EC funding opportunities and
funded projects. GE issues and the
gender dimension in research constitute a crosscutting priority in the entire H2020 Work Programme. Nevertheless, a dedicated funding scheme
is included in the H2020 Science with
and for Society (Swafs) program.i Swafs
projects contribute to the promotion
of Gender Equality Plans (GEPs): A set
of actions aimed at conducting impact assessment/audits of procedures
and practices to identify gender bias,
identifying and implementing innovative strategies to correct bias, and setting targets and monitoring process
via indicators.j Implementation of the
respective GEAR Tool has resulted in
examples of best practices on how to
attract women into academic leadership positions ensuring, for instance,
a gender-balanced representation in
the highest decision-making bodies
of universities.k Nonetheless, Swafs
represents only 1.5% of the total budget for all activities under the Societal
With respect to GE in STEM, a significant proportion of EC-funded projects are aimed at structural changes in
science, technology, and innovation
research organizations and at the inclusion of the gender dimension in
research and education. Such projects
include (indicatively) GENERA (https://
genera-project.com index.php); GEE-CO ( http://www.geecco-project.eu/
home), which will set up GEPs for universities and funding organizations in
the STEM area; and EFFORTI (https://
www.efforti.eu/), aiming at analyzing
the influence of measures to promote
GE on R&I outputs and on establishing
more responsible and responsive research, technology, development, and
A flagship project of particular in-
terest to STEM is Gendered Innova-
stanford.edu), which specifically ad-
dresses the gender dimension of R&I.
The project has developed practical
i A complete list of the projects funded by
the FP7 and H2020 programs is provided at
k Selected abstracts of best practices can be
methods of gender analysis tailored
to the needs of scientists and engi-
neers. More importantly, the project
provides peer-reviewed analyses of
case studies that evidence the need
for considering gender in all stages of
research design and implementation
in order to produce better science and
Measures and initiatives to promote
GE in STEM fields have shown positive effects. In Germany, for instance,
education initiatives contributed to
an increase in the number of women
graduating in STEM-related fields.
Similarly, women’s share among
appointed STEM professors has increased by 4.1%.
2, 11 Dedicated funding
further contributes to an increasing
interest in GEP implementation
among EU research institutions and
organizations ( 113 organizations
through 17 projects up to 2017).
Closing the gender gap in STEM is
further expected to increase the scientific quality and societal relevance of
produced knowledge, technologies,
and innovations; contribute to the production of goods and services better
suited to potential markets;l and further aid EU economic growth. For example, it is estimated that by 2030 the
increase of women’s participation in
STEM-related fields will increase the
EU GDP per capita by 0.7–0.9.6 In monetary terms, this will lead to 610–820
billion euros improvement in GDP.
Furthermore, if effectively implemented, relevant EC measures are expected
to increase women’s employment,
productivity, and wages4 and thus contribute to long-term competitiveness
of the EU economy and improved balance of trade.
Narrowing the gender gap in STEM
fields has the potential to increase
European labor supply and market
activity, make women (and men) better equipped to secure steady and
well-paid jobs, and in turn reduce the
risk of women’s social exclusion, improving both science and society as a
1. Anger, C. et al. MINT—Fruhjahrsreport (STEM-Spring
report). Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft Koln (Ed.).
Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft Koln, Germany, 2012.
2. Bund-Lander-Kommission fur Bildungsplanug und
Forschungsforderung. Frauen in Fuhrungspositionen
an Hochschulen und außerhochschulischen
Forschungeinrichtungen: Zehnte Fortschreiburg
des Datenmaterials (Women in leading positions at
universities and non-university research organizations:
11th update to the data). Materialien sur Bildungsplanung
und zur Forschungsforderung, 139, 2005.
3. Burchell, B. et al. A New Method to Understand
Occupational Gender Segregation in European Labour
Markets. Publications Office of the European Union;
4. Caprile, M. Encouraging STEM studies—Labour
Market Situation and Comparison of Practices
Targeted at Young People in Different Member States,
European Parliament, DG for Internal Policies. Policy
Department A, 2015.
5. Dobson, I. STEM; Country Comparisons—Europe. A
critical evaluation of existing solutions to the STEM
skills shortage in comparable countries. Australian
Council of Learned Academies, 2013.
6. EIGE. Economic benefits of gender equality in the
EU. How gender equality in STEM education leads to
economic growth (2018); https://eige.europa.eu/rdc/
7. European Centre for Development of Vocational
Training. Skill shortage and surplus occupations in
Europe. Briefing Note (Oct. 2016); http://www.cedefop.
8. European Commission. Interim Evaluation: Gender
equality as a crosscutting issue in Horizon 2020, DG
for Research and Innovation, Directorate B—Open
Science and Open Innovation, 2017; https://ec.europa.
9. Informatics Europe, Informatics Education in Europe:
Institutions, degrees, students, positions, salaries, Key
data 2012–2017 (Oct. 2018).
10. Kalpazidou, E. Scmidt, et al. A Conceptual evaluation
framework for promoting gender equality in
research and innovation. Toolbox I – A synthesis
report. Deliverable 3. 3 EFFORTI Project; https://bit.
11. Kathinka, L. et al. Gender and STEM in Germany:
Policies Enhancing Women’s Participation in
Academia, International Journal of Gender Science
and Technology, 2012; http://genderandset.open.ac.uk/
12. UNESCO Institute for Statistics Women in Science
Fact Sheet No. 51, June, FS/2018/SCI/51; http://
13. Wragg, J. A new style of learning is essential to
plugging the S TEM skills gap (2016); http:// www.
14. Yang, X., Gao, C. Missing women in S TEM in China: A
micro-level explanation for achievement motivation
and gender socialization. Oral presentation XIX ISA
World Congress of Sociology. Toronto Canada, July
15–21, 2018; https://isaconf.confex.com/isaconf/
Panagiota Fatourou is an associate professor at the
University of Crete, Department of Computer Science
and a collaborating faculty member of the Foundation for
Research and Technology-Hellas (FORTH), Institute of
Computer Science (ICS), Greece.
Yota Papageorgiou is a professor at the University of
Crete Department of Sociology, Greece.
Vasiliki Petousi is an assistant professor at the University
of Crete Department of Sociology, Greece.
Copyright held by authors/owners.
Publication rights licensed to ACM.