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EU science and technology workforce growing steadily

Image: Nitat Termmee, via Getty Images

Sector employment is rising—and women are well represented, according to Eurostat

The EU’s science and technology workforce increased by almost 3 per cent in 2023 from the previous year and has grown consistently over the past decade, according to official statistics.

Numbers published on 13 June by the EU’s statistical service, Eurostat, show that in 2023 a total of 78.3 million people in the EU were employed in science and technology, and 52 per cent of those were women.

The EU science and technology workforce has grown by 25 per cent since 2013, Eurostat said.

People employed in science and technology are defined by Eurostat as those aged 15-75 “whose main tasks require either a high level of professional knowledge or technical knowledge and experience in one or more fields of physical and life sciences, or social sciences and humanities”.

The share of women in science differs for different specific locations and professions.

Malta was reported to be the country with the least women employed in science and technology, at 45 per cent, while Latvia and Lithuania both had the highest rates of women in the sectors, at 63 per cent.

Women were underrepresented within the scientist and engineering professions, however, making up only 41 per cent of this population, despite the absolute number of women scientists and engineers having grown by 50 per cent from 5.1m in 2012 to 7.7m in 2023.