Women in science

Women in science

A gender gap in science and technology exists worldwide. According to the She Figures 2018 report, in the EU 28 states women represented approximately 50% of the doctoral graduates in 2016. Nevertheless, the same study reports striking imbalances between the number of women and men at the highest levels of academia in the great majority of EU countries. An institutional commitment is key to break this glass ceiling.  

As shown in the institutional reports, CRAG shows a globally gender-balanced composition over the last years. Contrary to what is observed in other research institutions, including the global Catalan CERCA system, CRAG’s research personnel diagram does not show the “scissor effect” that occurs when the number of women steadily decrease as the research career advances. Actually, women represent almost 50% of the group leaders at CRAG, and 50% of the Junior Group Leaders hired during the Severo Ochoa institutional project 2016-2019

gender ratio at CRAG

In the context of the “Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence 2016-2019” project, CRAG introduced some new institutional policies in order to ensure a gender-balanced recruitment of new research personnel, and to increase the percentage of women in the scientific managerial committees and positions. 

Women in Science Committee

To further develop and implement new initiatives to promote equal opportunities for men and women and to foster women’s progress in their scientific career, CRAG created in 2019 a Women in Science Committee. The members of this Committee are representative of all research categories at CRAG, as well as some administrative areas. The current Women in Science Committee members are:

Maria José Aranzana (Chair), Maite Iriarte (co-Chair), Zoila Babot, Laura Botigué, Lara Cejudo, Benoit Daubech, Aditi Gupta, Clara Julian, Natalie Laibach, Juan José López-Moya and Mostafa Mortada

The Committee can be contacted at wis@cragenomica.es

Since May 2021, the hashtag #WIS_CRAG is used in the social networks to highlight some of the activities of this committee. 

Women in Science Action Plan

A new Women in Science Action Plan spanning from 2021 to 2024 was created in 2020 and is currently being implemented. This plan adds on the Gender Equality Plan , which in Spain is regulated by law and focuses in labour issues, such as equal treatment and opportunities in the recruiting process, promotion and career development, and in ensuring a safe working environment that is free from sexual and gender-based harassment, among other measures. CRAG Women in Science Action Plan tackles the hurdles that women encounter in the scientific career. The Plan is articulated around five aspects.

CRAG received the "HR Excellence in Research" award from the European Commission in 2015. This award recognizes the institute´s commitment in developing a HR Strategy fro Researchers (HRS4R), including a Gender Equity action plan. The CRAG´s Women in Science plan is fully integrated in its 2021-2023 HRS4R Action Plan and was highlighted by the EC HRS4R Evaluation Committee as one of the best practices that could be recommended to other organisations.

5 aspects of women in science plan

Promotion of STEM vocations among girls and young women

Long-standing biases and gender stereotypes are still steering girls and young women away from STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) studies, which translates into a lack of diversity in related professional areas and organisations. CRAG is committed to break these gender stereotypes and to inspire the next generation of women STEM professionals. To achieve this goal, CRAG takes into account the gender perspective in all the outreach activities addressed to students that it organizes, always providing women as role models.  Furthermore, CRAG women researchers involve in a variety of activities specifically designed to nurture STEM vocations among girls, such as the #100científiques initiative on the 11th of February.