Gender action plan

There are 5 female principal investigators involved in the project representing 18% of all PIs. Particularly important scientific management and research roles are played by Dr. Laure Bally-Cuif as the Team Leader of CNRS and Work Package Leader of WP2 and Prof. Corinne Houart and Prof. Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard as the Team Leaders of KCL and MPG, respectively. The growing proportion of female researchers in this field is reflected in the percentages of female PhD students (over 50%) undergoing research training in the participating organisations.

We recognise the difficulties facing women researchers, particularly in reconciling family commitments with maintaining research careers. The loss of female researchers is a significant problem as it represents a major loss of scientific capacity. While the Consortium has no control over the employment policy of the partner organisations, we therefore propose the following measures:

Encouraging women to pursue scientific careers

The Consortium will promote the accomplishments of female researchers in its press releases and through its website. The website will also be linked to national and EU websites addressing the issue of women in science and provide links useful to women considering a career in science.

Most of the partners have a pro-active policy for recruiting female students, including the participation in science fairs and similar events. For example, several German partners already participate in Girls’ Days aimed at promoting career options in science to female students. We will encourage all partners to organise or participate in similar events.

Links of interest for female scientists

Encouraging the recruitment of female researchers

The PIs who are responsible for recruitment of new personnel to the project will be asked to encourage applications from female researchers. Experienced female researchers should take part in the selection process for new researchers wherever possible, a measure that we expect to prevent gender bias. As an example, Prof. Nüsslein-Volhard is very actively involved in encouraging young females pursuing a career in science, and has initiated a charity, the Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard Stiftung, that supports talented young women with children.

Promotion of best employment practice

All partners are equal opportunity employers. The Governing Board will furthermore promote best employment practices over and above the legal requirements. The partners will be expected to ensure that all suitable support measures are implemented for parental leave by the reallocation of duties and support actions for the researchers and technicians concerned. Group meetings and other events will be arranged at times that cause minimum disruption for those with young families.

Collection of gender statistics

The Management Team will keep statistics about employment, participation in workshops and other training activities, available to all relevant bodies including the EC.