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Rachel Herbert of Elsevier speaking about Extracting STEM gender indicators from published sources at the GS9EuBuilding on a long time collaboration with Elsevier on “Scenario Building for Early Career Researchers” and Portia’s driving role in the Gender Summits, this new partnership will enable Portia to advance sex-gender sensitive research, innovation, development and deeper understanding through a series of annual SDG reports and the creation of a Gender Summit Consortium.  The consortium will aim to engage the Gender Summit community to map trends and indicators to promote the adoption and measure the impact of gender sensitive approaches in research, innovation and development. Elsevier and The Elsevier Foundation has been a long-term supporter of the Gender Summits, supporting individual events over the years. This partnership will help provide continuity across the regional editions of the Summits and strengthen the work undertaken by the Gender Summits in knowledge production. It will formally and strategically build on the synergies between Elsevier and the Gender Summits. Photograph: Rachel Herbert of Elsevier spoke about Extracting STEM gender indicators from published sources at the GS9Eu.

25 November 2016

30850763281 91deda67c6 mThe Gender Summit 9 Europe was held on the 8-9 November 2016 in Brussels. Portia is the co-founder and -convenor of the Gender Summits, a series of interconnected mission-based events established as part of our genSET project in 2011. The Gender Summits are not just a conference, they are a building a global community of practice to effect positive change. Part of the GS9Eu was held in European Parliament Hemicycle, hosted by the FEMM Committee. The session included contributions from Iratxe Garćia Pérez, Chair, European Parliament Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM), B. Mario Pinto, President, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), Canada, Minister Naledi Pandor, Minister of Science and Technology, South Africa and Prof Marja Makarow, Director, Biocentre Finland; Member, Gender in the Nordic Research and Innovation Area Programme Committee, NordForsk (photographed left-to-right). We are very grateful to the FEMM committee for hosting the session, and keeping gender firmly on the agenda during the development of the Horizon 2020 programme. The Gender Summit overarching theme, guiding its evolution, is Quality Research and Innovation through Equality. At the heart of our work through the Gender Summits is evidence => consensus => action => change. The GS9Eu was held under the sub-theme Gender-based research, innovation and development for sustainable economies and societal wellbeing. This was chosen because the GS9Eu coincides with important policy developments in Europe and globally that look towards science knowledge and technological innovation to create a better future for all. Significant here are: the new EU Gender Action Plan and Horizon 2020; the UN Sustainable Development Goals; the African Union’s Africa 2063 and Continental Education Strategy Africa agenda; and the OECD vision for Inclusive Innovation and Creating Our Common Future through Science and Technology. The GS9Eu was a tremendous success, attracting 250 participants from 40 countries to hear from over 65 speakers in 15 sessions.  Read the #GS9Eu hashtag on Twitter for more on the event. The GS mission is not limited to Europe, it has been taken up across the globe: 2017 will see the GS Asia-Pacific held in Tokyo and the GS North America held in Montreal. Plans are underway for further events in Africa and Latin America. Portia works with selected consortium of key stakeholders in each region to convene the Gender Summits. Find out more via or GS9Eu report to the European Parliament and European Commission.

10 November 2016

EFFORTI logo H2020Dr Elizabeth Pollitzer, Director and founder of Portia Ltd UK, attended the first meeting of the advisory board of a new Horizon 2020 GERI project, EFFORTI Evaluation Framework for Promoting Gender Equality in Research and Innovation. Co-ordinated by Fraunhofer ISI, EFFORTI seeks to analyse and model the influence of measures to promote gender equality on research and innovation outputs and on establishing more responsible and responsive RTDI systems.

3 November 2016

vitae logoDr Elizabeth Pollitzer, presented "Gender and the Gender Dimension in Science" at the Vitae Researcher Development International Conference, Manchester, 12-13 September 2016. The conference attracted 400 participants, including researcher development practitioners, trainers, career specialists, heads of graduate schools, pro-vice chancellors, funders, research managers and other professionals from the UK. "Dr Elizabeth Pollitzer, Director of Portia introduced our audience to a head-spinning number of examples in which research and researchers are affected by gender inequality – reinforcing the need for gender equality to remain on the agenda." Read the full round up of the event here.

