The latest report issued by the European Commission showed that the number of female students holding a bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree has increased significantly over the past years.
However, women are still underrepresented, particularly in research and innovation jobs
According to She Figures 2021 publication, women outnumber men as students and alumni at the bachelor’s and master’s levels. At the Ph.D. level, it turns out that there is almost a balance between the sexes.
However, differences between the fields of study persist. The report showed that women make up only about 22 percent of PhD graduates in the ICT field. On the other hand, they account for more than 60 percent in the areas of health, social care and education, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
“We still need to do more to promote gender equality, in particular, to inspire girls to work in STEM fields. There is no doubt that Europe needs women’s creativity and entrepreneurial potential to shape a more sustainable, green and digital future,” The Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Maria Gabriel, said she welcomed this year’s report.
Women make up only 33 percent of researchers. Likewise, women are still underrepresented at the highest academic levels. They hold only a quarter of the full professorship positions.
Moreover, women are less likely to be employed as engineers and scientists. She Figures 2021 revealed that in 2019 women represented the majority of the population with a higher education working as professionals and technicians in science and technology fields at the European level (53.7%).
However, women were underrepresented among engineers and scientists working at the EU level, at 41.3 per cent.
According to research professions, the same has shown that about a third of the total number of researchers at the EU and country level are women. However, women averaged a growth rate of 3.9 percent between 2010 and 2018, indicating positive changes over the years.
The average annual growth of female researchers was higher than that of male researchers during the period 2010-2018 in three major economic sectors. This showed some progress with regard to gender equality in the research.
In addition, it was revealed that the proportion of female researchers who worked part-time in 2019 was higher than the corresponding proportion of male researchers.
“At HES, a higher proportion of female researchers who were wives with children worked under a precarious contract in 2019,” The report noted.
>> Eurostat: 4 out of 5 ICT workers are men, and women workers are behind