The number of women holding senior posts in science is not proportional to the number of women with scientific qualifications. It is also the case that the number of women in leading roles is growing very slowly, if at all.
Increasing the role of women in the system is an objective shared by numerous scientific institutions in Europe.
The Institució CERCA has taken a firm approach to this issue, bringing in specific measures to encourage the development of a gender perspective in Catalonia’s centres of research excellence.
The figures drawn from the second round of CERCA assessments for 2016-2019 demonstrate similar trends to those seen in the rest of the research system. Similar numbers of men and women are entering scientific careers, but as soon as the doctorate stage is completed, a gender imbalance that disadvantages women begins to become apparent, and at the very top of the scientific career ladder only 27% of the holders of the most senior scientific posts are women.
There are many reasons for this, and they are not just related to motherhood and work-life balance. The system itself pushes women out, by failing to provide a suitable working environment or through the exercise of unconscious bias when recruiting.