New study reports on the state of gender equality in research and innovation

June 2024

Today Elsevier launches a new report, “Progress towards Gender Equality in Research & Innovation – 2024 Review.” This report examines progress that has been made towards parity in the research and innovation landscape over the past two decades. Among its key findings:

• Women have made gains in the last two decades – as of 2022, they represent 41% of all active researchers globally, with strong representation in Health Sciences. In contrast, in 2001, just 28% of active researchers were women.

• However, progress is not even across fields. For example in the physical sciences women represent just 33% of researchers.

This report uses Scopus data across 18 countries, the EU-27, and the world, to analyze women’s participation and performance in research and innovation going back two decades. In addition to women’s research participation, it examines the performance of research involving women on metrics such as multi- and interdisciplinarity, open access,  and UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) relevant research. The goal of the study is to create an evidence base and data-informed recommendations that decision-makers can use to promote a more equitable research culture.

A detailed dashboard accompanies the report and offers users the chance to explore the data on their own, through the lenses of field of study, region/country, and career stage. It provides insights and comparisons of FWCI, patent and policy citations, and open access, among other dimensions.

Science-Metrix, which was acquired by Elsevier in 2018, has been on the forefront of investigating gender in research and innovation. In 2015, we developed  a comprehensive methodological handbook for She Figures, the EU’s study of women in innovation.

Our previous research has investigated many aspects of gender in R&I, including the link between interdisciplinarity, self-citation, and gender, as well as the influence of open access, gender, and co-authorship on citation.

 “Progress towards Gender Equality in Research & Innovation – 2024 Review” incorporates methods developed as part of earlier work, and provides a comprehensive review of the strides made towards gender parity in the research and innovation landscape. A detailed methodology is accessible from the dashboard. The findings will be of interest to anyone invested in creating a more inclusive, more equal research culture.

Read the report.

Access the dashboard.

Image credit: Elsevier