The aim of the project is to carry out an innovative pilot survey to enhance existing knowledge on career patterns of female scientists at universities. The project will open up new perspectives for further in-depth work in the field by mapping the situation of female researchers in engineering and life sciences in seven universities in six countries in Europe with special regard to gender differences in research careers, critical areas where women are underrepresented, leading university positions, access to funding, mobility and work-life balance. Women face great difficulties in developing professional careers in equal opportunities to those of men in these sectors, especially regarding their proportion and representation at the higher levels of the hierarchical ladder.
The project will examine and compare the situation of female researchers and decision makers. A methodology to map careers in university will be designed and tested in the partner institutions. The survey will involve PhD students, researchers and decision makers as well. Besides the collection of detailed statistics - which is missing at almost all involved universities - the consortium will conduct interviews with those female researchers who succeeded in doing a career in these areas of science in spite of the difficulties. The project will map not only the good practices but the bad ones as well in order to determine how the career of female researchers is set back in these areas.
Furthermore it is one of the objectives of the project to draw the attention of the university managements to the importance of ensuring equal opportunities to women and men and the practice of gender mainstreaming as a policy of the European Union. The partner countries include two new member states (Hungary and Estonia), three old member states (Austria, Finland and Italy) and a candidate country (Turkey), so they provide an ideal coverage of circumstances available throughout Europe.
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