The She Figures 2006 published by DG Research of the European Commission shows that while over 50 per cent of those entering universities in Europe are women, the higher one goes in academic and research institutions, the more women seem to disappear. This phenomenon has been termed “the leaky pipeline”.
The Science|Business Policy Bridge
This Bright Idea was presented at the Science|Business Policy Bridge meeting New Perspectives on Education and Skills for the 21st Century,
an open discussion of new ideas for reforming Europe’s knowledge base held at the EFTA Secretariat, Brussels, on 28 November 2007.
A recent study published by the London Business School showed that teams of workers come up with the most innovative ideas if they are made up of even proportions of men and women. It found that professional teams with an equal gender split were much more likely to experiment, share knowledge and fulfil tasks, regardless of whether the team leader was a man or a woman. The European Platform of Women Scientists therefore believes that a look at structural biases in education and research and an open debate on current notions of “excellence” and “innovation” is key to boosting innovation in Europe.
Pauleen Colligan is Project Manager, Research Policy, for the European Platform of Woman Scientists.