Why are there so few women in industrial research? Conference, Brussels, 23 January 2003

January 16, 2003

Brussels, 15 Jan 2003

Brussels, 23 January 2002

Whilst women make up more than 50% of all graduates in higher education in the European Union, they represent only 15% of researchers in industry. Fundamental changes in research culture, recruitment and careers are needed across industrial research.

On 23 January 2003 in Brussels, European Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin will present a report, prepared by a EU-sponsored group of experts who analysed the situation of women in industrial research and presented conclusions and recommendations. The aim is to improve the situation by 2010.

The report calls for action by the private sector and highlights the need for governments, universities and other stakeholders to act.

Women account for almost one third of researchers in universities and public research institutions, but only for 15% in industry (1999 figures). Although more than one third of all European industrial researchers are based in Germany and Austria, the proportion of women is as low as 9.6% and 9% respectively. In other Member States, the proportion of women ranges from 17.8% (Finland) to 28.2% (Ireland).

The Expert group that will publish the report is chaired by Professor Helga Rübsamen-Waigmann, Vice President of Bayer AG, Head of Antiinfective Research, and Dr. Ragnhild Sohlberg, Vice President of Norsk Hydro ASA, Corporate Center. Around 50 top-level experts from leading research and development (R&D) companies and innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as well as senior researchers, contributed to this work. The Report will be presented at a conference, open to the press, on 23 January at 11:30 at the European Commission's Charlemagne building, rue de la Loi 170, room S2, B-1000 Brussels. A press conference will be held at 12:30 at the same location (see enclosed programme). .

Note to editors:

Detailed information will be sent to you closer to the date, but if you need further information earlier, please contact:

Michel Claessens, Press and Information Officer, Research Directorate-General

Tel.: +32.2.295 99 71 - Fax: + - E-mail: michel.claessens@cec.eu.int

A vision for Europe: women in industrial research

A wake up call for European industry


Brussels, 23 January 2003
11:30 - 13:00

Charlemagne building,
rue de la Loi 170
Room S2
B-1000 Brussels

11.30: Presentation of the Report on Research and Development (R&D) in European Industry

How can we reach our goal if we ignore women, who represent half our talent pool? (open to the press)

Introduction of European Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin
Prof. Dr. Helga Rübsamen-Waigmann, chair of the expert group, Vice President of Bayer AG, Head of Antiinfective Research
Dr. Ragnhild Sohlberg, vice-chair and chair of the subgroup on best practices, Vice President, Norsk Hydro ASA
Dr Teresa Rees, University of Cardiff, Professor at the School of Social Sciences
Pierre Bismuth, chair of the subgroup on young scientists, Vice President Personnel, Schlumberger Ltd.
Conclusions of Commissioner Busquin.

12.30: Press conference with Commissioner Busquin

Followed by a buffet lunch until 14:00

DG Research
http://europa.eu.int/comm/dgs/research/i ndex_en.html

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