This edition of the ERA newsletter focuses on gender in research, a timely topic coming in the wake of the 2014 ERA Progress Report. This report provides an overall picture of progress made on the ERA priorities, including gender equality and gender mainstreaming in research. It underlines that gender issues in research and innovation have gained increased recognition in policy agendas at national, European and international level, as well as within research organisations. However, the pace of change is too slow and there are still many disparities among countries. The persistence of gender bias in careers, of gender imbalance in decision-making roles, and the lack of a gender dimension in research programmes remain.
Backed by the conclusions adopted on 21 February 2014 by the Competitiveness Council, we now have a firm basis to advance on ERA, thanks to the first ERA Progress Report, a comprehensive snapshot of EU research.
This first report is not simply an assessment of recent policy developments. It is a tool for change. For the first time, we have comparable data, validated by Member States, to substantiate our discussions and direct future policy initiatives.
Putting the outcomes of research into the public sphere leads to better science and strengthens our knowledge-based economy. This is the topic of our inaugural edition of the European Research Area (ERA) Newsletter.