Some short biographies of female researchers in QUANTIFY
Female researchers, in particular in the natural sciences, are still considerably less in number than their male counterparts. The ratio of female to male scientists becomes exponentially smaller the higher their positions are in the scientific hierarchy. Actually, this is not a problem that is special to science, rather it is a general problem of the society with very deep roots in the cultural history of Europe and probably the whole world. Therefore, one cannot expect, that science alone will solve this problem, and much less so that a single scientific project will solve it. However, scientists, given their academic education, can be expected to be more aware of this problem than other groups in the society. The current situation has to change fundamentally in order to introduce the abilities and competencies of women into the scientific process and to give them the chance to develop their abilities, competencies and careers.
All partner institutions are aware of the imbalance in women participation in almost all research areas. It is our priority to encourage talented young women to pursue their scientific careers. All partners will follow the employment policies of their institution, which consequently reflect national gender action plans, and most possess equal opportunities programmes, not just for gender. As an example, the co-ordinating institution, DLR, has established the task of a full-time Gender Equality Nominee (Gleichstellungsbeauftragte) in 1999. She is in charge of implementing the idea of gender mainstream within DLR. Furthermore the issue of gender equality is an important element to the DLR-strategy, monitored by DLR's executive board and is strictly observed when it comes to recruiting, career development and other aspects of DLR-personnel policy. DLR is also very active in the field of raising public awareness, for instance by organising girls' days or the annual conference "Women in Aeronautics and Space", supported by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research. For its promotion of women in science DLR has been awarded two years ago the "Audit Familie & Beruf" (family and profession) by the German Hertie-Stiftung. The DLR institutes involved in the project will actively participate in such actions in order to interest young girls and women for the topics of QUANTIFY. The consortium itself includes private and public institutions from 16 nations which have additional action plans and measures to promote gender equality and to ensure a broader participation of women in public life.
The participants in QUANTIFY agree that in the recruitment policy, in the case of equal qualifications, female researchers will be preferred over male ones to attain a balanced proportion at all levels; we will also endeavour to encourage female applicants. The various scientists in charge will consult with the Co-ordinator to ensure all their attention to boost the involvement of women (both appointed within the network, staff as well as other researchers with temporary positions from other sources) in all, scientific and organisational or managerial activities of the network. Measures will be taken, for instance, to encourage women to be the responsible leaders of different network activities such as scientific modules, organisation of schools and meetings, web pages, representation of appointed researchers, etc., depending, of course, on the degree of expertise or seniority. In fact, several female senior researchers are involved in the organisation management of QUANTIFY.
The QUANTIFY Gender Action Plan follows the EC guidelines.