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Women in science on equal footing

Women are increasingly entering the science field, and the EU wants to ensure that this trend is replicated across the continent, including the Baltic States.

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Encouraging women to work in science professions is an important priority for Europe as it offers a fresh perspective on science and promotes gender equality. While western Europe does boast a high number of women in this field, the Baltic States are lagging behind. The EU-funded project 'Baltic States network 'Women in sciences and high technology'' (Basnet) established an interregional network of women associated with these fields. It worked on partnerships between professional organisations, government institutions and women's professional groups to increase the number of women in science and technology. The project investigated the sociology behind under representation of women in the sector and set out to improve science policy, as part of a comprehensive strategy, in this respect. A Basnet portal and newsletter were created to further the project's aims, as was a database of women in science across the region. Also noteworthy was the publication of a book on 'Women in sciences and high technology in the Baltic States. Problems and solutions', which was based on the results of Basnet. The book fostered collaboration among scientists and facilitated monitoring of opportunities for women in the region. Women who participated in the Basnet project became more confident in pursuing science-related careers. They learned about equal opportunities in the workplace and how they could become more empowered. In parallel, networking among scientists and policymakers helped overcome bureaucratic hurdles and other obstacles that women face. In Lithuania, the government adopted a national strategy on social and humanitarian sciences, thanks to the efforts of the project. Other Baltic governments have been considering the proposals and recommendations of the project as well. The project set up the Basnet Forum to monitor the implementation of the strategy in the Baltic region as Basnet was welcomed into the European platform of women scientists (EPWS). Equal opportunities for women, a more diversified science sector and support for a more vibrant European economy are major outcomes of the project's initiatives.

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