There were healthy growth rates in the numbers of researchers (both women and men) in the Higher Education sector in nearly all Member States and Candidate Countries, and among industrial researchers in Portugal, Spain, Finland, Italy, Lithuania, Cyprus, Norway and Hungary between 1998-2001. However, government research institutions and industry lost research staff, both women and men, in about half of the Associated countries during the same period.
l The percentage of research posts held by women is half as high in the Business Enterprise Sector (15%) as in the Higher Education Sector (34%) or Government Research institutions (31%). Between 1999 and 2000, the average percentage of women researchers for the EU15 increased slightly by 2 percentage points in the Higher Education Sector (from 32% to 34%).
Level of qualification can no longer be regarded as an excuse for the under-representation of women as researchers. In 2001, the EU15 average for women graduates from doctoral / Ph.D. education has just reached 40%. In all of the Associated countries except Hungary, the Czech Republic and Norway, more than 40% of graduates from these advanced programmes are women. However, the report suggest that appropriately qualified women may be less likely than their male counterparts to opt for research posts in R&D, and are more likely to prefer technical occupations.
In six out of the 14 Member States covered by the report, there is still less than one woman for every ten men in the top echelons of academia. From 1999-2000, there was a slight overall increase from 11.6% to 13.2% women in the top grades of University staff, but in Austria and the Netherlands only 6% of senior academic staff are women.
l Women also appear to be blocked from membership of scientific boards. In eight out of 15 Member States and in nine out of 11 Associated Countries, less than 25% of the members of scientific boards are women. These figures are as low as 6.6% in Luxembourg, 10.3% in Belgium and 11.8% in Austria.