Inclusion & Diversity Advisory Board

Improving gender balance in academic research globally

Meet the Board

Gender imbalance in academic research is manifested in many different ways: from the low proportion of women who are tenured professors, to the extremely low rates of grants awarded to female researchers, to the monetary value of these grants and how the research itself is produced.

As a global leader in scientific publishing, Elsevier can make an impact in key areas which impede the progress of female researchers. Through the creation of an Inclusion & Diversity Advisory Board, we resolve to:

  • Work with academics, funding bodies and higher education institutions to promote gender balance across the STEM academic career path
  • Work with academics and publishers to promote greater gender balance in the peer review and publishing process
  • Promote gender balance at STEM conferences, especially among speakers and panel members
  • Promote gender balance best practices within government to help foster diverse and inclusive future generations of STEM graduates
  • Publish an annual report to highlight areas of progress and summarise the actions of the I&D Advisory Board

Read our announcement on the launch of the 2020 Gender Report and our Inclusion & Diversity Advisory Board.

The Board brings together nine influential academic scientists, policymakers, I&D and gender researchers, and professionals in STEM who are committed to driving change in gender balance.

Elsevier initiatives

Analytics: Elsevier has developed a special 2020 report, “The Researcher Journey Through a Gender Lens: A Global Examination of Research Participation, Career Progression and Perceptions,” which examines participation and performance in research through a gender lens across the European Union and 15 countries globally in 26 subject areas. The report is Elsevier’s third Gender Report and reaffirms the company’s broader commitment to gender diversity and inclusion as a member of the global research community and in support of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 5 “to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.”

Awareness: Since 2011, we have been staunch supporters of the Gender Summits which serve as forum for researchers, scientific institutions, policymakers and other stakeholders to “make gender equality in science and research the norm and promote the inclusion of the gender dimension in STEM research.” as underscored by Dr. Elizabeth Pollitzer, Director of Portia, founder of the Gender Summits and a member of our I&D Board.

Editorial Boards: Since 2016, we have made a concerted effort to achieve greater gender diversity on our editorial boards across all our journals. Today, we are at a 22-78% women to man ratio and are committed to improving this balance through a dedicated taskforce. In addition, The Lancet has established a 50:50 gender ratio for its Board, aiming for parity across all of its journals by 2020.

Peer review: We are committed to addressing biases in peer review and have set up a process for tracking gender across all of Elsevier journals to measure progress. To that end, our journal Cell has recently defined an objective of widening their reviewer pool, having established that 18% of reviewers are women.

Content: in February 2019, we published the Lancet Special Issue on Advancing Women in Science, Medicine and Global Health. And the Women's & Gender Studies Research Network (WGSRN) on SSRN provides access to research, scholarship and policy to build knowledge on women’s rights and equality, gender identity and gender representation, including men’s studies and queer studies. We are also fully committed to incorporating enhance editorial guidance for sex and gender reporting in research studies across our journal portfolios to enable the most robust and inclusive research possible in all fields.  Driving awareness and compliance is also an integral part of being a good partner to funding bodies, institutions and researchers who publish with us.

Conferences: In 4 years, we have increased the participation of women invited speakers at about 50 Elsevier conferences from 15% to 32% and we continue to work towards greater gender diversity for speakers and conference attendance overall.

Grants: Since 2006, the Elsevier Foundation has supported ca 60 grants worth $3 million to advance women scientists and level the academic playing field. A longstanding partnership with OWSD focuses on boosting the visibility and recognition of women scientists in developing countries: Live from #AAASmtg in Seattle: follow our award-winning women in science.

Partnership: Elsevier hosts a dedicated group on its Mendeley and SSRN platforms in support of the ADVANCE Resource and Coordination (ARC) Network Community managed by the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) and supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Elsevier has also supported the annual AWIS Innovation and Inclusion Summit and Awards Dinner since the program’s inception in  2016.


Read more about how Elsevier is contributing to improving gender balance in science: