SWG on gender in research and innovation


Standing Working Group on Gender in Research and Innovation (SWG GRI) under the European Research Area and Innovation Committee is a policy advisory committee that advises the Council of the EU, the European Commission and Member States on policies and initiatives related to gender equality in research and innovation (Priority 4 of the European Research Area), for the benefit of scientists, research institutions, universities, businesses and society at large.

SWG GRI is a successor to the Helsinki Group on Gender in Research and Innovation (1999 – 2017).

For more on ERA Priority 4 and objectives for gender equality in Research and Innovation see Gender Equality.

SWG GRI organisation

SWG GRI consists of representatives of Member States of the European Union and of the European Commission, with representatives of Associated Countries participating in the SWG GRI as observers. Delegates of Member States and Associated Countries are formal representatives of their country, not individual experts, and ensure appropriate co-ordination with national representatives in other ERA-related groups.

SWG GRI is chaired by Marcela Linkova (CZ), with Martin Degand (BE) as Vice-Chair who were re-elected for their second term in October 2020.

SWG GRI activities, outputs and impact

SWG GRI provides recommendations to the Council, Commission and Member States in the following areas:

  • Developments in the field of gender equality in R&I in relation to the implementation of ERA and the EU Framework Programmes (such as gender-based violence in academia, gender and innovation, gender and implicit bias, gender in international cooperation in STI etc.);
  • Mainstreaming gender in other ERA priorities through liaising with other ERA-related groups;
  • Cooperation with the Commission on She Figures (for She Figures 2019 click here);
  • Advancement of monitoring of gender equality in the ERA with adequate indicators;
  • Monitoring policy implementation in Member States and Associated Countries (implementation of ERA Priority 4 actions; implementation of Council Conclusions of 1 December 2015 on advancing gender equality in ERA);
  • Inputs related to gender equality policy in ERA for ERAC Opinions (e.g., ERA Opinion on the Future of the ERA, ERAC Opinion on the Interim Evaluation of Horizon 2020 and preparations for the next Framework Programme, ERAC Opinion on the idea of a European Innovation Council).

The work of the SWG GRI can be followed through its work programmes, annual reports to the European Council and the European Commission as well as meeting reports and written opinions (see section 03 KEY DOCUMENTS below).

In 2019, SWG GRI identified two important policy issues that have not yet received sufficient policy attention. Firstly, it launched a subgroup on gender harassment in academia, with a particular focus on international mobility, which delivered its report and policy brief in June 2020. Secondly, it delivered a policy brief on gender and innovation where it identified necessary policy actions both in terms of innovation as a process and innovation as an output. It paid specific attention to the fast-developing area of Artificial Intelligence. SWG GRI continued its focus on gender mainstreaming through cooperation with several other ERA-related groups (GPC, ESFRI, SFIC). The future of the European Research Area and gender equality was a major topic of exchange in the SWG GRI; the group agreed that the ERA Roadmap was a catalyst for gender equality in R&I in many EU countries and that dedicated actions must continue post-2020.


Marcela Linkova (Chair) Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences
Martin Degand (Vice-Chair) Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles


Ms. ROBERTA SCHALLER-STEIDL, Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research

E-mail: roberta.schaller-steidl@bmbwf.gv.at

Ms. SILVIA NEUMANN, Federal Ministry of Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology

E-Mail: silvia.neumann@bmk.gv.at

Statistical Correspondents:

Ms. GABRIELE SPÖRKER, Statistics Austria

E-mail: Gabriele.Spoerker@statistik.gv.at

Mr. DIETER BAUMANN, Statistics Austria

E-mail: Dieter.Baumann@statistik.gv.at