Brussels, 30 Sep 2003
- Philippe Busquin, Commissioner for Research, European Commission
- Prof. Helga Rübsamen-Waigmann, Vice President, Bayer HealthCare, Head of Anti-infectives Research and Chairperson of the WIR Expert Group
- Andrew Gould, CEO of Schlumberger Ltd., France, and Chairman of the WIR CEO Group
Conference on "Women in Industrial Research (WIR) - Speeding up Changes in Europe"
10-11 October 2003 (conference starts at 16:30 on 10 Oct)
10 October 2003 (press conference at 18:00, room 2015, 2nd floor)
Dresdner Bank AG, Pariser Platz 6, 10877 Berlin
On 10-11 October 2003 in Berlin, Edelgard Bulmahn, German Federal Minister for Education and Research, and Philippe Busquin, European Research Commissioner, will open the conference on "Women in Industrial Research (WIR) – speeding up changes in Europe". This European conference represents a key step in the EU initiatives to promote women's participation in research in Europe. Based on the report "Women in industrial research: A wake up call for European Industry", the results of a European study on statistical data and case studies, national and corporate strategies and good practices will be presented and discussed. The overall goal of the conference is to prepare and develop possible concerted actions to promote the presence of women in industrial research.
Just 50 000 of the 500 000 researchers working in industry across Europe are women, according to recent studies. The average is 15 % in the ten countries where the data are gender specific. This figure goes down to as little as 9.6 % in Germany, followed by 9 % in Austria. But, women accounted for 55 % of all graduates in higher education in the EU in 2000. Urgent action is necessary to change an outdated culture of recruitment and progress in research careers, so as to redress this imbalance. The decision of EU's Member States at the March 2002 Barcelona European Council to increase investment in research & development to 3 % of EU average GDP (gross domestic product) by 2010 implies also a substantial increase in the number of researchers over the next years, particularly female researchers.
The main topics of the conference will be:
young scientists – how to motivate more young women for careers in industrial research,
careers for women in industrial research and good practices of companies,
enhancing the participation of women in innovation and entrepreneurship,
improving the knowledge base on women in industrial research,
top women in industrial research,
the relevance of role models, networking, mentoring.
Options for further steps to foster women's participation in industrial research will be discussed on the first day during the plenary sessions with representatives of science, industry and politics and within workshops on the second day of the conference. More than 300 participants from more than 40 countries have registered for the conference, among them top women in industrial research and human resources managers from leading R&D companies. For a programme of the conference please visit: http:///www.wir-conference.de