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Women in Science

Women’s occupancy of high-level posts in science is not proportional to the number of women qualified to do so, and the number of women in leadership positions is stagnant or increasing very slowly.

Increasing women’s role in the system is an objective shared by numerous scientific institutions in Europe.

The CERCA Institute has been closely involved in this regard, taking measures to foster the introduction of the gender perspective in research centres of excellence in Catalonia.

On the occasion of the International Day of Women and Girl in Science 2020, we want to update and share the data we have drawn from the second round of CERCA assessments 2016-2019.

These data come to show the centres a tendency similar to the rest of the system. That is, there is parity between men and women entering the scientific career. However, just after completing the doctorate begins the gender imbalance to the detriment of women until they reach approximately only 25% of Group Leaders positions, the maximum scientific responsibility position.

The causes are diverse and have to do not only with motherhood and family reconciliation, but it is the same system that expels them by not offering the right environment or unconsciously exercising bias when it comes to recruiting staff.

In 2014, a diversity-specific commission was set up to discuss and propose specific tools and measures aimed at eliminating these biases and barriers that ensure that highly qualified human capital is not wasted. This commission has proposed a number of actions, such as a model of an equal opportunity plan, which has served the centers as a starting point, or a video aimed at members of the advisory scientific committees to avoid the gender bias when selecting researchers for positions of responsibility.

The commission is made up of:

Martine Bosman
Staff Physicist at the Institute for High Energy Physics (IFAE)

Mara Dierssen
Group Leader at the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG)

Javier Mora
Staff Scientist at the International Center for Numerical Methods in Engineering (CIMNE)

Jordi Peiret
Manager of the Catalan Institute of Classical Archaeology (ICAC)

Hermínia Pujol
Manager of the Centre for Demographic Studies (CED)

Anna Ribas
Manager of the Girona Biomedical Research Institute (IdibGi)

Lluís Rovira
Director of the CERCA Institute

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