Fewer than one in three EU scientists female

Statistics for the year 2004 show that more than half of the science and technology workforce is female but that actual scientists and engineers continue to be predominantly male.

Eurostat statistics on gender differences among Europe’s knowledge workers for the year 2004, published in August 2006, indicate that 50.4% of human resources in science and technology (HRST) in Europe were female. Three quarters of them (77.3%) worked in knowledge-intensive services, such as financial intermediation, education or health. 

However, only 29% of the EU’s 8.7 million scientists and engineers are women, with the exception of the three Baltic states, where women count for more than half of these professions: 55.5% in Lithuania, 51.4% in Latvia and 51% in Estonia. Scientists and engineers (SE) are a particular interest group in the science and technology workforce as they are more likely to be involved in leading-edge technology in physical, mathematical and engineering occupations and life-science and health occupations. 

Europe needs more scientists and researchers to achieve scientific and technological excellence and, as women are currently under-represented in the field of scientific research, the Commission is promoting measures specifically aimed towards encouraging women to take part in European research.

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