Brussels. Science and technology, innovation is not female. Not in Italy, at least, where the female share for the sector is the smallest in the European Union in a key sector for innovation and competitiveness, especially if linked to the need for “clean-tech” for the Union’s sustainability agenda European. Eurostat maps Europe’s male and female scientists through a colored map with an increasing color scale depending on the female participation rate. Data updated to 2022, Italy is the only country in the European Union almost entirely colored yellow, which means female presence in laboratories, industries, research centers and universities is less than 47% of all workers in the sector.
A situation that is not happy even at the macro-area level, and underlined by the European Statistical Institute itself, which in the note accompanying the interactive map cannot help but specify that «the macro-regions with the lowest percentage of women employed in the scientific and technological sector they are recorded in the North-West Italian region (45.3%), Malta (45.8%) and in the South Italian region (46.1%)”.
Looking at the colored map of the European Union, therefore, an Italy emerges that is struggling to keep up with the other twelve-star partners for gender equality in the scientific-technological sector. The situation implicitly draws attention to a country system that would probably need interventions in various areas such as education, access to the world of work, reconciliation between family life and professional life. An invitation that can be obtained from the map of Italy which is differently competitive and open to skills in the squad.
The situation takes on other contours if translated into absolute numbers. However, the 3.4 million women active in the scientific-technological world are one of the largest numbers in Europe, also thanks to a demographic ratio that makes Italy one of the most populous countries in the bloc of twenty-seven. At the end of 2022, only Germany (9.1 million) and France (6.1 million) recorded a higher number of female scientists than their Italian colleagues. Of course, the ratio of around 1:2 and 1:3 should also be noted, with Italy having around half of the female employees in France and almost a third of those active in Germany. Furthermore, women with technological skills in Italy are threatened by their Polish colleagues: there are 3.3 million, around 100 thousand less, who are active in a sector where Italy proves to be less suitable for female quotas than the rest of Europe.