As in many other scientific and engineering fields, the number of women 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 2020, the share of women at PhD level at EPFL was 22% in physics (25% for undergraduates), 23% in computer science (14% for undergraduates), 36% in materials science (32% for undergraduates) and 34% in chemistry (47% 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 women 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 objective of phase II was to double the number of women PhD students within the NCCR, thank to these fellowships; with 21 women PhD students in year 7 compared to 9 in year 3, we have already achieved this objective!
- the Agility Plus grants to increase the number of women at PI level in phase II;
- activities in MARVEL related domains for girls and young women;
- the recognition of women researchers' excellence and the increase of their visibility;
- the promotion of work-like balance for all, the focus that women scientists are represented and appreciated, the raise of gender awareness and the guarantee of an ethical and inclusive culture.