15 September 2016

IMG 8115-1024x683Portia and the Elsevier Foundation hosted a workshop entitled "Gender as the lens and driver of better science in Africa and for Africa" at the 2016 #ScienceAfrica UnConference on the 13 September 2016 at Kensington Town Hall, London. 170 guests attended the event under the theme ‘Generation Science: Empowering Africa’s future scientific leaders’, the UnConference challenged attendees to explore new way to equip young Africans with high-level scientific and technical skills. The workshop built on recent discussions of gender issues in science in the context of Africa, which took place at the Gender Summit 5 Africa in April 2014, at Next Einstein Forum in March 2015, and at the Global Research Council meeting in May 2016. The importance and urgency of these gender debates comes from several policy agendas that are currently advancing visions of a better world created through science and technology (e.g. AUC Agenda 2063 and Continental Education Strategy, UN Sustainable Development Goals, EC Open Science, Open Innovation, Open to the World).  We must ensure that the future created with the help of S&T will include and benefits women and men equally. Dr Elizabeth Pollitzer represented Portia and Elsevier Foundation was represented by Programme Director, Ylann Schemm (photographed).  Read more about the event

14 September 2016

Creating Futures In ScieneThe University of Cambridge's Office of Post Doctoral Affairs held a workshop, based on a design developed through Portia's Creating Futures in Science project, on the 8 September 2016. The workshop attracted 35 female PhD and post-docs, mainly from Life Sciences at the University of Cambridge. The workshop is designed to help women map out and navigate the complex science landscape, using scenario-building and composite role-model techniques. The workshop was developed as part of an Elsevier Foundation funded Portia project, in collaboration with Fraunhofer and Tel Aviv University.

10 September 2016

logo-stemnetworkDr Elizabeth Pollitzer, presented "Integrating gender dynamics into innovation ecosystems", "The role of gender-based innovations for the UN sustainable development goals" and "GenPORT connecting research policy and action" at the 3rd Gender & STEM Network Conference, 21—23 July 2016, Newcastle University Business School. The conference attracted 400 participants, including researcher development practitioners, trainers, career specialists, heads of graduate schools, pro-vice chancellors, funders, research managers and other professionals from the UK. "Dr Elizabeth Pollitzer, Director of Portia introduced our audience to a head-spinning number of examples in which research and researchers are affected by gender inequality – reinforcing the need for gender equality to remain on the agenda." Read the full roundup of the event here.

25 July 2016

University-Industry Interaction (UIIN 2016) logoDr Elizabeth Pollitzer, Director of Portia, delivered a presentation on “Crossing The Valley Of Death By Taking Gender Responsive Innovation Steps” today at the University-Industry Interaction (UIIN 2016) in Amsterdam. people from across all walks of life. A recent review, of how to advance European Research Area (ERA) so that science can more effectively help address important societal challenges through innovation, concluded that stronger research and innovation synergies are needed and can be achieved by promoting a more intense participation and interaction of relevant stakeholders in innovation process. The review considered the role of gender, which has been part of the original six criteria of ERA success, and concluded that in future ERA, the gender dimension requires “expansion” and “rebranding” to achieve the necessary gender equality, diversity and empathy in research, and across all innovation activities. Elizabeth gave an introduction how this expansion and rebranding can be put into practice.  Read Elizabeth’s abstract
3 June 2016

Dr Elizabeth Pollitzer at the NRF hosted Gender Policy Dialogue at Global Research Council NRF hosted a Gender Policy Dialogue at the Global Research Council in which Dr Elizabeth Pollitzer spoke on “The Role of Gender-based Innovations for the UN Sustainable Development Goals: Toward 2030: Better Science and Technology for All” . Dr Pollitzer examined how not only is the number of women in STEM an important condition for success in the implementation of the SDGs, but that considerations of the gender dimension in research must be included also. For example, road safety targets have been included in the SDGs. Women are 50% more likely to suffer injury in car accidents due to vehicle design and gendered patterns of use. Topics such of this must be understood in order to achieve the ambitious targets of the SDGs. Elizabeth also drew on other examples from the report produced after the GS6 Asia-Pacific, "The Role of Gender-based Innovations for the UN Sustainable Development Goals: Toward 2030: Better Science and Technology for All”, as part of the Gender Summit mission. The heads of 50 research councils and the delegates attending the GRC meeting have formally adopted the goal to "integrate the gender dimension in research design and in the analysis of research outcomes" as part of their commitment to research excellence and effective stewardship of public funds.

Read the Next Einstein Forum’s press release about the event. Read the NRF press release about the event. 
25 May 2016

CFIS Mexico workshopToday Portia is conducting a Creating Futures in Science workshop in Mexico City with 30 Mexican women, in partnership with Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT), Mexico, dovetailed to the first Gender Summit to be held in Latin America (GS8). Creating Futures in Science is a workshop methodology that uses scenario building and composite role-models to help early stage female researchers navigate their complex STEM career landscapes. Portia developed the workshop in collaboration with Fraunhofer and Tel Aviv University, the pilot phase of which was funded by the Elsevier Foundation. Portia will be working with the University of Cambridge in 2016 to adapt the methodology for use by early stage researchers at the insitution. Read more about the project Creating Futures in Science. See photos from the event on our Flickr account

