CNRS wins the European Gender Equality Prize in the ’advanced’ category

On May 15 in Brussels, CNRS was awarded the European Prize for Gender Equality in the "advanced" category. The award recognizes the CNRS’s commitment to gender equality over the past twenty years.

Created in 2023 at the initiative of the European Commission, the European Gender Equality Prize aims to highlight the results achieved by European public research establishments in implementing their gender equality action plan. To date, CNRS is the first French institution to receive this award. Endowed with 100,000 euros, it was presented on May 15, 2024 by Iliana Ivanova, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, to Antoine Petit, Chairman and CEO of CNRS.

"CNRS has been committed to gender equality for over twenty years, with the creation of a dedicated mission in 2001. When I took over as head of the CNRS in 2018, I made gender equality a top priority for the CNRS. We need to attract more women to scientific careers by offering them role models, and combat ’sexist’ prejudice in recruitment and promotion processes," emphasizes Antoine Petit.

Over the past twenty years, CNRS has implemented a number of significant initiatives: three plans for equality between women and men; the creation of a dedicated mission as well as a network of equality referents of around 500 people within CNRS research laboratories and delegations; the organization of major events and conferences with international partners; or numerous key measures (mitigating measures in terms of evaluation criteria and financial support, systems for reporting, sanctioning and helping victims of gender-based violence, awareness-raising actions...).

And, the results are tangible as the share of women in research officer hires over the past five years has risen from 34% in 2017 to 42% in 2022. Over the same period, the percentage of women promoted to research director has risen from 33% to 43%. In addition, the proportion of women heading research laboratories has risen from 22.4% in 2019 to 25% in 2022. Lastly, over the past ten years, five women researchers have received the CNRS’s highest annual scientific distinction, compared with just two women since the prize was created in 1954.