Europe is working hard to close the gender gap in research and innovation – and it is starting to pay off.

The latest She Figures publication from the European Commission shows that improvements are being made, with women now the majority among PhD graduates, for example, but there is still a long road ahead.

There is progress but it is slow. And we still have a long way to go to achieve full gender equality. For example, our data shows that women innovators are few and far in between. We cannot sit back and assume that having planted the seeds of gender equality, the positive trends will continue. As the past has shown us, gender inequality does not fix itself. What we need is a complete cultural change, which requires systematic and coordinated actions, education and strong political commitment by all actors involved. We have to keep an open mind and learn from other sectors that have gone before us. For instance, if voluntary targets do not deliver the results we need, it could be time to take a serious look at quotas for management positions in universities,” wrote Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science & Innovation, in the foreword to the most recent She Figures report. “Gender equality is not only a matter of concern for women; it must matter to all of us. If we want to take scientific excellence to the next level; if we want to deliver science-based solutions to the many urgent and pressing global challenges, we need all talents in play. There is still a long and bumpy road ahead of us but every single step we take is worth it. We can shatter the glass ceiling, we can fix the system that keep women from developing their talents fully. I therefore invite you all to act as ambassadors of change to close the gender gap. Together, we will succeed.”

On this #InternationalWomensDay add your voice to calls for actions that will lead to more #WomeninScience