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Graphic element Research > Growth > Research themes > Cross-disciplinary themes > More effort needed
Graphic element More effort needed
    05-12-2002
 

Statistics show that, while the representation of women in the sciences is increasing, they still trail behind men in key research sectors, especially in industry. Acting on the 1999 report Women and science - mobilising women to enrich European Research , the European Commission has undertaken a series of measures to promote research by, for and on women. It will actively continue to encourage their involvement in FP6.

Apart from the promotion of equal opportunities for all citizens, there are two specific reasons for seeking greater involvement of women in research activities in Europe:
1. Women have proven themselves to be excellent scientists and are especially suited to contributing at a time when the growing trend in multidisciplinary research is towards policy responsive to economic and social concerns; and
2. The benefits to be derived from tapping the enormous potential of half of the population for research and scientific achievement are too great to be squandered.
Speaking in Brussels at the end of 2001, Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin said: “Even compared with the little we knew about the participation of women in the Fourth Framework programme (FP4), we can see that the participation of women in FP5 has risen dramatically. During the whole period of FP4, women accounted for 6% of all monitoring panel members. In 2000, the equivalent figure is 30%, and in the monitoring panels for environment, non-nuclear energy, human potential and international co-operation, the (Commission’s) 40% target has been met.”
The GROWTH Programme witnessed an enormous increase of women co-ordinators as well: even if the absolute numbers remain low in comparison with other programmes, the increase from 1 to 8% of co-ordinators is impressive for this traditionally male-dominated programme.

Towards FP6
 

The new dimension of the research envisaged by FP6 will address not only specific technical issues, but also the analysis of the impact of new materials and technologies on quality of life, society and ethic. The breakthrough and hybrid technologies addressed by the programme will need a new breed of scientific and technical skills characterised by a transdisciplinary approach. There will be a strong need for an oriented formation of young scientists, and this will be an opportunity to stimulate women education in this direction.

At the same time the multidisciplinary aspect of the items addressed by the Programme will give woman scientists (active in e.g. biology, chemistry, lab analysis, etc.) new opportunities to join R&D activities in the field of nano-technologies, intelligent materials and new production processes.

“The evidence demonstrates unquestionably that women scientists are under-represented in key scientific and research positions,” commented Commissioner Busquin. “This issue has to be addressed if we are to improve the position and role of women in scientific research. We strongly encourage women to participate in the European Research Area.”

We are convinced that the new elements highlighted in Priority 3 will strongly contribute in attracting more woman researchers than the previous programmes in the same technological field and will constitute per se a way of encouraging and stimulating woman participation.

 
Towards FP6
   
     

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