34% in 2000
to 37% in 2006. It is important to remember however that we are measuring the
countries of the European Union, with a population that changed between 2001 and
2006 in size and number of countries concerned.
 The number of female PhDs in Europe grew from 39.6% in 2001 to 43% in 2003
and 45% in 2006.
 The balance of the presence of female PhDs across fields of sciences didn't change
considerably between 2001 and 2006, with women being more numerous in the
fields of Education, Humanities and Arts, Agriculture and Veterinary, and Health and
Social Services. The Engineering, Manufacturing and Construction field had 20.6% of
female PhDs in 2001, 21.90% in 2003 and 25% in 2006.
 The proportion of women attaining the top level of an academic careers, defined here as
"Grade A professorship", moved from 15.20% in 2000 to 15.3% in 2004 and 19% in
2007.
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i. The situation of women scientists in
Europe
What is the proportion of women researchers in Europe?
Generally speaking women in scientific research remain a
minority. On average, they account for 30% of researchers
in the EU in 2006. However, wide variations can be noted
between countries. At the top of the country ranking,
there are the Baltic States but also Bulgaria, Croatia,
Portugal, Romania, and Slovakia, all of which have more
than 40% of women in their research population. Sixteen
other EU countries have a proportion of female
researchers of between 26% and 39%. In four European
countries, the proportion of women researchers drops at
25% or less.

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i. The situation of women scientists in
Europe

What is the proportion of female PhDs?
45% of all PhD graduates are women in the EU-27; they equal or outnumber
men in all broad fields of study, except for science, mathematics and
computing (41%), and engineering, manufacturing and construction (25%).

Do the academic careers of men and women follow similar patterns?
Women's academic careers remains markedly characterised by
strong vertical segregation: the proportion of female students
(55%) and graduates (59%) exceeds that of male students, but
men outnumber women among PhD students and graduates (the
proportion of female students drops back to 48% and that of PhD
graduates to 45%). Furthermore, women represent only 44% of
grade C academic staff, 36% of grade B academic staff and 18% of
grade A academic staff.
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Can we observe a generation effect in the presence of women
professors?
At the level of the EU-27, women account for 23% of grade A
academics among 35 to 44-year-olds, 21% among 45 to 54-year-olds
and 18% among those aged over 55. The situation thus appears
marginally more favourable for the youngest generations of female
academics but the gender gap is still persistent.
 What is the representation of women at the Head of Research
institutions in Universities?
On average throughout the EU-27, 13% of institutions in the Higher
Education Sector are headed by women. The six countries where it
is highest (equal or above 18%) are Norway, Sweden, Finland, Italy,
Estonia and Israel. By contrast, in ten European countries this figure
drops to 10% or lower. This situation of female under-representation
at the head of institutions is even more pronounced when only
universities are taken into account, meaning only institutions able to
award PhD degrees. On average throughout the EU-27, just 9% of
universities have a female head.

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i. What we know about the assessment of
women’s work




INDIRECT DISCRIMINATION refers to situations in which ‘genderneutral’ regulations have gender-biased effects because of the different
situations of men and women. It is usually evident in recruitment and
promotion processes.
LESS WOMEN IN TOP PROFESSIONAL POSITIONS research suggests
that the number of women in top professional positions in science does
not reflect the number of doctorate students and women in lower-status
positions which indicates that most working environments do not take into
account the work/family balance issue that many women face.
OBSTACLES IN RESEARCH especially in male dominated sectors, women
usually take the extra burden of administrative tasks since they are
required and expected to participate more frequently in various
committees and councils. As a result, women have less time for their own
research.
GENDER EQUALITY EDUCATION the academic and administrative
leadership often lacks competence in gender equality issues (knowledge of
gender equality policies, insight into direct and indirect mechanisms of
discrimination etc) which could greatly facilitate the process of eliminating
gender stereotypes and discrimination.
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PART II
Evidence on Differences Affecting Gender in
Science
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ii. Male vs Female learning culturesii.
Male learning culture
Female learning culture
Tendency to dominant behavior in educational
situations
Tendency to cooperative behavior and orientation
More frequent take-over of monitoring discourse
Willingness to be responsible for ongoing discourse
Longer and more frequent contributions in discourse
Shorter contributions in discourse
More often involved in the development of
enforcement strategies
Open for proposals of other people and for
cooperative work in general
Desire to impress others and competitive behavior
Willingness to discuss topics, supportive of others
Development and maintenance of competitive
relations
Care for a just distribution of learning tasks;
preference for group work
(Kuhlen 2006)
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ii. Why women do not stay in the IT industry

Women tend to quit technology careers due to
“antigens”:
a)
b)
c)
d)
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machismo that continues to permeate work environments 63% of women in science engineering and technology have
experience sexual harassment
sheer isolation many women cope with daily
career path is all very mysterious
risky behavior patterns that are rewarded
ii. Education & early age influences on girls’
choices
A recent study conducted by Dr. Tilghman and published in Scientific American
(March 29, 2011) supports the idea that the social environment strongly
influences the choices of girls and boys in different ways from an early age.
Specifically, it was observed that as early as the eighth grade, the interest that
students show in science is one of the best ways to predict whether they will
go on to receive a bachelor’s degree in science, a link which is even more
important than their mathematics achievement at the same age.
Students’ belief in their own abilities was identified as an extremely important
factor that influenced students’ choices. Students with high self-efficacy,
confidence in their ability to succeed at particular tasks, tend to understand
physics better and achieve better grades.
This relationship is true for both male and female students, but female students
tend to believe in themselves less, contributing to the difficulties they can
encounter in physics.
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ii. Education & early age influences on girls’ choices

Parents, teachers and peers also have strong influences on students’ perceptions of
their own abilities, affecting students' career and degree choices. In one study,
students were followed from age 12 to age 24. They found that the more mothers
believed in their children’s science and math abilities in grade 7, the more likely
those students were to pursue careers in science at age 24.

