Science and technology policy

Women in Scientific Careers: Unleashing the Potential


Table of contents | How to obtain this publication

ISBN: 92-64-02537-5
Published November 2006
Pages: 228


Women have made important contributions to research and innovation in OECD countries, but their potential remains largely untapped.

While women account for more than half of university graduates in several OECD countries, they receive only 30% of tertiary degrees granted in science and engineering fields, and women account for only 25% to 35% of researchers in most OECD countries.

The gender gap in science is greatest in Japan, Korea, Austria and Switzerland. The researcher gender gap is smaller in countries such as the Slovak Republic, Greece, Portugal, Spain and New Zealand. When women do conduct research, they tend to be concentrated in fields and industries such as biology, health, agriculture or pharmaceuticals, with low representation in physics, computing and engineering.

This publication presents the proceedings of an international workshop held in November 2005 to assess the underlying causes behind the low participation of women in scientific careers, especially at senior levels, and to identify good practice policies to attract, recruit and retain women in scientific careers in public and private research.

Table of contents

Part 1. Introduction
Workshop Summary (free download)
Opening Remarks
Chapter 1. OECD Background Paper

Part 2. Barriers Faced by Women Researchers: Segregation by Field of Work
Chapter 2. Statistics on Women in Science: Examples from the European Union
Chapter 3. The Gender Gap in the Public Research Sector: The Case of Denmark
Chapter 4. Women’s Research Careers and Scientific Productivity in Public Research
Chapter 5. Women’s Careers in Science and Technology in Japan
Chapter 6. Trends in Gender Segregation by Field of Work in Higher Education
Chapter 7. Theories into Gender Segregation in Scientific Careers
Chapter 8. Disparities between Men’s and Women’s Careers in Scientific Research: The Case of Austria

Part 3. Barriers Faced by Women Researchers: Segregation by Hierarchy
Chapter 9. Gender as a Career Factor in Academic Research
Chapter 10. Initiatives and Experiences in Gender Equality at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Chapter 11. Does Gender Matter in Scientific Leadership?
Chapter 12. Gender and the Careers of French University Instructors and Researchers

Part 4. Instruments for Change: Existing Policy Measures and Programmes
Chapter 13. The Success of Female Scientists in the 21st Century: An American Perspective
Chapter 14. "Encouragement to Advance": A Programme to Promote Career Strategies for Women in German Academia
Chapter 15. Dutch Research Council Policy Actions to Encourage the Participation of Women in Science
Chapter 16. Instruments for Changing Gender Inequalities in Scientific Careers
Chapter 17. Balancing Research Careers and Private Lives: Do Social Measures Matter?
Chapter 18. Women in Latin American Science and Technology: A Window of Opportunity
Chapter 19. Supply and Demand-side Actions to Promote Women in S&T: Lessons from the United Kingdom Resource Centre for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology
Chapter 20. Women in Scientific Careers: The Case of Italy

Part 5. Conclusion

Annex. Workshop Programme

The full volume can be browsed free online on the OECD Online Bookshop.

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