The European Commission is committed to promoting gender equality in research and innovation.
It is part of the European Commission Gender Equality Strategy for 2020-2025, which sets out the Commission’s broader commitment to equality across all EU policies.
In addition, the EU has a well-established regulatory framework on gender equality, including binding directives, which apply widely across the labour market including the research sector.
With Horizon Europe, the Commission reaffirms its commitment to gender equality in research and innovation.
The legal base sets gender equality as a crosscutting priority and introduces strengthened provisions.
There are 3 main levels at which gender equality is considered in Horizon Europe
- having a Gender Equality Plan (GEP) in place becomes an eligibility criterion for certain categories of legal entities from EU countries and associated countries
- the integration of the gender dimension into research and innovation content is a requirement by default, an award criterion evaluated under the excellence criterion, unless the topic description explicitly specifies otherwise
- increasing gender balance throughout the programme is another objective, with a target of 50% women in Horizon Europe related boards, expert groups and evaluation committees, and gender balance among research teams set as a ranking criterion for proposals with the same score
Furthermore, specific funding will be dedicated to
- gender and intersectional research, in particular under Cluster 2 of the programme Culture, Creativity and Inclusive Society
- developing inclusive gender equality policies in support of the new European Research Area, through the Widening Participation and Strengthening the European Research Area programme part, Reforming and enhancing the European Research and Innovation System
- empowering women innovators, in particular through Pillar III of the programme, Innovative Europe, and the European Innovation Council (EIC) (see statement on gender and diversity of the EIC Pilot Board)
The goal is to improve the European research and innovation system, create gender-equal working environments where all talents can thrive and better integrate the gender dimension in projects to improve research quality as well as the relevance to society of the knowledge, technologies and innovations produced.
The Factsheet on Gender Equality: a strengthened commitment in Horizon Europe summarises the key new provisions and requirements, with a particular focus on the new Gender Equality Plan (GEP) eligibility criterion.
Source: European Commission