2017 Monitoring report on the position of women in science

In June 2019 the Centre for Gender and Science published its yearly report on the position of women in Czech science – Monitoring report on the position of women in science in 2017.  The overall number of employees in research and development is increasing. A growing number was also observed within individual professions: researcher, technician, and other positions in research and development. Women made up 30.2 % (28.1 % of FTEs) of all positions in research and development in 2017.

Men are more numerous in all research and development professions, and their share is increasing. The share of women among researchers displays a stable decreasing trend, with the number in 2016 and also 2017 being the two lowest values since the start of the monitoring in 2000. International comparison places the Czech Republic among EU countries with the lowest share of women in research positions.

48.5 % of researchers in the Czech Republic have a university degree (BS, MS equivalent) and 41.8 % have a doctoral degree (2015). The proportion of women in graduate university programmes has remained roughly stable over the last 10-11 years (ca 60 % in 2017), but the share of female doctoral students displays a growing trend (currently nearly 45 %). These trends, however, have little effect on the situation in research: The highest dropout of women in ideal and typical career path in research happens in the postdoctoral phase and later.

Women in STEM are under-represented at all levels of their academic and professional careers from the graduate level on. Their dropout among doctoral and postdoctoral researchers is more intense than in other fields. The number of women in STEM has remained low, with a slightly decreasing tendency in recent years – in 2017, it was 13.2 % in technology and engineering and 25.1 % in the natural sciences. In the agricultural sciences, medicine, the social sciences and humanities, women prevail over men on graduate and doctoral levels, but men are more numerous in research professions.

International comparison shows the number of female university graduates in the Czech Republic roughly matches the EU average, but the number of female fresh doctors falls below the EU average. The highest equality is traditionally observed in medicine where women made up 48.2 % of researchers (51.6 % of FTEs) in 2017. In 2017, the overall employment of academics was 17 882 FTEs, of which women made up 35.9 %. Unlike in research, where prevalence of men over women is stable or gradually growing, the share of female academics seems to stagnate. Decision making in science is still dominated by men. The share of women in top positions in research institutions, universities and other research and development institutions (Academy of Sciences, Czech Science Foundation, Council of Czech Universities, Czech Rectors Conference, R&D Council, etc.) was mere 14.1 % in 2017.