27th April 2016


STOA working breakfast launching GenPORTThe GenPORT FP7 project -Your Gateway to Gender and Science Resources – officially launched its Internet Portal ( at the European Parliament during a working breakfast hosted by the Science and Technology Options Assessment (STOA) Panel, and attended by MEPs representing the Women's Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) committees, on the 21st April 2016 in Brussels. Portia is a member of the consortium delivering the project, responsible for dissemination and community building. Five MEPs (Mairead McGuinness, EP Vice-President responsible for STOA, Eva Kaili, STOA First Vice-Chair,Terry Reintke, FEMM Committee member, Clare Moody, STOA Panel member and FEMM Committee member, Julie Ward, FEMM Committee member) attended presentations made by renowned Gender and STEM experts, Prof Liisa Husu and Prof Martina Schraudner,  along with 64 participants from over 15 European countries. They gave an insight into the current European context and looked to the future, to how including gender considerations can boost innovation. Jörg Müller, Senior researcher at the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute, Spain, and GenPORT Coordinator, presented the portal and its functionalities designed to support the STEM community in Europe. The launch then relocated to nearby Residence Palace Press Centre for a Stakeholder Forum, which saw contributions from research funders, university associations, civil society and media representatives (listed below) and critical reflection of how GenPORT can further support them in achieving their goals. 60 participants representing 48 organisations from 18 countries attended. We were delighted with the very strong demand for the event, which reached capacity within a week of opening registration. Please sign up to GenPORT to keep up to date with our other activities.

21 April 2016

26087306124 28bc9026fa mThe first Gender Summit held in Latin America has begun in Mexico City today. The Director General of National Council of Science and Technology of Mexico (CONACYT), the Summit hosts, Dr Enrique Cabrero Mendoza is included on the opening panel of the Summit. Read the list of over 60 eminent speakers on the GS8 website. P artners collaborating to bring the Summit platform to Mexico City include the Inter-American Development Bank, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), The National Science Foundation of the USA (NSF), Elsevier, the Fonds de recherche du Québec, The Association for Women in Science (AWIS), the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science program, Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO) Argentina and the UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs Programme. GS8 is held under the theme Science without borders: Improving impact by interlinking gender, geographic, disciplinary and educational dimensions. The day was preceded by a meeting of representatives of institutions of Science and Technology in Latin America at which 25 representative from 12 Latin America countries gathered to plan the Gender Summit Latin America in the coming years. You can follow the live transmission of the event via Foro Consultivo Científico y Tecnológico A. C. Follow the event on Twitter via @gendersummit #GS8

28 April 2016

Gender In Science and Innovation as a component of inclusive growthPortia has published a new report as part of our Gender Summit work. "Gender in science and innovation as  component of inclusive socioeconomic growth"is co-authored by Dr Elizabeth Pollitzer, Director of Portia UK, and Prof Heisook Lee, Principal Research Fellow, Center for Gendered Innovation in Science & Technology Researches (GISTeR) South Korea. The purpose of this report is to show how and why scientific understanding of biological and sociocultural (sex-gender) differences between women and men can enhance success of innovation policies that seek to promote socioeconomic advancements through science and technology. The report builds on the work of the previous Gender Summit report, The Role of Gender-based Innovations for the UN Sustainable Development Goals: Toward 2030: Better Science and Technology for All, applying similar analytical tools to the OECD policy vision of  “Creating  Our Common Future through Science and Technology”. The focus of this report is on how outcomes of innovation can be improved for women and men through better understanding of sex-gender relationships and interactions. This perspective is different from the traditional gender concerns, which tend to focus on gender inequality and empowerment issues, specifically as experienced by women.

28 April 2016

Why gender must be considered in research, International Innovation graphicDr Elizabeth Pollitzer's interview on Why gender must be considered in research was published in today's International Innovation. Elizabeth speaks about Portia's recent report on The Role of Gender -based Innovations for the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the work Portia has been doing with WISET Korea. International Innovation have been the media partner of the Gender Summits since 2011 and continue to dedicate a large part of their content to gender and science.

12 April 2016

Next Einstein Forum, SenegalOn 7th March, linked to the Next Einstein Forum, AIMS (African Institute of Mathematics Sciences) organized an African Women in Science (AWIS) workshop to identify priority actions to improve participation and advancement of African women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and invited Portia to facilitate the event. The workshop built on scientific evidence and experience of similar actions in other regions.  Specifically, it engaged important leaders and actors in adapting for African context the advice of science leaders in Europe subsequently reshaped by 600 participants attending the 3rd Gender Summit in Washington DC (led by the National Science Foundation) into the Roadmap for Action for North America. The expected outcome of the AIMS-AWIS workshop will be an outline of the Roadmap for Action for Africa, which will be developed, advanced and promoted through collaborations between AIMS, its partner organisations, as well as relevant stakeholders, in accordance to their needs and capacity to create change. Guiding this process was the AIMS-AWIS Expert Task Force, chaired by Dorothy Nyambi, AIMS Executive Vice-president, and the Advisory Committee of Leaders, led by Beatrice Njenga, Head of African Union’s Education Division. They reported on of the conclusions and recommendations from the Workshop at a plenary session at the Next Einstein Forum. Progress will be reported and promoted through future Gender Summit events ( 
7th March 2016

