CORRESPONDENCE

Denmark’s exemplary gender balance trips up in science

Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, University of Colorado, Boulder, USA.
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University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

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University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

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Aarhus University, Denmark.

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Denmark is among the world’s leading scientific countries in terms of output, citations and funding (Nature 569, 470–471; 2019). Despite this, and the country’s renowned high level of equality, its gender balance in science lags embarrassingly behind that in many other European Union countries.

Almost half of the associate professors in Sweden and Finland, for example, are female, compared with only 30% in Denmark — although each country spends around 3% of its gross domestic product (GDP) on research. Only 20% of full professors in Denmark are women, compared with more than 30% in Latvia, Lithuania and the United Kingdom (see go.nature.com/2yz3eri), where research accounts for just 0.5, 0.9 and 1.7% of GDP, respectively (see go.nature.com/2suftd2).

Danish women still secure fewer large grants (see go.nature.com/2nngf2i) and account for a smaller proportion of national- academy members than their male colleagues.

New initiatives to close this gender gap in the country’s hallmarks of scientific excellence include the ‘Promote me’ campaign (http://promoteme.co) and the Danish Society for Women in Science (www.danwise.org).

Nature 572, 178 (2019)

doi: 10.1038/d41586-019-02369-y

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