Elsevier has published a report this month on “The Research Journey through a Gender Lense”. The report examines research participation, career progression and perceptions across the European Union and 15 countries globally in 26 subject areas, using data analysis and expert interviews. It found that in the countries reviewed and the EU28, the proportion of women authors has risen from 29% in 1999-2003 to 38% in 2014-18. Interesting to see that in the Netherlands and Germany the share of women is below the EU28 average while Spain and France are doing (slightly) better – with the UK almost on the same footing as EU28.
Men have longer publication lists – but less so as first authors. Women have a harder time to continue their publishing rate throughout their career. Elsevier also looked at the reasons researchers give for the unbalance. Among man and women alike, some feel it has to do with different attitudes and levels of ambition, others attribute it to (subconscious) bias.