The higher a country scores on gender equality, the higher its innovation potential
A new report published by GENDERACTION shows that there is a positive correlation between the European Innovation Scoreboard, Adjusted Research Excellence Indicator, and Gender Equality Index. Additionally, it was found that a higher proportion of research organizations with a gender equality plan (GEP) is similarly correlated with a higher Innovation Score. These findings lend support to the conclusion that gender equality policies could be a means to achieve better research and innovation results.
Compared to EU13 countries, EU15 countries have a higher Adjusted Research Excellence Indicator (52.7 vs 23.3), European Innovation Scoreboard Index (0.55 vs 0.32), and Gender Equality Index (68.2 vs 56.3). They also have a significantly higher share of RPOs that have adopted gender equality plans (67.1 % vs 15.5 %). In many of these countries, GEPs implementation and regular evaluation are required by law.
The gap between EU15 and EU13 countries is however not insurmountable, as the examples set by Slovenia, Cyprus, and Malta show. What matters are the pre-conditions and the types of support that aided the development of a comprehensive gender equality policy in R&I.
“This information comes at an important time when Europe is headed toward the new framework program. It should not be missed by representatives of the EU Member States as well as by individuals in decision-making positions in research and innovation who will be deciding on the future priorities for the European Research Area,” says Angela Wroblewski from the Institute of Advanced Studies, the author of the report, and adds that the results document the success of the European Research Area (ERA) and indicate the need for continued systematic action at the institutional level.
Gender equality has been one of the ERA priorities since 2012. According to the statements made by Commissioners Helena Dalli and Mariya Gabriel, this priority will be further reinforced in the new framework program Horizon Europe.
“Our report shows as well that ERA was the initial spark that triggered the development of first-ever gender equality strategy in R&I in the several Member States and was used to consolidate and further develop existing policies that support gender equality in research and innovation. However, there is still a lot of unfinished work,” says Marcela Linková, Chair of ERAC Standing Working Group on Gender in Research and Innovation and the coordinator of the GENDERACTION project.