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NEWS — Result In Brief

Project ID: 518040
Funded under: FP6-SOCIETY
Country: Belgium

Ethnicity and gender inequality in science

Providing equal opportunities for foreign women in science across Europe was the focus of the NEWS project. The activities of the network portrayed the state of ethnic group representation among European female scientists and aimed to improve on current research and employment policies.
Ethnicity and gender inequality in science
The invisibility of women scientists from ethnic minorities, along with the possible existence of gender and ethnic discrimination in science, may impact science development in a negative manner due to loss of talent, competence and knowledge.

The EU-funded 'Network on ethnicity and women scientists' (NEWS) project aimed to address the issue of ethnic minorities and women in science. Among the objectives of the project was to promote a public debate at national and European levels on the issue of gender and ethnic diversity in science.

In general, project results showed that the representation of ethnic minorities in the academic population remained low despite their improved accessibility to tertiary education. The NEWS-generated report also highlighted the fact that ethnic minorities held more unstable working positions and were usually part-time personnel. In the majority of cases, no concrete policies relating to migrant and minority staff recruitment existed.

Furthermore, networking among women scientists was found to be unrelated to ethnic minorities.

The NEWS findings emphasised the need for improved integration of gender and ethnic dimensions in higher education. By proposing numerous guidelines and measures to national and international authorities, the NEWS consortium aimed to improve existing research, educational and employment policies.

Combined with a raising awareness campaign, the activities of the NEWS project are expected to mobilise foreign women scientists, increase their participation in science and improve their working conditions. This is hoped to provide equal opportunities and reinforce the realisation of gender and ethnic diversity in science.

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