Reducing gender inequality in science
ANR made a commitment in 2016 to help reduce gender inequality in higher education and research. In 2019, this commitment resulted in the drafting of an action plan to promote gender equality
An action plan to promote gender equality
ANR made a commitment in 2016 to help reduce gender inequality in higher education and research. In 2019, this commitment resulted in the drafting of an action plan to promote gender equality. The plan emerges from observation and analysis work carried out over a year as part of the Gender-SMART project (nine partners from eight countries) coordinated by Cirad. Launched in February 2019, this H2020 project provided ANR with technical and financial support to define the measures to take in terms of equality at work. The project will continue until 2022 with the implementation of the action plan, monitoring the actions and then reporting on the lessons learned and best practices at European and international level.
Considering the concept of gender in research projects
ANR has enshrined its commitment to gender equality in its Work Programme, encouraging project coordinators to “consider the sex and/or gender dimension in their research, regardless of the field”. The aim is to prevent the creation of bias in knowledge production and to foster favourable conditions for integrity and responsibility in research.
An increase in the number of ANR-funded projects coordinated by women
ANR carried out analysis work in 2019 and published the study “Women and men of science in the ANR Generic Call for Proposals from 2015 to 20181”. This study shows that the proportion of projects submitted by women rose by two points over this period, from 29.3% in 2015 to 31.3% in 2018. This trend was also seen among the projects selected: the proportion of female coordinators rose from 28.2% in 2015 to 30% in 2018. This proportion is equivalent to the proportion of women scientists in France. The study emphasises that women tend not to rise as high in the academic hierarchy despite their level of ability – most of the women whose projects are funded occupy lecturer and research fellow positions, while most of the men selected are professors or directors of research.
Discussing inequality to change attitudes
To improve these figures further and neutralise bias, ANR continued its work to raise awareness among the chairs of scientific evaluation panels in 2019. The aim was to discuss bias more in order to make it more visible and to focus the panels’ attention on project content and qualitative measures in order to ensure objective evaluation, while seeking parity in the composition of panels. As a partner of the 2019 Fête de la Science, ANR contributed to a stand-up event and a round-table discussion at the Canopée des Halles in Paris, presenting gender inequalities in the science sector and explaining to the public how inequalities between women and men are constructed and deconstructed.
Women in science speak on video
Marking the International Day of Women and Girls in Science and International Women’s Day, ANR has expanded its collection of video portraits of women researchers with new interviews with project coordinators funded by the Agency. The collection was launched in 2017 to promote women’s scientific careers and encourage young women to enter all fields of research.
Watch the video “ Women in Science - Eun Jung Kim ”