Women make up about half of the population and voters in the EU, but they are still under-represented in high-level positions, whether in elections, public administration, corporate boards or academia. The European Commission has committed itself to promote gender equality in research and innovation (R&I). Horizon 2020 was the first framework programme to make gender a cross-cutting issue, and one of the key objectives was to integrate the gender dimension into R&I content. With Horizon Europe, the Commission has promised to reaffirm its commitment to gender equality in R&I.
Horizon Europe sets gender equality as a crosscutting principle and aims to eliminate gender inequality and intersecting socio-economic inequalities throughout R&I systems, including by addressing unconscious bias and systemic structural barriers. By considering sex and gender dimension in the whole research & innovation process we can prevent for example gender or racially biased AI products due to a lack of diversity in the AI training data.
Anne Pépin, Senior Policy Officer from European Commission presented the key aspects and novelties regarding gender equality in Horizon Europe in a webinar on 21 April 2021. There are three levels with three different aspects that should be taken into account when preparing a proposal for Horizon Europe.
When sex, gender and intersecting factors are all considered in the design and delivery of R&I, it can leads to added value of research in terms of excellence, societal relevance, creativity and business opportunities. It creates in-depth understanding of all people’s needs, behaviours, and attitudes, and with this understanding it is easier to make goods and services that are better suited to the needs of all people.
“In business, politics and society as a whole, we can only reach our full potential if we use all of our talent and diversity. Gender equality brings more jobs and higher productivity – a potential which needs to be realised as we embrace the green and digital transitions and face up to our demographic challenges.” – EU Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025
Article courtesy of EAIC member, Spinverse.