WoCaNetThe aim of WoCaNet is to increase the awareness of young female scientists of their own potentials and opportunities by providing an interactive environment and networking possibilities.  WoCaNet 2016 was organized by PhD students and postdocs from the University, the Max Planck Institutes and the European Neuroscience Institute in Göttingen. Elizabeth, Portia’s founder and director, was honoured to deliver the Keynote Closing talk entitiled “Many pathways to excellence but not all are equally rewarded, or rewarding”. Read more about WoCaNet

26 February 2016

SDG thumbnailDiplomats, development experts and scientists joined the launch of the report entitled “The Role of Gender-based Innovations for the UN Sustainable Development Goals: Toward 2030: Better Science and Technology for All.” Managing editors Professor Heisook Lee, President of the Korea Center for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology, and Dr Elizabeth Pollitzer, founder of the Gender Summit platform introduced the intersection between gender, science and global development goals at the event at the Korea Science and Technology Center in Seoul. The report points to gender-based scientific solutions for all 17 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). But what is a “gender-based innovation”, and how can it help a country develop? A gendered innovation is any product or knowledge created with sex and gender taken into consideration. Bearing in mind the female half of the population when conducting research may seem obvious. But, astoundingly, “male” has too often been considered the norm in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine) to date. Think of using only male mice for drug laboratory testing; think of using only male proportions for car safety crash test dummies; or think of using the “model man” for setting radiation exposure standards. These are just some examples where women have suffered because of gender bias in research. Unfortunately science for development – or “sustainability science” is no exception. The launch forms part of a two week tour of South Korea and Japan that Dr Pollitzer is making, attending and contributing to a series of events on Gender and STEM. Read the full report.

28 January 2016



Dr Elizabeth Pollitzer, our founder and director, published "Integrating Gender Dynamics into Innovation Ecosystems" was in Sociology and Anthropology today. Co-authored with Prof Martina Schraudner of Fraunhoffer, the article examines gender as a component of innovation success. Most analyses of innovation systems tend to assume gender-neutral position with regard to identity and roles of participating actors and their activities. However, real-life innovations can often result in different quality of outcomes for women and men; the innovation potential of highly trained women remains unrealised; and the recent socioeconomic empowerment of women as driver of market needs continues to be ignored. Read the article.

07 Januray 2016

GenPORT logoRead Portia's latest blog on the GenPORT Portal on Gender in Horizon 2020 proposals. We have included some important research that serves as a starting point for those putting together Horizon 2020 proposals and need guidance on how to include the gender dimension in their projects. The portal is part of the GenPORT project, an FP7 project. Portia is a member of the consortium delivering the project, we are responsible for dissemination and community building. GenPORT offers an arena for organisations and individuals to showcase and access the world’s best research resources, practical materials, policy briefings, experiences, and much more. Constantly evolving online information and services will be shaped by the activities and contributions of community members. The project launched in 2013 with the portal development phase. The portal will be officially launched in April 2016. Read the blog.

14 December 2015

23520772612 255bfb03cc m2015 was a remarkable year of firsts for the Gender Summit. The first African edition was launched in South Africa in April 2015, the first Asia-Pacific edition was launched in South Korea in August 2015, and the European Summit left Brussels for the first time and was hosted in Germany. Each event has been opened by senior political representatives of the host nation: State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Cornelia Quennet-Thielen (pictured) in Berlin; Minister of Science, ICT and Future Planning, Yanghee Choi in Seoul; and Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor in Cape Town. The Summit has engaged over 1000 delegates from over 45 countries in 2015. We are continuing to build on the dialogue and work started by the community in 2015. The Summit expands to Latin America in 2016 with the GS8 North & Latin America in Mexico City in April and we will return to our place of origin in November 2016 with the GS9 Eu. Portia is the co-founder and on-going architect of the Gender Summit, bringing together key stakeholders from around the globe in a joint mission to make gender equality, and full understanding of the gender dimension in science, the norm.

14 December 2015

Heal the World confernce, UCL MEDSIN Portia Director and founder, Dr Elizabeth Polliter presented on gender issues in health at the "Heal the World Conference" hosted by Medsin. UCL Medsin is a local branch of Medsin UK - the UK's largest network of students that campaign on global health and international development issues. Medsin’s vision is a “fair and just world in which equity in health is a reality for all”. Elizabeth spoke on how gender inequalities permeate every aspect of science, right down to the cellular level.

