Equal Opportunities

The promotion of gender equality is a major concern for MARVEL. Although MARVEL has a number of female professors in key positions, the number of female students entering MARVEL-related fields in physics, chemistry, material sciences and computer science is very low. Efforts are focused on recruiting more female scientists and awaking the interest of young girls for scientific careers.

As in many other scientific and engineering fields, the number of female students entering MARVEL-related curricula and, in particular, continuing a science or engineering career in industry and academia is low. The main fields related to MARVEL are physics, chemistry, material science and computer science.  

In 2017, the share of women at PhD level at EPFL was 20% in physics (23% for undergraduates), 22% in computer science (13% for undergraduates), 29% in materials science (31% for undergraduates) and 30% in chemistry (42% for undergraduates). In 2017, 27% of EPFL's scientific staff (professors and scientific collaborators, including PhD students) are women. At ETHZ, this share of women is 28%. Significant efforts have been made in recent years to increase the number of female professors. Their percentage among full, associate and assistant professors has risen from 9% (2006) to 16% (2017) at EPFL, and from 8% (2006) to 14% (2016) at ETHZ. 

These ratios demonstrate that further efforts are essential in order to increase the number of women at all levels. MARVEL is active at many levels, e.g., with the INSPIRE Potentials — MARVEL Master's fellowships to showcase its research domains to Master's students and open the way towards continuation at the PhD level, the Agility Plus grants to increase the number of women at PI level in phase II, or activities in MARVEL related domains for girls and young women.

Why an underrepresentation of women?