Women in Science 2015

In 2013, 7 448 persons were employed in research in Latvia1, of which 3 871 or 52 % were women. According to the Eurostat data, in 2011 Latvia was the leading European Union (EU) country with the highest share of women among scientific staff, thus exceeding the average indicator in the EU (33 %). For comparison, in Great Britain 38% of women are employed in research, but in France – 26 %.

It must be noted that in 2012 share of women with doctorate in Latvia was the highest in the world. 60 % of all doctorate holders were women, but in the EU – 47 %. Share of women with doctorate in the USA was 53 %, in Estonia – 51 %, in Germany – 45 %. The lowest share of women with doctorate was in Japan (30 %).

The majority (43 %) of researchers-women employed in research is aged 35 to 54 years. 25.4 % of women are aged 34 years and less, but 12.2 % are over 65 years.

The highest share of women in the higher education sector was in humanities sector– 71.9 %. Also in medicine (69.9 % of the staff are women), social sciences (66.2 %) and agriculture (61.2 %) mainly women are employed.

Even though in Latvia more than a half of researchers is comprised by women, share of women who are in charge of higher education institutions, is lower. In 2010, 17 % of heads of higher education institutions were women, on average in the EU 10 %.  The highest share of women-heads of higher education institutions is in Sweden (43 %) and Finland (31 %).

Possibility that in Latvia woman working in research sector will hold high academic position is rather low. However, in 20102 "Glass ceiling" index in Latvia was 1.78, which means that prospects for women to hold high academic positions is better than in the EU on average (1.80). For comparison, "Glass ceiling" index in Lithuania was 2.96, in Sweden – 2.14, where possibility for a woman to become a full professor is smaller.

Glass ceiling index measures possibility with which women will hold leading positions as compared to men working in the same area. It is calculated using two indicators: share of women–full professors and share of women of the total academic staff. If the value is 1, prospects of women and men are equal, but, if value is over 1, men have larger prospects, and "glass ceiling is thicker".

Continuing infographics series devoted to research statistics, in April CSB will publish main data on financing for research and indicators characterizing scientific staff. More information on research can be found in the CSB data base in section "Science".

Data visualization made up by the CSB, of which infographics devoted to the previous International Women's Day "Portrait of a woman in Latvia, 2014" is available in the CSB homepage in section "Infographics and videos".


1 Researchers are scientists (natural persons that have acquired scientific qualification – Doctor of Science and are involved in research activities) and professionals with an academic degree or higher education diploma engaged in basic or applied research or experimental development to create new knowledge, products, processes, methods and systems, as well as managers and administrators engaged in planning and management of the scientific and technical aspects.

2 Publication of the European Commission "She figures 2012: Gender in Research and Innovation, Statistics and Indicators". Available:

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