One area where there is still a lack of female representation is in the field of science and innovation. According to Eurostat data in 2018, women only represented 33% of researchers and 26.2% of research project leaders in the European Union. This is why Europe is committed to finding solutions, and through the Horizon Europe 2121-2027 programme, support for women is evident through the creation of a “Gender Action Plan,” which is incorporated into all parts of the programme. The Gender Action Plan aims to ensure that all research and innovation activities take into account the gender perspective and promote gender equality in research and innovation.
In addition, Horizon Europe actively promotes the participation of women in research and innovation through a range of measures, including promoting gender equality in the evaluation and selection of research projects, including gender equality objectives in selection criteria, and removing barriers to women’s participation in this field. In this context, several initiatives and measures are mentioned that seek to promote gender equality and inclusion in research and innovation and support women in their professional and scientific development. These include:
There are several EU initiatives aimed at supporting and empowering women in tech and innovation. At Sploro, we wanted to summarise some of them:
The ERC, set up by the European Union in 2007, is the premier European funding organisation for excellent frontier research. It funds creative researchers of any nationality and age, to run projects based across Europe. The overall ERC budget from 2021 to 2027 is more than €16 billion, as part of the Horizon Europe programme, under the responsibility of the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel. These are some of the initiatives created to support women in research:
The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions fund excellent research and innovation and equip researchers at all stages of their career with new knowledge and skills, through mobility across borders and exposure to different sectors and disciplines. The MSCA help build Europe’s capacity for research and innovation by investing in the long-term careers of excellent researchers. Women in research are being supported by various initiatives that have been implemented:
The JRC provides independent, evidence-based knowledge and science, supporting EU policies to positively impact society. Numerous efforts have been made to aid women in research, and these initiatives are some examples of such efforts:
The European Innovation Council is Europe’s flagship innovation programme to identify, develop and scale up breakthrough technologies and game changing innovations.
The European Innovation Council (EIC) has been established under the EU Horizon Europe programme. It has a budget of €10.1 billion to support game changing innovations throughout the lifecycle from early stage research, to proof of concept, technology transfer, and the financing and scale up of start-ups and SMEs. There are several measures in place to assist women who are pursuing research:
The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) is an EU body created by the European Union in 2008 to strengthen Europe’s ability to innovate. The EIT is an integral part of Horizon Europe, the EU’s Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. They have implemented numerous initiatives to support women, some of which are listed here: