Women and Science - Statistics and Indicators

The forth report by the European Komission

She Figures 2012 is the fourth publication of its kind assembled by the European Union. It shows that women are still a minority within the scientific community in Europe (29 percent in 2003, which is a slight increase in relation to 27 percent in 1999). On the other hand, the number of women in science is rising – a growth of four percent in comparison to the number of male scientists, which grew by only 2.4 percent. This represents an increase of 140,000 scientists, 39 percent of whom are women.

While this is a positive trend, it should not be forgotten that women in science are still a minority group– especially in leading positions. To guarantee the international competitiveness of the EU it is therefore essential to support this progress and simultaneously strive towards greater equality and the monitoring thereof.


She figures 2015 is the fifth publication of its kind assembled by teh European Union. It shows, that there has been success in gender equality in the field of PhD graduates in the EU. Whilst women were once under-represented at doctoral level, in 2012 they made up 47 % of PhD graduates in the EU. It does not look as good in other fields and there is still much work to be done. In 2014, the prportion of women among heads of higher education institutions in the EU rose to 20 % from 15,5 % in 2010. Within the EU women make up 28 % of scientific and administrative board members and only 22 % of board leaders.

While there is still a posive trend in terms of gender equality, women are still underrepresented in leading postions considdering economy as well as science. In December 2015, the council of the European Union invited Member States to set targets for gender balance among full professors and in research decision-making bodies. Hopefully, there will be positive results considering these fields over following years.