Equal Opportunities

The promotion of gender equality is a major focus for MARVEL. Although MARVEL has a number of women professors in key positions, the number of women entering MARVEL-related fields in physics, chemistry, material sciences and computer science is very low. Efforts are focused on recruiting more women scientists and awakening the interest of young girls for scientific careers. Such activities also want to spearhead the broader theme of diversity and inclusion in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). For instance, underrepresented groups are also given priority in the activities organized for kids and junior-level scientists.

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

Why an underrepresentation of women?