Go back

Gabriel demands stronger support for women in science

 Image: Európa Pont [CC BY 2.0], via Flickr

Women’s Innovator Award to honour outstanding entrepreneurs

EU R&D commissioner Mariya Gabriel marked the International Day of Women and Girls in Science on 11 February by calling for greater recognition and encouragement of female researchers.

“Long-standing gender biases and stereotypes, as well as a lack of visible role models, continue to steer girls and women away from science and technology related careers,” she said in a statement. 

“We need to do much more to give visibility to European women who have made key contributions to science, research, innovation, and beyond.”

Leading by example, the European Commission launched the seventh edition of the EU Prize for Women Innovators, which honours female entrepreneurs and aims to inspire others. The prize will award €100,000 apiece to three female innovators, with another €50,000 going to a “rising innovator”.

Gabriel said the award “rewards talent and contributes to creating an inclusive and empowering Europe”.

In 2018, 59 per cent of the EU’s scientists and engineers were men, according to figures released by the EU statistics agency Eurostat on 10 February. In manufacturing, men made up 79 per cent of scientists and engineers.

Men outnumbered women in the sciences and engineering in all but four of the EU’s 27 member states, Eurostat reported: Bulgaria, Denmark, Latvia and Lithuania. Less than one third of scientists and engineers were men in Finland, Germany, Hungary and Luxembourg.

Entries for the 2020 Women’s Innovator Award are due by 21 April.