Peers can have a similar impact, supporting or eroding students’ belief in their own
abilities. In another study, rural girls who were recognized as talented in science
were strongly influenced by the recognition and support they received from their
peers.

These social influences can be troubling because parents, teachers and even peers
often have stereotypical views of interest and ability in science, views that tend to
favor male students.

Together, studies like these illustrate how challenging it is to pinpoint a single cause
for the underrepresentation of women in physics. There are elements of interest
and self-confidence, but also difficult social pressures. With these challenges in mind,
what is needed is not acquiescence but continued searching for solutions. We still
need to know what can be done to support and encourage students, and girls in
particular, to pursue careers and graduate studies in physics.
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PART III
Approaches Applied to Enhance the
Participation of Women in Science
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iii. The discussion on Gender Action Plans started with
FP6 where the focus was on

To increase women’s participation within the research workforce ,
especially at decision-making level;

To allow a better understanding of the gender dimension in research,
especially for the definition and the evaluation of scientific excellence;

To raise the gender awareness of different categories of actors, within and
outside the European Commission, involved in the design, the evaluation,
the selection, the negotiation, the realization, the implementation and the
follow -up of IP and NoE research projects;

To highlight the respective responsibility of each category of actors
regarding the EU commitment to ensure gender equality and to implement
a gender mainstreaming strategy in all its policies and programmes,
including the Research policy and the Framework Programme.
Current concern: To build institutional capacity to reflect on and act upon
the utilization of the available human resources under the scope of “scientific
excellence”
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iii. A GAP is built around two steps:
1.
A diagnosis on the current situation regarding gender
(women’s participation and gender aspects in research)
2.
Practical proposed actions based on a diagnosis
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iii. Gender Action Plans provide 2 kinds of information:
1.
Actions to be undertaken
Specific gender aspects (field dependant)
“Gender equality is a strategic concern for the University of
Oslo that encompasses democracy as well as fundamental
human rights. Gender equality also has an impact on the
quality of the University’s activities and on its legitimacy in
society as the country’s foremost institution for research,
education, and the dissemination of research findings.”
2.
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iii. The genSET Project

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genSET goal is to support European Science institutions in
promoting gender equality and taking action on the gender
dimension in order to improve science knowledge making;
human capital development, institutional processes and
practices and compliance with regulation
genSET aims to transfer gender research knowledge into
science institutions through dialogue to increase their
capacity to mainstream gender.
Dialoguing process
 Science Leaders: Consensus Seminars: Recommendations
 Stakeholders: Workshops: Capacity Building via Gender
Action Plans
 Policy makers: 1st European Gender Summit - Polish
presidency’s patronage of the Gender Summit.
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iii. The GenSET Consensus Report:
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iii. The GenSET Consensus Report
Recommendations for Action on the Gender Dimension in
Science
The genSET consensus report presented recommendations
for change according to the dimensions presented in the
table (knowledge making, human capital, practices and
processes, regulation and compliance).
Below only one recommendation per dimension is
presented. For the full presentation of recommendations
and argumentation, please read the consensus report.
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Recommendation 1 (Knowledge making):
Leaders must be convinced that there is a need to incorporate methods of sex and
gender analysis into basic and applied research; they must “buy into” the importance
of the gender‐dimension within knowledge making.
The most effective way of doing this will be to illustrate how continually incorporating
sex and gender analysis promotes research excellence. Such examples should be
inventoried by European institutions (e.g. DG Research, ESF) and made available to
institutional “change agents” (e.g. deans, provosts, opinion makers, department
heads).

Recommendation 2 (human capital):
Women already within scientific institutions must be made more visible.
All public relations activities from scientific institutions should be gender- proofed
(represent women appropriately), while avoiding tokenism. This could be done by
including women in all promotional campaigns for scientific careers, by leaders
nominating women for prizes, and by recognising women’s achievements
appropriately.
Deciding what to highlight should be informed by data from gender mainstreaming
tools such as gender disaggregated data, information on resource allocation by
gender, achievement records, etc.

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
Recommendation 3 (Practices and Processes):
Assessment procedures must be re‐defined to focus on the quality, rather
than quantity, of individuals’ publications and research output.This must be
consistently applied in individual, departmental, and other levels of
assessment.
For instance, researchers should select the most important articles that they
have produced in a set number of years, rather than listing all publications.
However, qualitative assessment must also avoid gender bias (e.g. reliance
on recommendation letters in appointment procedures).

Recommendation 4 (Regulation and Compliance):
Explicit targets to improve gender balance and action plans to reach them
must be included in the overarching gender strategy of scientific
institutions. The progress must subsequently be regularly monitored and be
made public.
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Thank you for your attention….
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