Europe Women in research and development: Germany lags behind

Women continue to be significantly underrepresented in research and development (R&D) in Germany. Their share amounted to just 29.4% in 2021. This was one of the lowest figures in the EU-27. Similarly low figures were recorded in Hungary (29.3%) and Czechia (27.1%).

In contrast, women were strongly represented in a number of eastern EU countries. The top value was achieved in Latvia, where the proportion of women in the research sector was 49.8%. The rate was almost as high in Croatia (48.8%), Lithuania (48.5%) and Bulgaria (48.3%). Overall, the EU-27 average amounted to 33.7%.

The proportion of women in R&D has hardly changed over the last decade. In the ten year period from 2011 to 2021, the share of women increased from 26.8% to 29.4% in Germany and from 32.1% to 33.7% in the EU-27.

Women researchers particularly underrepresented in businesses

In the R&D departments of German companies, the proportion of women was particularly low in 2021 at just 15.6%. The representation of women in R&D was significantly higher in higher education (41.4%) and the government sector (38.3%). Only in Czechia (14.1%) and Luxembourg (14.5%) reported lower ratios among research staff in businesses. The EU-27 average was 22.4 %.

Last update: 17.10.2023. The most recent data can be accessed in the Eurostat database. More data on research in Germany can be found in the national section of our website.

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