This fact sheet presents the latest UIS data on research and experimental development (R&D) available as of June 2018.
The gender gap in science
Overall, women account for a minority of the world’s researchers. Despite the growing demand for cross-nationally-comparable statistics on women in science, national data and their use in policy-making often remain limited. This fact sheet presents global and regional profiles, pinpointing where women thrive in this sector and where they are under-represented.
Researchers are professionals engaged in the conception or creation of new knowledge. They conduct research and improve or develop concepts, theories, models, techniques instrumentation, software or operational methods (Frascati Manual, 2015). The global map (see Figure 1) depicts the share of women in the total number of researchers by country.
Figure 1. The gender gap in science
Women as a share of total researchers, 2016 or latest year available
The vast majority of data are presented in headcounts (HC), which are the total number of persons employed in R&D. This includes staff employed both full-time and part-time. The regional averages for the share of female researchers (based on available data only) for 2015 are:
- 28.8% for World
- 48.1% for Central Asia
- 45.4% for Latin America and the Caribbean
- 39.8% for Arab States
- 39.5% for Central and Eastern Europe
- 32.3% for North America and Western Europe
- 31.3% for Sub-Saharan Africa
- 23.4% for East Asia and the Pacific
- 18.5% for South and West Asia
Figures 2, 3 and 4 illustrate women researchers as a percentage of the total number. Based on headcount data, these figures include part-time and full-time researchers.
* = Based on FTE data.
Copyright UNESCO 2018
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