In Europe, only about 20 per cent of professorships are held by women. And the share of women in bodies that approve grants, academic appointments and science prizes is also small. The European database AcademiaNet was set up to remedy this situation. It features the profiles of approx. 2800 outstanding women researchers from all disciplines. This makes it easier for universities and organisations to search for accomplished women to fill vacant professorial and leadership positions. Experts for media interviews, conference speeches or panel discussions are also easily found in the database. The SNSF and many other European organisations nominate women for inclusion in the list according to strict criteria.
The Robert Bosch Stiftung set up the platform in 2010 and managed it together with the publisher «Spektrum der Wissenschaft» until the end of 2018. The platform will be run by the SNSF as of January 2020. The SNSF has been able to more than 20 partners as sponsors, so that the platform's funding is now secured for the next five years. The collaboration with Spektrum will be continued, and the Robert Bosch Stiftung will continue to make a sizeable monetary contribution.
Gender equality a strategic aim
«The Robert Bosch Stiftung has done a great job setting up the platform. We think the database is a useful tool for improving the visibility and networking of female researchers, and we are pleased to keep it up and running together with other organisations,» says Simona Isler, gender equality representative of the SNSF. Promoting gender equality in research is a key concern of the SNSF and one of the strategic aims in its multi-year programme 2021-2024. «By operating AcademiaNet, we are adding to existing measures aimed at increasing equality and diversity in research,» Isler stresses.