Cover of higher education & research in France, facts and figures

📄 Sources:OECD
MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES.

 Coverage:Whole of France.

The data for France are obtained from annual surveys by the French Ministry of Education, Higher Education and Research (Ministère de l'Éducation nationale, de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche - MENESR) on R&D expenditure. The survey covers 11,000 businesses (private and public) and government bodies (universities and other higher education institutions), public research bodies (State-owned scientific and technological establishments (Établissement public à caractère scientifique et technologique - EPST), State-owned industrial and commercial establishments (Établissement public à caractère industriel et commercial - EPIC)) and other public institutions, ministerial departments (including defence), university hospitals and comprehensive cancer centres, not-for-profit institutions NPI (associations and foundations).

Research personnel includes researchers and ancillary research staff (according to the definitions in the Frascati Manual). R&D researchers and engineers, grouped together under the heading researchers, are specialists engaged in the conception or creation of new knowledge, products, processes, methods and systems. Also included are doctoral students with funding (including those with an Industrial Agreement for Training through Research (Convention industrielle de formation par la recherche - CIFRE)) and staff responsible for managing research teams.

Research ancillary staff include technicians who participate in R&D, carrying out scientific and technical tasks under the supervision of researchers, workers assigned to R&D work and staff working on administrative tasks linked with R&D work. In surveys on R&D spending, the notion of a physical person refers to all persons present on 31 December of the year surveyed.

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36 gender equality in research

This page has been updated. Read 36. gender equality in research in Higher education & research in France, facts and figures 10th edition - June 2017

One researcher in three in the government sector and one in five in business enterprises is a woman. As in other countries, women are less well represented in all sectors among researchers than in the professions providing research support. The male to female ratio in research personnel depends on the research field.

In 2012, more than half a million people in France were participating directly or indirectly in R&D activities and of these research personnel, 29% were women (table 36.01). They were better represented in government (40%) (public bodies, higher education institutions and NPI) than in business enterprises (22%). In addition, the female to male ratio remained higher in the least qualified jobs in R&D, the ancillary staff (35%), than among researchers (26%).

As in higher education programmes, women are better represented in medicine and agronomy than in aerospace and digital technology (chart 36.02). In 2012, there were equal numbers of men and women in research teams at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale - INSERM), the Institut Pasteur and the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (Institut national de la recherche agronomique - INRA). In contrast, they represented only 16% of researchers at the French National Aerospace Research Centre (Office national d’études et de recherches aérospatiales - ONERA) and 20% at the French National Institute for Computer Science and Applied Mathematics (Institut national de recherche en informatique et en automatique - INRIA). Numbers are comparable in business enterprises. In 'Pharmacy' and 'Chemistry', women represent 57% and 47% of researchers respectively (chart 36.03). However, women are poorly represented in 'Aeronautics and space construction' (16%), 'Automobiles' (13%) and 'Manufacture of machines and equipment' (8%). In these last three branches, however, the proportion of women is higher among researchers than among ancillary staff.

In five years, the representation of women among researchers in business enterprises fell by 0.8%. The increasing proportion of research in the service branches is the reason for this situation. Having increased by half in five years, due mainly to 'specialised scientific and technical activities' and 'information technology and computer service activities', in 2012 research in service branches accounted for 38% of all researchers in business enterprises. Here the proportion of women is lower (at 18%) than in the industrial branches overall (21%), as feminisation is particularly strong in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries.

These trends in France are similar to those observed in other OECD countries. Everywhere, we see an under-representation of women in research teams, especially in business enterprises (chart 36.04). Portugal, Estonia and Slovakia, however, have near equality between men and women. In these countries, women represent more than 40% of all researchers. In contrast, in South Korea and Japan, fewer than 20% of researchers are women. The situation in France is similar to that in Germany (27%).

Between 2011 and 2012, the change in women's representation in France among all R&D personnel weakened slightly (29.2% compared with 29.6%). Nevertheless, care must be taken when interpreting these figures as there is a two-fold effect on staff structure, with the increasing weight of business enterprises in relation to government combined with that of researchers in relation to ancillary staff. If we consider only researchers, the figures speak for themselves: the proportion of women has increased, both in business enterprises (+0.4 points) and in government (+0.1 points), yet the number of researchers overall was down (-0.1 points) due to the increasing proportion of business enterprises and the poorer showing by business enterprise researchers.

 Coverage:Whole of France.

How to cite this paper :

PERRAIN Laurent. Gender equality in research. In: Higher education & research in France, facts and figures - 49 indicators [online]. KABLA-LANGLOIS Isabelle (dir.). Paris: Ministère de l'Éducation nationale, de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche, 2015. 8th ed. Chapter 36, 82-83 [Accessed 12/08/2019]. ISBN 978-2-11-139433-9. https://publication.enseignementsup-recherche.gouv.fr/eesr/8EN/EESR8EN_R_36-gender_equality_in_research.php

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The data for France are obtained from annual surveys by the French Ministry of Education, Higher Education and Research (Ministère de l'Éducation nationale, de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche - MENESR) on R&D expenditure. The survey covers 11,000 businesses (private and public) and government bodies (universities and other higher education institutions), public research bodies (State-owned scientific and technological establishments (Établissement public à caractère scientifique et technologique - EPST), State-owned industrial and commercial establishments (Établissement public à caractère industriel et commercial - EPIC)) and other public institutions, ministerial departments (including defence), university hospitals and comprehensive cancer centres, not-for-profit institutions NPI (associations and foundations).

