GLaSS Homepage

Gender balance in GLaSS

Only a low percentage of professors are women or hold leading positions in RTD projects. To enhance the opportunities for women in science, given their under-representation, is a broadly accepted aim in the EU, and also in the GLaSS project. The objectives of the EU Plan of Action on Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment in Development, 2010-2015 (GEWE) are the basis of GLaSS’s action plan. GLaSS main actions with regard to gender balance are:

  • promoting an equal participation of men and women in the project, particularly in the more senior positions,
  • actions related to reconciling work and private life, and
  • awareness raising.

To work on this, GLaSS has a gender officer, Dr. Anu Reinart, who is Director of Tartu Observatory.

The GLaSS co-ordinator Dr. Steef Peters is male, and out of the day-to-day project managers at the seven consortium partners, six are females. GLaSS can therefore serve as a good example for young females to continue in science.

At the GLaSS project meeting in Tartu, 2014, Associate Professor Dr. Susanne Kratzer gave a great presentation "Against all odds - my journey as a woman along the tracks of science" in which she coupled small personal changes in life to generally applicable rules and advices for everyone in science: females and males. Some of her advices can be found here.

"Knowledge belongs to you, you can take it anywhere and can carry you through different social levels and gender barriers"

(Associate Professor Dr. Susanne Kratzer, 2014)

The not obvious things you can do yourself to succeed in science:

  • Realise that it is important to take time to find out what you want
  • Do not listen too much to what other people think about you –believe in yourself
  • Chose good role models – male or female
  • Find people to support you, e.g. a mentor
  • Find a partner who has an interest in your profession and understands the requirements for doing research

What employers can do:

  • Assess your own tendency to gender bias
  • Try to keep a gender balance in your own group – if one gender is overrepresented you may be biased in some way or other - keep working on this
  • Do you evaluate a CV from a female applicant in the same way as from a male applicant- where does the ‘male extra bonus’ come from?
  • Do you tend to cite publications from women as much as you cite men?
  • Gender balance makes the work atmosphere more balanced and more natural, and companies with more women in the leadership are more productive
  • Offer your female employees the same opportunities and expect the same quality of work
  • If there are obvious problems at home give maximum flexibility (flexible working hours and possibility to work from home; both for males and females, especially with young children)


EC: Woman in science