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Gender and Diversity in Research

Discover the latest data-driven insights and how we can build a more inclusive world of research

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Gender and Diversity in Research - Portrait image - Women smiling and holding scientific flask

Our commitment

We are committed to advancing inclusive research using an evidence-based, data-driven approach. By tracking progress, providing insights and bringing together experts, we aim to support informed policy decisions and data-led action towards a better balance of gender participation in research and innovation.

Elsevier's 2024 Gender Report tracks and analyzes data across 18 countries and 2 regions (EU 27 and the world) examining women’s performance in research and innovation across disciplines and career stages. Our Report provides new insights into interdisciplinarity, multidisciplinarity, grant recipients, patent applications, open access, UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) research areas, as well as alternative metrics including policy and media citations. 

Elsevier's Gender and Diversity in Global Research Report Cover

Explore Progress towards Gender Equality in Research & Innovation – 2024 Review which examines progress towards parity and offers insights into how gender impacts the research journey

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"I was just so taken aback and excited by the Gender Report's scope, depth, breadth, thoughtfulness and potential for real impact. It can lead to institutional change and real culture change, within institutions, funding agencies, and individual researchers."

Hannah Valantine Headshot


Hannah Valantine, Dr

Professor of Medicine at Stanford University

Key highlights

Here are several noteworthy insights derived from evidence-based research:

  • Women have made gains in the last two decades – as of 2022, they represent 41% (compared to 28% in 2001) of all active researchers globally, with strong representation in Health Sciences.

  • However, gender diversity hasn’t progressed equally in all fields, for example in the physical sciences women represent just 33% of researchers.

  • Women’s participation in the research workforce differs substantially by country/region. In Portugal and Argentina, just over half (c52%) of active researchers are women, around 40% in the USA and UK and 33% in India, now the world’s third largest research producing country.

  • The average share of women among grant awardees increased globally from 29% in 2009 to 37% in 2022.

  • Women’s progress is especially marked when assessed using indicators around societal impact, with their research more likely than men’s to be cited in policy documents and media.

The report offers five recommended areas of action for the research and innovation communities:  

  1. Accelerate commitments and actions towards greater gender equity in research.

  2. Stop the decline in participation with rising seniority by prioritizing retention of early-career women researchers into mid and advanced career stages.

  3. Develop incentive structures to help women play an equal part in the full research and innovation value chain, including patents and IP.

  4. Apply a broad range of indicators to measure research effectiveness, including societal and policy impact.

  5. Continue to collect and report inclusion and diversity data to monitor progress, identify gaps, evaluate policies, and drive accountability.

Our longstanding commitment to gender and diversity

By working together to remove systemic obstacles to participation and actively supporting career progression, we can continue to create an inclusive research ecosystem. Our gender reports provide date by discipline and country on how representation of women is evolving; they identify gaps and where there is real progress.

Two female scientists talking to male colleague