Research personnel includes researchers and ancillary research staff (according to the definitions in the Frascati Manual). R&D researchers and engineers, grouped together under the heading researchers, are specialists engaged in the conception or creation of new knowledge, products, processes, methods and systems. Also included are doctoral students with funding (including those with an Industrial Agreement for Training through Research (Convention industrielle de formation par la recherche - CIFRE)) and staff responsible for managing research teams.

Research ancillary staff include technicians who participate in R&D, carrying out scientific and technical tasks under the supervision of researchers, workers assigned to R&D work and staff working on administrative tasks linked with R&D work. In surveys on R&D spending, the notion of a physical person refers to all persons present on 31 December of the year surveyed.

 

Key figures


Share of women among researchers in business enterprises
20%
 
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "36. gender equality in research".

Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
Share of women among researchers in government
34.8%
 
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "36. gender equality in research".

Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
Share of women among researchers in the Automobile industry
12.7%
 
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "36. gender equality in research".

Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
Share of women among researchers in Aeronautics and space construction
16.5%
 
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "36. gender equality in research".

Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
  See more key figures  
Share of women among researchers in business enterprises in the Manufacture of instruments and appliances for measuring, testing and navigation, watches and clocks
11.7%
 
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "36. gender equality in research".

Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
Share of women among researchers in business enterprises in the Pharmaceuticals industry
57.9%
 
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "36. gender equality in research".

Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
Share of women among researchers in business enterprises in Electronic components and boards, computers, peripheral equipment
13.9%
 
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "36. gender equality in research".

Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
Share of women among researchers in business enterprises in the Manufacture of communication equipment
13%
 
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "36. gender equality in research".

Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
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Share of women among researchers in business enterprises in Information technology and computer service activities
13.2%
 
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "36. gender equality in research".

Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
Share of women among researchers in business enterprises in Specialist scientific and technical activities
23%
 
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "36. gender equality in research".

Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
Share of women among researchers in business enterprises in Publishing, audiovisual and broadcasting
13.1%
 
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "36. gender equality in research".

Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
Share of women among researchers in business enterprises in Telecommunications
17.5%
 
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "36. gender equality in research".

Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
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Share of women among researchers in business enterprises in the Chemicals industry
47.7%
 
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "36. gender equality in research".

Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
Share of women among researchers at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM)
53.3%
 
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "36. gender equality in research".

Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
Share of women among researchers at the Institut Pasteur - Paris
50.2%
 
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "36. gender equality in research".

Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
Share of women among researchers at the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA)
46.2%
 
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "36. gender equality in research".

Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
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Share of women among researchers at the French research institute for the exploitation of the sea (IFREMER)
35.5%
 
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "36. gender equality in research".

Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
Share of women among researchers at the Institute of Research for Development (IRD)
32.6%
 
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "36. gender equality in research".

Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
Share of women among researchers at the French Agricultural Research and International Cooperation Organisation (CIRAD)
36.6%
 
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "36. gender equality in research".

Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
Share of women among researchers at the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS)
33.3%
 
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "36. gender equality in research".

Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
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Share of women among researchers at the French Institute of science and technology for transport, spatial planning, development and networks (IFSTTAR)
34.5%
 
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "36. gender equality in research".

Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
Share of women among researchers at the French Government Space Agency (CNES)
30.3%
 
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "36. gender equality in research".

Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
Share of women among researchers at the French National Institute for Computer Science and Applied Mathematics (INRIA)
20.5%
 
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "36. gender equality in research".

Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
Share of women among researchers at the civilian arm of the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA)
30.7%
 
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "36. gender equality in research".

Coverage: civilian activity
Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
  See one more key figure  
Share of women among researchers at the French National Aerospace Research Centre (ONERA)
15.7%
 
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "36. gender equality in research".

Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES

36.01 Total R&D personnel and share of women in 2012 (headcount in thousands, %) 1

 
Researchers Ancillary staff Total R&D personnel
Number
(in thousands)
Proportion
of women
(as a %)
Number
(in thousands)
Proportion
of women
(as a %)
Number
(in thousands)
Proportion
of women
(as a %)
Business enterprises 213 20.0 121 25.8 334 22.1
Government 143 34.8 87 49.7 230 40.1
All 356 25.8 208 35.1 565 29.2
 

1 Semi-definitive data.

 Coverage: Whole of France.

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36.02 Share of women in research personnel in government in 2012 (%) [1]

INSERM
Institut Pasteur - Paris
INRA
IFREMER
IRD
CIRAD
CNRS
All government
IFSTTAR
University and other higher education institutions
CNES
INRIA
CEA (Civil division)
ONERA
  
Researchers
R&D ancillary staff
All
 
 
 Coverage: Whole of France.

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36.03 Share of women in research personnel in business enterprises in 2012 (%) 1

Pharmaceutical industry
Chemical industry
Specialised scientific and technical activities
All business enterprises
Telecommunications
Aeronautics and space construction
Electronic components and boards, computers, peripheral equipment
Publishing, audiovisual and broadcasting
Computer and information services
Manufacture of electrical equipment
Manufacture of communication equipment
Manufacture of instruments and appliances for measuring, testing and navigation, watches and clocks
Automobile industry
Manufacture of machines and equipment not included elsewhere
  
Researchers
Ancillary staff
All
 
 

1 Semi-definitive data.

 Coverage: Whole of France.

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36.04 Share of women among researchers in the main OECD countries in 2012 (%)

PT 1
 
SK
PL
SE 1
TR
IT 1
DK 1
FI
CL
CZ
FR
KR
 
 
EE
ES  1
GB 1
NO
SI
BE 1
IE 1
HU
AT 1
DE 1
NL 1
 
JP
  
Researchers in business enterprises
Researchers in government
All
 
 

1 2011 data.

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Related statistical publications

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Other editions

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Translation

 Etat de l'enseignement supérieur et de la rechercheL'état de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche en France n°8 - juin 2015
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