1 November 2016

GENERA kick-off meeting photoThe GENERA project launched at the beginning of September and, to start as we mean to go on, the project kick-off invited stakeholders from across Europe to come and learn about the project and give input into how we can better support their work through the lifetime of the Project. Robert Jan Smits (Director-General of the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (RTD) opened the day, setting the tone of the meeting. The consortium, which represents top level expertise in both Physics and Gender & Science, introduced the project and we also had representatives from across Europe who are doing outstanding work in the area coming to speak about their cutting edge activities and share their experiences. POrtia is the member of the GENERA consortium responsible for dissemination and valorisation. You can read the full programme, download the presentations and see photos of the event via GENERA Events page.


17 September 2015

logo no text 220pxPortia is part of the consortium that has been awarded a new Horizon 2020 project GENERA - Gender Equality Network in the European Research Area. The project aims to continue, monitor and improve the Gender Equality Plans of Research Institutions and Organizations specifically in the physics research field. These three actions will be performed by a Consortium of 12 beneficiary partner research performing and research funding organizations, and a number of associate partners and observers. The end goal is to propose and create organizational structures allowing physics research in Europe to benefit from the greater presence of talented women at all levels, and which can open up more opportunities for women to create successful careers in physics research and in related fields. While the end goal will focus on the research world, GENERA will look into the origin of the problem by  creating liaisons with schools and proposing suitable programs to foster the field from early stages and to propose measures that can be adopted by middle and high schools.  

21 July 2015

Dr Pollitzer was interviewed by South African Broadcasting Corporation News about the first Gender Summit Africa, held on the the 27-28 April 2015 in Cape Town, South Africa. The Gender Summit platform was introduced to the continent by a partnership of regional research funders led by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC). Partners in South Africa included the Department of Science and Technology, the Department for Women, and the National Research Council, as well as Howard University, USA. The GS5 Africa was received with enthusiastic response from all the participants, who welcomed the idea of applying the gender lens to improve research and development outcomes and the idea that actions must be evidence-based and consensus-led. The event attracted energetic interest from South Africa’s media, with many speakers invited to take part in TV interviews and radio call-in programmes.


27 April 2015


Dr Pollitzer was delighted to contribute to the AAAS Annual Meeting today in San Jose, Calafornia, USA. The American Association for the Advancement of Science is the world's largest general science association with over 125,000 members. The Annual Meeting brought together 14,000 delegates under the theme "Innovations, Information and Imaging". Elizabeth spoke to the international delegates in the session entitled "Gender in STEM Policy, Practice, and Research: Advances in North America and Europe". The Session was moderated by the National Science Foundation of Science (NSF) and also included contribution Chancellor Nancy Cantor of Rutgers University Newark. Read more about the session here.
13 February 2015

Watch Elizabeth's keynote delivered at the 8th European Conference on Gender Equality in Higher Education. The keynote by "one of the world's most informed persons on gender equality matters" gives a marvellous roundup of the research that underpins Portia's work; research that Elizabeth has been studying since Portia's inception in the early 1990s. Elizabeth gives a brief history of gender and science since the 1970s, outlining the shifting paradigm since the early days of "fix the women" to today's understanding of gender issues as criteria of excellence. Read more about the outcomes of GENDER2014 on their website.

12 November 2014

Gender Summit logo2015 sees the Gender Summits expand across the globe. The GS5 Africa will be held in Cape Town on 28 - 30 April, the GS6 Asia-Pacific in Seoul on 26 - 28 August and the GS7 EU in central Europe in Autumn. The newly re-launched is your portal to information on the events. We have also collected resources from previous Summits for you to download and watch. Go to and pick a regional event to learn more and to sign up to the newsletter.

27 October 2014


International Innovation Graphic from the Gender Summit 4 2014Unbreakable Bonds, Issue 156 of International Innovation, features six insightful interviews with speakers from the Gender Summit 4: "Removing the Gender Bias" with Patricia Reilly, Cabinet of Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, Research, Innovation and Science, European Commission; "A Female Perspective" with Daniela Corda PhD, Director, Institute of Protein Biochemistry (IBP), National Research Council of Italy (CNR), Italy; "Balancing the Gender Equation" with Karel Luyben PhD, President, Conference of European Schools for Advanced Engineering Education and Research (CESAER) and Rector Magnificus, Delft University of Technology, Netherlands; "Tapping the Talent Pool" with Paul Boyle PhD, Chief Executive, Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), UK, President, Science Europe; "Engaging and Retaining Bright Minds" with Wanda Ward PhD, Director, Office of Integrative Activities, National Science Foundation (NSF), USA and; "Fair, Balanced and Flexible" with Shewly Choudhury PhD, Deputy Head of Basic Careers, Wellcome Trust, UK. Portia established the Gender Summits in 2011 as part of our genSET project. Just register on the International Innovation website to access all the content.
16 October 2014

Curt Rice speaking at the Gender Summit 4 EUAfter expanding to North America in 2013, this year the Gender Summit returned to Brussels.  The Gender Summit 4 - Europe 2014 (GS4EU), again, brought together experts from research, industry and policy to consider gender research evidence and the ways of improving the quality and impact of research and innovation through the inclusion of gender in science knowledge making and application.  The Programme focused on Horizon 2020, the current €80bn funding programme of the European Commission.Read the conference report here:  GS4 2014 EU Report.

