The fFORTE Initiative - Austria's Strong Point for Women in Science and Technology

bridges vol. 16, December 2007 / Feature Article

by Caroline Adenberger

Currently, women represent 56 percent of graduates in higher education in Europe. Unfortunately, this number does not translate into professional life: In research, the higher you climb on the job ladder, the fewer women you will encounter - somewhat unexpected from a logical point of view, but a matter of fact for industrial as well as academic careers.

According to She Figures 2006, published by the European Commission, women constitute only 29 percent of researchers across the EU as a whole. Even worse is the situation in higher education: only 15 percent of those at the highest academic grade (Grade A position, equivalent to full professors in most countries) are women. The gender imbalance at the senior grade is even greater in engineering and technology, where the proportion of women is just 5.8 percent.

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