Women in science − how does the Czech Republic rate?

Masaryk University, and therefore also our faculty, is currently collecting data within the research community regarding the position of the scientists it employs. We realise that gender is an area where there is still room for improvement. Information from the most recently published Monitoring Report of the National Contact Centre Gender and Science for 2017, which examines the position of women scientists in the Czech Republic, highlights a number of areas that need focussing on as regards the issue of gender. 

What needs focussing on in the field of gender?  

In 2017, a total of 107,733 people (i.e. 69,736 full-time − FTE) worked in research and development, of which only 32,576 were women.  

Prof. RNDr. Zuzana Došlá, DSc. deals, for example, with the qualitative theory of nonlinear differential and difference equations. Photo: Antonín Reňák

Representation of women among researchers has been declining for a long time.  

  • Men predominate in all professions of research and development and their representation is increasing.  
  • Representation of women among researchers is declining, with numbers from 2016 and 2017 being the lowest since 2000, when data disaggregated by gender were first collected. 
  • As an international comparison, the level of female representation among researchers in the Czech Republic is one of the lowest of all EU countries.

There is a decline in the representation of women after completion of Doctoral studies.  

  • The biggest drop in the representation of women in the study/professional career arena is among Doctoral graduates and researchers themselves.  

Representation of women in Mgr. studies has stagnated, though it is increasing in Doctoral studies. 

What is the actual representation of women in technical and scientific fields?  In the Czech Republic,  

Gender equality pays off  

Prof. RNDr. Jiřina Relichová, CSc., Professor Emeritus of Genetics at the Institute of Experimental Biology, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University. Former Vice-Dean and Head of the Department of Genetics and Molecular Biology, Head of the Genome Research Department and briefly Head of the Department of Microbiology and Director of the Mendel Museum. Photo: David Baláš

In the HR Award Project Action Plan, the Faculty paid special attention to the issue of the position of women in science and has implemented measures to improve the present situation. At the same time, the faculty highlighted a number of positive aspects which, according to the Report on Monitoring of ERA Priority 4 Implementation, 2019, are: 

  •  There is a positive correlation between the innovation potential index, the excellence indicator and the gender equality index.  
  • There is a positive correlation between the share of research organisations with a gender equality plan and the indicator of innovation potential and the indicator of excellence.  
  • There is a strong positive correlation between the Gender Equality Index and a) the number of research organisations that have gender equality plans, and b) with the representation of women in the decision-making bodies of research organisations. 

Source: Report on Monitoring of ERA Priority 4 Implementation, 2019.

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