Promoting gender equality in the science and innovation system, as well as being a basic principle of law, is a guarantee of excellence in R&D&I and has to contribute to:

  • Achieving real and effective equality between women and men in all areas and levels of science, technology and innovation; Using and retaining talent, without leaving anyone behind..
  • Integrating the gender dimension into R&D&I policies, programmes and projects.

It has to be achieved through the design and monitoring of specific equality policies in R&D&I, as well as the integration of equality and gender mainstreaming in sectoral science and innovation policies.

This is all done through the Equality Unit, the Women and Science Unit and the Women, Science and Innovation Observatory​​​​​​​​, bodies located in the Minister's Office in the current ministerial structure as a result of the Ministry's commitment to gender equality in the science, technology and innovation.

Equality in figures

Spanish science does not yet benefit from full equality in the participation of women and men in the R&D&I system.

The figures available at the general level in Spain show inequality of women with respect to men in different dimensions, including: horizontal and vertical segregation; the wage gap; interruptions and obstacles in their careers; their under-representation in executive and decision-making positions; or their predominance in part-time work. All these and other areas specific to the field of science and innovation are areas for action to achieve full gender equality in R&D&I.

To do this, it is essential to have an adequate statistical and indicator system in place. Having detailed diagnostic data is key to promoting and monitoring policies on equality between women and men in R&D&I and in the Ministry.

Equality policies

The promotion and monitoring of equality policies, measures and actions in R&D&I and in the Ministry are carried out through the Equality Unit, the Women and Science Unit and the Women, Science and Innovation Observatory.

In addition, the different public research and funding bodies that are affiliated or dependent on the Ministry have equality units and technical equality groups to promote and monitor equality plans and measures within their respective bodies.

Legal and technical structures are essential for equality policies to meet quality and professional criteria and to ensure that their actions are monitored and sustainable in the medium and long term.

R&D&I Equality Seal

The "Gender Equality in R&D&I" mark of excellence recognises the entities that stand out in the development of policies on equality between women and men in their responsibilities by implementing equality plans and integrating the gender dimension into their programmes and projects.

This distinction is awarded through annual calls in which any public or private entities can participate that stand out in the application and results of gender equality measures developed in their organisations in terms of: working conditions, organisational models in other areas, existence of protocols and positive actions in terms of equality and integration of the gender perspective into their projects, etc.


This section aims to highlight the participation of women in all R&D&I fields. It is necessary to grant the recognition that their research and innovation work deserves and thus promote the dissemination of these scientific contributions in the Spanish R&D&I system. The dissemination of publications, exhibitions and teaching materials that help reduce women's traditional invisibility in science, technology and innovation also needs to be supported.

The following sections include the most relevant information on Women in Science, Women and Innovation, STEM Careers and Teaching Resources to further gender equality in science, technology and innovation. Materials, guides and resources are included to promote, educate and raise awareness on gender equality in science, technology and innovation.

Priority areas

The priority areas for action are:

  • Identification and monitoring of gender inequalities that persist in the Spanish science and innovation system.
  • Visibility of the contribution of female researchers and innovators.
  • Promoting the non-stereotyped choice of studies and professions.
  • Elimination of biases and obstacles in scientific career development.
  • Balanced presence of men and women at all levels and in all areas, especially in decision-making.
  • Gender biases in access to selection and/or funding processes.
  • Transformation of organisational culture towards equal and diverse environments.
  • Gender dimension in R&D&I content.

International scope

Promoting and integrating gender equality in all R&D&I areas, both internationally and in the European Union, is also a priority.

The Women and Science Unit (UMyC) is a proactive agent in promoting EU policies on gender equality in R&D&I through different forums.

The UMyC promotes:

  • Spain's role as a benchmark in the EU in R&D&I equality policies.
  • The dissemination and promotion of European guidelines on gender equality in R&D&I.
  • The internationalisation of Spanish science and innovation and the promotion of cooperation with third countries in compliance with gender equality criteria.
  • The generation of networks and the exchange of knowledge and good practices in terms of equality policies between Spanish institutions that access international consortia and European funding.

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