There is also a glass ceiling among researchers. And Italy is third to last in Europe – WWN

There is also a glass ceiling among researchers.  And Italy is third to last in Europe – WWN

Of Health editorial team

This is confirmed by a study published in «The Lancet Regional Health Europe», carried out by a team of experts from the Catholic University, which shows the gender gap in the world of scientific research

There gender disparity it is also present in the search. The European womenalthough they represent half of graduates and doctorates, are gradually abandoning their academic careers and they represent only 33% of researchers, 26% of professors and 29.8% of authors of scientific articles. The figure drops dramatically when it comes to scientific subjects, the so-called STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) where it reaches 17.9 for the engineering and technology sectors. In this scenario, Italy appears to be among the most backward countries in terms of gender equality in the world of research, positioning itself third to last in Europe with only 17% of women occupy the highest research roles. The data is confirmed by a study published in «The Lancet Regional Health – Europe», signed by the professor Stefania Boccia,

Professor of General and Applied Hygiene at the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the Catholic University, Rome campus and Deputy Scientific Director of the “A. Gemini” IRCCS

of the doctor Sara Farina
doctor in specialist training at the Hygiene Section of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery,
and the teacher Raffaella Iafrate, Professor of Social Psychology at the Faculty of Psychology of the Catholic University, Milan campus, and Pro-Rector Delegate of the Rector for Equal Opportunities


Obstacles for women

Among the main barriers faced by women in the world of research there is still a marked one prejudice towards female scientists, difficulties related to lack of recognition of women’s work and the lack of mentorship programs dedicated to women, who can support them both on a personal level and in achieving and maintaining ambitious goals, such as holding leadership roles. The biggest obstacle to overcome, however, lies in the cost work and family conciliation, so much so that the biggest impacts of career downsizing happen after motherhood. «This leads to a loss of talent in academia, but also a loss of the female perspective that could add valuable ideas, innovation and creativity in research teams. Furthermore, the scarcity of successful female role models and mentors in senior positions also has a negative impact on women’s confidence and ambition in pursuing an academic career,” she explains Bowl.

The Gender Equality Plan (GEP)

With the goal of creating an equitable and inclusive academic environment, the program Horizon Europe of the European Union has established a plan gender equality, in which gender equality represents a fundamental pillar in the world of research. The GEP envisages the implementation of actions and projects that favor the reduction of gender asymmetries 5 areas of intervention:
1) work-family balance;
2) gender equity in leadership and decision-making positions;
3) gender equity in recruitment and career progression;
4) integration of the gender dimension in research and teaching topics
5) prevention of gender discrimination

In line with this initiative, many European universities are also implementing specific university plans. «At the Catholic University, a process of rationalization and optimization of actions in the field of Equal Opportunities has been started, through the creation of a Task Force of all the academic, administrative and student components, which in various capacities are involved in the topic of Equal Opportunities – underlines Japhrates – . In fact, the GEP Team and the GEP Unit, table 7 of the University strategic plan dedicated to Equal Opportunities (PO) and the Equal Opportunities Committee (CPO) are active. In particular, table 7 of the University Strategic Plan provides for a series of actions aimed at recognizing the p
ari dignity of the person in terms of gender, generational equity, equality in conditions of different abilities, support for the family and parenting, diffusion of a culture of equality in the recognition of differences. The Equal Opportunities Committee, in addition to collaborating on the projects of the Strategic Plan and the GEP, promotes cultural events, supervises the drafting of guidelines for the protection of the right to education and for parenting support, promotes inter-university contacts and with associations that deal with PO, and participate in national and international events and realities that promote awareness and training on the topic”.

October 31, 2023 (modified October 31, 2023 | 12:38)

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