Here we provide information about gender imbalance in STEMM, Humanities and Social Sciences. Understanding the problem is key to finding improvements and solutions. We invite you to read the latest data and statistics on grant bodies, hiring and biases based on gender.

In dialogue with Danish Universities, the Ministry of Education and Research released the Danish “Talent Barometer” as a tool to improve diversity in the research talent pool in Denmark.

The last report published in September 2020 shows that despite some progress in the recent years, the share of female researchers in Denmark is lagging behind other Nordic countries.

Figure 1. Proportion of female researchers at the higher education institutions 2009-2017 (measured by number of persons), comparing  Denmark, to the EU and other Nordic countries.

We see an improvement in the ‘leaky pipeline’ during the last decade, but we still see a very strong effect. While we have 56% female students at the beginning of the academic career path, we end up with only 23% female professors.

Figure 2. Percentage of men and women in a typical academic career at Danish universities combined between 2008 and 2018.

If you are interested in the detailed descriptions and interpretations, visit the full report.

An earlier version of the Talent Barometer, published in March 2019, shows a similar gender imbalance in research over time comparing to other countries including the European Union standard.

Figure 1. Demonstrates the representation of women at different academic levels compared between Denmark, other Nordic Countries and the EU-28

Today, women make up more than half of the finished candidates from Danish universities and almost an equal amount of men and women complete a PhD program. Yet there are far fewer women than men among the university-employed researchers. The proportion of women gets lower at the upper levels of the typical career path for researchers.

The proportion of female researchers at Danish universities has increased from 27% in 2007 to 34% in 2017. Despite the increasing proportion of women, employed male researchers were almost twice compared to female researchers in 2017.

In summary, the Ministry of Education and Research implore Danish Universities to implement equal conditions for the recruitment and promotion of both male and female researchers and for changes to be made to the staff policies in Academia.

Follow the link to read the full report:
Mænd og kvinder på de danske universiteter, Danmarks talentbarometer 2018.

The World Economic Forum recently released The Global Gender Gap Report for the past year (2018). The report measures 149 countries on their progress towards gender parity across four thematic dimensions: Economic Participation and Opportunity, Educational Attainment, Health and Survival, and Political Empowerment.

Figure 1. Gender gap by country [select proportion]. 
*Population based average

Denmark remains at the bottom half of the Economic Participation and Opportunity subindex ranking for the region (rank 13), below the Global average, meaning modest advance during 2018, driven by an improvement in closing the gender gap on estimated earned income. Denmark has closed about 78% of their overall gender gap.

The previous Danish Government released a report called “Anbefalinger fra Taskforcen for Flere Kvinder i Forskning” (Recommendations to incorporate more women in research) in 2015.

Figure 2.1: The distribution of men and women in job categories in those Nordic countries in 2004 and 2009/10 (%).

The report summarised statistics about hiring at that time, and compared them to other countries in Scandinavia, pointing out the need of further actions. The most important recommendations were:

I. Gender equality, as a focus area at leadership level towards universities: universities should have gender equality strategies and action plans with objectives and follow-up. 

II. Recruitment and occupation of posts for universities: use wide vacancy notices for all positions where possible.

III. Developing talents and clear career paths towards universities: set minimum qualification requirements for job categories. Incorporate systematic talent development and clear recorded career paths. Use development plans and create a culture of feedback. Recognise young research talent. Establish mentoring schemes. Offer management programs. Targeting universities and research councils and foundations: Remember to set qualified women to posts and prices.

IV. Address gender stereotyping and unconscious biases. Aimed at universities: balanced gender composition of recruitment and evaluation committees. Targeting universities and research councils and foundations: focus on gender bias and cultural barriers. Create spaces for several female role models. 

V. International Mobility for universities: provide the opportunity to divide periods abroad into several shorter periods. Work with Dual careers programs. Targeting the political level, universities and research councils and foundations: in general, research placements abroad should be included in career plans, and family-friendly economic opportunities should be available for placements abroad. 

VI. Working culture and family-friendly workplaces towards universities: create attractive research environments in research institutions. Set up more flexible career plans. Create maternity funds at each research institution. Take advantage of the opportunities for contact with the workplace during maternity leave. ​