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Women in Science: Five countries that beat the gender gap

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By Sandrine Amiel
A forensic scientist in Washington, 2015
A forensic scientist in Washington, 2015   -   Copyright  REUTERS

Europe still has a long way to go to bridge the gender gap in science, but five countries are the exception that proves the rule.

On the occasion of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science (11 February), the EU Commission released new figures showing that only 41% of scientists and engineers in EU countries were women.

Yet there were notable exceptions. In five EU countries, the majority of scientists and engineers were women: Lithuania (57% female), Bulgaria and Latvia (both 53%), Portugal (51%) and Denmark (just over 50%).

At the bottom of the ranking were Hungary and Luxembourg (both 25%), Finland (29%), as well as Germany (33%).

The under-representation of women in science is a major concern for gender equality. Scientific and engineering careers usually offer expanded job opportunities and better salaries than the typical sectors of female employment, according to the OECD.

The International Day of Women and Girls in Science is among the public policy initiatives intended to celebrate female scientists as role models for girls and boys.