17 September 2014

GENDER2014Dr Elizabeth Pollitzer, Portia's Director, delivered a keynote today at the 8th European Conference on Gender Equality in Higher Education, at the Vienna University of Technology, Austria. The European conferences on gender equality in higher education have since 1998 brought regularly together hundreds of gender equality practitioners, researchers and administrators from Europe and beyond. The conferences provide an international forum to discuss and exchange information and experiences and share research results on the changes and challenges related to gender in academia, gender equality promotion and interventions in higher education and research institutions. A recording of Elizabeth's talk, Changing the Meaning of Normal Science, will be available soon. Read more about the conferences here. Read more about Elizabeth's expertise here.

04 September 2014

PEN Science & Technology Issue 11 coverRead Dr Pollitzer's latest article in PEN S&T. Elizabeth outlines how Horizon 2020 can be seen as Europe's giant leap in mainstreaming gender, which is the focus of the 4th Gender Summit. She outlines the history of gender and science policy in Europe and the exciting developments created through Horizon 2020, the EU's current €80bn research and innovation funding programme. Read the full article here.

23 June 2014

Dr Elizabeth Pollitzer, Director of Portia, gave a talk at The 2014 Regenerative Medicine Event: Stem Cell Reprogramming, convened by EuroSciCon. Her talk was entitled "Cell Sex Matters. It Could Affect Findings". Euroscicon was founded in 2001 after identifying a need for communicating Life Science research between academia and industry. Initially establishing Life Science Events, Euroscicon has expanded to provide online and offline networking for both the Life Science community. The event was held at the O2 in London on 2 June 2014. Read the detailed programme here.

03 June 2014

Together with Fraunhofer and Tel Aviv University, Portia is creating a new 'tool' for supporting female scientists at early stages of their career designed to enable more informed and more appropriate career decisions and plans. You can watch this short video about the project, filmed at our second pilot at Tel Aviv Univeristy, Israel. Watch the video here.

28 May 2014

ResearchMedia article image"The Gender Summits have always addressed the most pressing issues of the day, and this year’s event is no exception. The 4th Gender Summit is set to focus on Horizon 2020, a particularly pertinent topic owing to the framework’s strong emphasis on achieving gender balance in the European scientific community, with new rules ensuring that women are placed at the heart of research and innovation. International Innovation talked to Dr Martina Schraudner and Professor Dr Simone Buitendijk about their roles in the Summits, and the importance these events have for their careers and in raising the profile of the ‘gender in science’ debate..." Read the full article here

15 May 2014

Members of the GenPORT team at the 2nd annual project meeting, ColognePortia attended the second annual project meeting of our current FP7 project GenPORT: Your gateway to gender and science resources. The meeting was kindly hosted by our consortium partner, Gesis - Leibniz Institut für Sozialwissenschaften e.V. (Germany) in Cologne. GenPORT is an FP7 SiS project developing online community of practitioners, served by an internet portal and made up of organisations and individuals working across the globe for gender equality and excellence in science, technology & innovation. We were delighted to have the input of members of the Gender & Science Advisory Group, Professor Teresa Rees CBE AcSS and Professor Renata Siemienska-Zochowska at the meeting. The GenPORT project will be hosting at session at the Knowledge Exchange Forum at this Gender Summit 4 EU. Find out more on the Gender Summit website.

15 May 2014

Dr Pollitzer in South Korea, Gendered Innovation Forum Dr Elizabeth Pollitzer has spent a week with our Gender Summit - Asia Pacific lead partner, WISET, in South Korea planning the event and visiting various stakeholders in the capital, Seoul. WISET (the Korea Advanced Institute of Women in Science, Engineering and Technology) convened a Gendered Innovation Forum under the theme "Science and Technology Innovation through Gender" as well as a busy schedule of meetings where Elizabeth introduced the topic of the gender dimension in science, updated the audience on work in the area in Europe and shared Portia's activities, including the Gender Summits. The Gender Summit - Asia Pacific will be held in Seoul in September 2015 at the South Korea National Assembly. WISET are the regional leader of the event that will also see involvement of key organisations from Japan, Taiwan, Australia and China. Many of the region's economies have based their successful economic growth on the knowledge economy and STEM sectors. Yet this growth is hampered by the often chronic under utilisation of their highly educated women. The Summit will explore ways in which this gender imbalance can be addressed in the region and the opportunities for improved science knowledge making and innovation this will afford. Moreover the Summit will focus on gender dimension in science, the inclusion of sex and gender considerations research design and practice, sharing the latest advances and evidence on the topic. Find out more about the Gender Summits here.

