In Europe approximately half of our PhD students are women. However, the levels of women researchers start to decrease at the postdoctoral level and drops dramatically in leaderships positions (with 20% as grade A researchers and 15.5% as directors). These numbers demonstrate a dramatic waste of talent and resources in education, research and the labour market.
LIBRA is EC funded project which brings together ten research institutes in life sciences in ten European countries. They all are members of the alliance EU-LIFE, which aims to build and promote excellence in life sciences throughout Europe. Their commitment to excellence is also a commitment to gender equality. Together with the support of an expert organisation on gender, they will first assess their current policies and procedures to identify gender biases and obstacles. This will be a process of mutual learning that will finally lead to the design and implementation of ten harmonised and institute tailored Gender Equality Plans.
The Gender Equality Plans will aim to bring about long lasting and profound structural changes to remove institutional barriers and empower women to be equally successful as men in their research careers. Specifically, all Gender Equality Plans will address four main areas of interventions: