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27. June 2014 09:00

New concepts of mobility to foster career development and gender balance in Europe

A session on ‘New concepts of mobility to foster career development and gender balance in Europe’ was jointly organised by the European Science Foundation (ESF) and the mobile Women in Science Engineering and Technology (m-WiSET) working group of Marie Curie Fellows Association (MCFA). As part of the EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF 2014) taking place in Copenhagen from 21-26 June 2014, this session was held at the Carlsberg museum on Sunday 22 June and was attended by around 100 participants.

Today women are still underrepresented in numerous fields and leadership positions. This under-representation affects more the Western countries, most probably due to economic reasons. Furthermore, when careers of men and women are compared mobility patterns are found to be different. For instance, women tend to prefer virtual mobility approaches, such as cross-border research collaboration without the need for physical mobility. Merit review does not always acknowledge mobility patterns. The aim of the session was to explore women leadership models and different mobility patterns, i.e. geographical, inter-sectorial, inter-disciplinary or virtual.

The session commenced with speeches from Conor O’Carroll (Chair of the ERA Steering Group on Human Resources and Mobility), Laura Marin (Swedish Research Council) and Gianna Avellis (MCFA & InnovaPuglia) and continued into lively Round Table discussions, each focusing on key questions of the session in relation to virtual mobility, appraisal of different mobility concepts and mobility patterns by women researchers. We would like to thank Beate Scholz (Scholz – consulting training coaching) for moderating the session and the chairs and rapporteurs of the round tables (Maria Bostenaru Dan, Riia Chmielowski, Antonella di Trapani, Maria Manuela Nogueira, Cornelia Soetbeer and Magdalini Theodoridou) for keeping discussion centred and for concise statements.

The session programme and conclusions can be downloaded under the Files link below (along with two ESF publications)

For more information, please contact the session co-organisers

Maria Bostenaru Dan (MCFA) Maria.Bostenaru-Dan[at]

Maria Manuela Nogueira (ESF) MNogueira[at]

The original session details are available on the ESOF session webpage

UPDATE: The outcome of this session was published in the format of a Correspondence in Nature in July 2014 entitled “Virtual mobility can drive equality”.Read the full Correspondence online or download the pdf version (see Files below).