15 April 2014

Pan European Networks logoDr Elizabeth Pollitzer, Portia's Director, published an article in the latest Pan European Networks - Science and Technology edition, released in March 2014. Under the title "The Gender Summit Expansion", Elizabeth outlines the achievements of the Gender Summit in North America, 2013, and looks to the future events planned in Europe, Africa and Asia-Pacific. Read the article here.

14 May 2014

International Congress of Women Mathematicians 2014 (ICWM 2014)The International Congress of Women Mathematicians 2014 (ICWM 2014) is an associated meeting of the 27th *International Congress of Mathematicians 2014 (ICM 2014) which will be held from August 13-21, 2014 in Seoul, Korea. The purpose of the ICWM 2014 is to bring together women mathematicians and supporters of women in mathematical sciences from around the world to showcase the mathematical contributions of women, to exchange ideas about supporting and encouraging active careers for women in the mathematical sciences, and to provide opportunity for mathematicians to meet and talk with women in the mathematical sciences from around the world.

4 April 2014

Gender Summit 4 - Europe 2014 logoTake advantage of extended early bird rate. Extended until 14 April. The Call for Abstracts deadline has also been extended. Join us at the Gender Summit 4 EU to explore Gender in Horizon 2020 with leaders in research, policy and industry from across the world. The event will examine Gender as a cross cutting issue in Horizon 2020. This focus is reflected by representations from senior staff in three European Commission Directorate-Generals: the Director-General of the Joint Research Centre, the Director-General of the DG Energy and the Deputy Director-General of the DG Research and Innovation. Portia is the co-convenor of the Summits, responsible for scientific content and programme development. Read about all of our excellent speakers at

4 March 2014

Robert Bosch Foundation logoPortia is conducting research into the career attributes of successful female scientists by analysing 1200 examples of the CVs listed on the AcademiaNet - the portal to excellent women academics - originated and funded by the Robert Bosch Foundation. The study aims to identify decisions and paths in the careers of 'excellent' scientists to help more junior researchers systematically build 'composite' role model of career paths that are appropriate for them. The project is funded by the Robert Bosch Foundation and is conducted in partnership with Fraunhofer Gesellschaft. "Whilst 'role models' are often referred to when career advice is discussed, there is little understanding how role models actually encourage and support career aspirations and decisions.  This project will promote the use of role models as a more effective, learning tool capable of supporting explorations by junior researchers of the career pathway attributes of their more senior colleagues" said Portia's Director, Dr Elizabeth Pollitzer. Read more about the project here.

17 March 2014

Gender Summit 4 - Europe 2014 logoThe Gender Summit 4 - Europe 2014 registration is now open. Hosted at the European Commission Charlemagne Building, the Summit will bring together 400 participants from across Europe and the world to exchange the latest in Gender and STEM policy, research and practice over a packed 2 day programme. This year's event will focus on the cross-cutting role of gender in Horizon 2020 and how gender issues can be addressed in the major themes and topics of the 2014-2015 Work Programme, such as personalised health, water resources, energy, environment, transportation. Reflecting this cross-cutting nature, senior representatives from 3 Directorate Generals of the European Commission feature in the programme, the Joint Research Centre, DG Research & Innovation, and DG Energy. Portia has been the co-convening partner of the Summits, responsible for programme development and conceptual development, since the series started in 2011. The Gender Summits are a series of conferences and events that explore gender in STEM. Find out more at

1 March 2014

OXFest logoDr Elizabeth Pollitzer, Portia's director, spoke today at the OXFest (Oxford Females in Engineering, Science and Technology) Symposium. The event's theme was "Why So Slow? Closing the gender gap in STEM". Elizabeth's talk, "If I knew then what I know now", explored strategic decision making in academic career planning. "It is hugely important to understand the science career landscape and how it operates; how institutions organise people, and what are the consequences of career decisions, in particular, during early stages.  Your women scientists need to learn how to navigate that landscape and make the career choices that are right for them, and can advance them in the right direction. It was an honour to join a group of eminent scientists and share our expertise with the science leaders of tomorrow." Read more about OXFest their website.

27 February 2014

Houses of Parliament logoA report published today by the UK Houses of Parliament on Women in STEM Careers, featuring evidence submitted by Portia, stated:  "It is astonishing that despite clear imperatives and multiple initiatives to improve diversity in STEM, women still remain under-represented at senior levels across every discipline."  We applaud the thoroughness of the collected evidence that the report has put together showing that women continue to have a harder time advancing in science than men. The compelling nature of the evidence, however, is not reflected with an equal impact in the proposed recommendations, which lack both specificity and strength in advising what needs to be done to shift the proportion of women in senior roles above the current 17%. More comprehensive and detailed recommendations can be found in the Roadmap for Action for North America, which will be published very soon and will be available through the US National Science Foundation (NSF), as well as Portia's website.  The Roadmap is a product of an extensive multi-stakeholder consultation and collaboration, that took place at the 3rd Gender Summit, to identify specific short-, medium- and long-term actions for the respective stakeholder groups to take. Read the full report and more on the Houses of Parliament website.

