She figures 2015 – Now Available in print and download


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She Figures 2015 investigates the level of progress made towards gender equality in research & innovation (R&I) in Europe. It is the main source of pan-European, comparable statistics on the representation of women and men amongst PhD graduates, researchers and academic decision-makers. The data also sheds light on differences in the experiences of women and men working in research – such as relative pay, working conditions and success in obtaining research funds. It also presents for the first time the situation of women and men in scientific publication and inventorships, as well as the inclusion of the gender dimension (1) in scientific articles.

This publication is the fifth edition of the She Figures, which has been updated and released every three years since 2003. Despite progress, She Figures 2015 reveals that a range of gender differences and inequalities persist in research & innovation, as explained below.

In recent decades, there have been strides towards gender balance within the pool of higher education graduates (Chapter 2). Whilst women were once under-represented at doctoral level, in 2012 they made up 47 % of PhD graduates in the EU (EU-28), and between 40 % and 60 % of PhD graduates in all countries covered by the She Figures. At the same time, there are marked differences by sex when it comes to the most popular subjects and educational pathways. For instance, men are more than two times more likely than women to choose engineering, manufacturing and construction, whereas women are twice as likely to pursue an education degree. In 2012, women accounted for just 28 % of PhD graduates in engineering, manufacturing and construction, and only 21 % of those graduating from computing.


The under-representation of women continues to characterise participation in science & technology (S&T) occupations (Chapter 3). For instance, in more than half of the countries women are under-represented relative to men, making up less than 45 % of scientists and engineers. At the level of the EU-28, women scientists and engineers made up 2.8 % of the total labour force in 2013, whereas men made up 4.1 %. However, there has been some progress in this area – the number of women amongst employed scientists and engineers grew by an average of 11.1 % per year between 2008 and 2011 (at a faster rate than the number of men, which grew by 3.3 % over the same period).
Amongst researchers specifically, the representation of women and men also remains uneven (Chapter 4). In 2011, women in the EU accounted for only 33 % of researchers (EU-28) – a figure unchanged since 2009 (EU-27).

In only eight out of 28 EU Member States did women account for more than 40 % of researchers. Women in the EU have a stronger presence amongst researchers in the higher education and government sectors. In the business enterprise sector, they make up close to one in five researchers (2011).”


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