of promoting the participation of women in industrial research will
be served by stressing the importance of multidisciplinary research
teams. Ergonomics, sociology or human resources experts are very
often female, so multidisciplinary also stands for multi-gender.
This will narrow the gap between the male-dominated world of traditional
engineering and the scientific environments in which women feel
more comfortable. It will better integrate women in industrial research
activities, thus valorising a great scientific resource, not sufficiently
exploited up to now.
"By stressing socio-economic objectives,
the Growth programme has certainly attracted a higher participation
of women compared to earlier industrial research programmes. Engineer-dominated
research teams however still do not always enjoy having to consider
socio-economic objectives. It is often difficult to acquire the
correct focus on non-technological aspects: unknown and unloved.
Only when truly multidisciplinary teams are composed can there be
a harmonised dedication to the different objectives of a particular
research programme: scientific, technological and socio-economic.
And only a truly multidisciplinary approach can make technical careers
more appealing for women and for young people in general.
"Incentives to build multidisciplinary
research teams are included within the next Framework Programme
for RTD. For instance, integrated projects almost by definition
have to be conducted by multidisciplinary teams. I believe this
will further increase the participation of women in industrial research
Research DG - Unit G2
Rue Montoyer, 75