Stalno predstavništvo RS pri OZN New York /Novice /
12.02.2018  

Sporočilo Slovenije ob konferenci "Enakopravnost in enakost v znanosti za mir in razvoj"

Ob koncu preteklega tedna je OZN ob 3. dnevu žensk in deklet v znanosti gostila Konferenco, poimenovano "Enakopravnost in enakost v znanosti za mir in razvoj". Spodaj je sporočilo slovenske ministrice za šolstvo, znanost in šport dr. Maje Makovec Brenčič


Today it is a time of immense opportunity for women. The role that women in science can play at all levelshas become a priority and gained recognition on the science agendas of many national and international political institutions and the position of women in science is today discussed and promoted much more than ever.

Since 2012 gender equality has been one of five key policy areas for achieving the objective of a common European Research Area that aims ‘to end the waste of talent which we cannot afford and to diversify views and approaches in research and foster excellence”. The ERA Roadmap 2015-2020, as adopted by the “Competitiveness” Council on 29 May 2015, called on the Member States to create legal and policy environments to incentivise the removal of legal and other barriers to the progression of women’s careers in research, to address gender imbalances in decision-making and to strengthen the gender dimension in research programmes. Slovenia believes these steps should be complemented with institutional change contributing to a better engagement of civil society in R&I and by that could also contribute to the Commissioner Carlos Moedas strategic priorities of (so-called) 3Os -"Open science, Open innovation and Open to the world".

The need for such a focus on policies regarding gender equality remains and is highlighted by many evaluations and reports. Worldwide we are still facing with the persistence of gender bias in careers, gender imbalance in decision-making roles, and the lack of a gender dimension in most of the national research programmes. There are still striking imbalances between the number of women and men at the highest levels of academia and research. Even accounting for differences between fields and the lag time in implementing policies intended to mitigate such disparities, the overall numbers and ratios of women to men in senior academic and research positions are much smaller than would be expected given the number of highly qualified women in Europe that is higher than ever before.[1]

Innovation areas frequently show a greater gender imbalance and a lower presence of female innovators. Worrying is the fact that the proportion of women to men ratio of inventorships is 0,1 and only 19.7% of women researchers in the Business Sector. So this issue is not only a matter of social justice and fairness, but also an issue of economic efficiency and excellence in science. It is essential for all of us to internalize the fact that the full participation of women in science and technology will allow us to fully exploit its pool of labour force and talent and by that contribute to diversity, excellence and quality in outcomes and make research more responsive to social and societal challenges.

We have obviously still not reached the end of path towards gender equality in science and technology. It is clear we need an effective action with ambitious and concrete goals in the area of gender equality. We would like to highlight the main objectives in relation to gender equality, which are a part of the Slovenian strategy of strengthening the European Research Area (ERA Roadmap).

·         Firstly, we will reform the regulatory framework that will promote the institutional and cultural changes for equal opportunity in the field of RDI.

·         With a view to develop strategies for inclusion of principles of gender equality and plans for equal opportunity at all research organizations, PROs are encouraged to establish the Action plan for improving career prospects for researchers at all stages of careers and ensuring the principle of equal opportunities.

·         Slovenia will also take into account the principle of gender equality in the content of research projects or programs along the lines of the projects funded under Horizon 2020.

·          We are committed to provide comprehensive and transparent data, disaggregated by sex, the more effective policymaking and monitoring the implementation of measures in the field of gender equality in research. 

 We are also in the process of adoption a new legislation in the field of science and research where special emphasis on gender equality is introduced. With a new legislation public research organizations will be obliged to adopt and implement measures in the area of gender equality and address their effects at least once a year and report them in the framework of regular annual reports. This will commit organizations to formulate their long-term goals and measures in the field of gender equality and to follow their achievement.

To achieve our goals we need to work closely together and engage in partnerships with funding agencies, experts, research organizations and universities to foster cultural and institutional change. For that reason Slovenia has established a Commission for Women in Science as advisory group of the Ministry of education, science and sport. Members of the Commission changed over the years but the ministry has always tried to involve representatives of different research institutions and different scientific fields.

The Commission is very active in raising awareness in different audiences and perhaps the biggest impact on the broader public has been achieved by the annual conference on women in science on International Women’s Day. These annual events are aiming to promote organizational and cultural changes through awareness, education, training and the exchange of good practices in the field of gender equality.

In conclusion, some but surely not enough progress has been made with respect to promoting gender equality in Slovenia and EU as summarized also in the Interim evaluation report in Horizon 2020.[2] However, based on progress in the EU and Slovenia so far, actions will have to be adapted and gender aspects will need to be investigated to gather updated evidence for future policy action. By following the uptake of the gender dimension in EU and Slovenia, it is now time to take stock of what has been done so far and design the next steps. Our scope of actions should broaden beyond national level and this issue should also be part of our international cooperation and most importantly, we should continue to promote and celebrate successful and inspirational women in science and present them as role models for generations to come.

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[1] Data show that the proportion of women researchers in the EU-28 in 2012 was still only 33%. Fewer female than male PhD graduates embrace a career in research and women remain vastly under-represented in top level positions, accounting for only 23.5%11 of top-level researchers and 20% of heads of higher education institutions. This vertical segregation is also combined with a horizontal one, with the proportion of women strongly depending on the scientific field (She Figures 2015)

[2] Gender balance in decision-making is close to being achieved with 53 % in advisory groups and 36.7 % in evaluation panels. In addition, in December 2016, more then 6000 experts declared in the EC expert database that they have a gender expertise. Among the PhDs involved in FP7, women represented 45% and these figures are higher compared to FP7.