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Communications of the ACM

Europe Region Special Section: Big trends

Women Are Needed in STEM: European Policies and Incentives

woman in science lab

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Women's persistent underrepresentation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, occupations, and careers in various parts of the world and its negative impact on STEM labor force and research and innovation (R&I) have given rise to measures, projects, and initiatives aimed at promoting gender equality (GE). In Europe, gender balance in R&I is understood as a social justice and equality issue. Various measures (for example, regulation and research framework, bodies, agencies, funding schemes, prizes, and awards) have been implemented at the European Commission (EC) and European Union (EU) levels to increase women's participation and include the gender dimension in R&I Achieving GE will significantly advance the STEM labor force, research and innovation, enhance the economy, and reduce the risk of women's social exclusion to the benefit of society.

This article considers the main issues regarding GE in STEM in Europe including an analysis of the reasons for its necessity; a description of the European Union's strategy, measures, initiatives, and activities toward achieving GE; and, finally, their anticipated impact.


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