How to make a gender equality plan that sticks

04 Jun 2024 | News

Every organisation needs one to get Horizon Europe funding, but not all equality plans are made equal

Photo credits: ShendArt / BigStock

Gender equality plans (GEPs) are a requirement for all institutions participating in the EU’s Horizon Europe research programme, but what makes a plan effective?

The EU has funded several projects trying to understand what is required, in a bid to improve women’s representation in science. One of these is the Horizon 2020 project ATHENA, which is working on a tool kit to help institutions make better plans that lead to real change.

Women are under-represented in science, especially in more senior positions. In 2018, 48.1% of doctoral graduates in Europe were women, yet they accounted for only 32.8% of researchers, according to EU’s latest She Figures. The EU’s framework programmes point to inequalities in who gets to call the shots: in Horizon 2020, 42% of project participants were women but they…