6 January 2014

Oxford Summit of Leaders logoDr Elizabeth Pollitzer, Portia’s Director, spoke today at the Oxford Summit of Leaders ‘Science and Education’, an event co-oragnised by the Europe Business Assembly,  The Club of the Rectors of Europe (CRE) and EBA Conferences, UK. The main topics for discussion at the forum are: new trends in higher education, the popularisation of modern educational programmes and methods, the presentation of scientific advances and emerging innovative solutions, and the extending of international cooperation in scientific and educational spheres.  Dr Pollitzer gave a talk entitled “The Gender Perspective” on a panel with eminent speakers from around the world.
17 December 2013

Horizon 2020 logoThe first call for proposals for Horizon2020, the new EU funding programme for research and innovation running from 2014 to 2020 with a €70 billion budget, was launched today. In her press conference Maire Geoghegan Quinn, Commissioner for Research, Innovation & Science, Directorate General Research, Innovation & Science directed anyone wishing to get involved in Horizon2020 to take advantage of the recently improved Research and Innovation Participant Portal. Included in the highlighted focus areas among the goals of Horizon 2020 is gender. The website states, "another important priority of the Commission is to ensure gender is embedded in the design of Horizon2020 project proposals". You can read more in today's memo here. At Portia we are very pleased to see this explicit policy focus given to gender.  The €80 billion spent on the previous Framework Programmes has made little difference for women.  It is inconceivable that by 2020 we shall still see only one in five professors being female.  The Commission has taken an important lead in recognising that addressing gender issues is about maximising talent, but also, and critically, it is about the quality of science and competitiveness that better utilisation of science knowledge can bring about.  It is vital that this criteria are fully realised in project proposals through evidenced based objectives. We are looking forward to helping applicants to Horizon2020 respond appropriately and beneficially to this important policy directive. Please contact us if you would like to discuss collaboration in the project you are planning, or some form of consultation to improve your work plan.

11 December 2013

napeslogoDr Elizabeth Pollitzer, Portia’s Director, will be a member of the International Advisory Board of a new project entitled “NAPES - Next Generation Analytical Platforms for Environmental Sensing”. The project is majority funded under Seventh Framework Programme of the European Commission and will run 1/12/2013 – 31/5/2017. The project addresses Work Programme topic "Nanotechnology-based sensors for environmental monitoring" (NMP.2013.1.2-1\0). NAPES is Coordinated by Dublin City University, with 7 other partners from across Europe. Dr Pollitzer will advise on the gender dimension in the project, having collaborated on the formulation of the proposal.

1 December 2013

Gender Summit 3 - North America logoThe Gender Summit 3 - North America was held in Washington DC on the 13-15 November, attracting 650 attendees from 35 countries. During the very successful event, 150 speakers in 30 sessions, experts from across a variety of disciplines, sectors and nations, shared and discussed recent research, new practices, and gaps in knowledge. These discussions provided the material for the GS3NA Roadmap for Action for North America, which will define the plan of action for North America, and provide a model for other regions. One speaker summarised the event “I felt that I learned so much. There appears to be a revolution in people's conceptualization of sex/gender.  Like all human constructs it is changing... The summit really changed my thoughts. For that I am very grateful.  Thank you for a wonderful summit."  The European-North American exchange initiated during the 1st Gender Summit, was further solidified by the announcement of a transnational collaboration between the National Science Foundation and the European Commission made by Dominique Ristori, Director General, Directorate General Joint Research Centre, European Commission, Europe. Other highlights included the announcement of a Gender Summit Africa to be held in 2015, under the leadership of the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), South Africa. Portia is the architect of the Gender Summits, responsible for overseeing the underlying vision and conceptual development. Portia's Director, Dr Elizabeth Pollitzer, said "we were delighted to have the opportunity to transfer our European work to the North American context. Co-convening the Gender Summit 3 North America with major funders from across North America highlighted the benefits of regional collaboration through the Gender Summits and we are looking forward to taking this experience to other regions of the world as well as taking some lessons back home to Europe. We are very pleased with the outcomes and ongoing work that has come out of the GS3NA and look forward to building on this positive work in Europe in 2014".

18 November 2013

The Gender Equality Unit of the University of La Laguna (Tenerife, Spain) has developed the Gender & Science Networking Database. It is an on line free access resource available here. The Database identifies 1284 entities working  at different global regions (Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and North America) to promote gender equality inside and outside universities. 479 are Research Centers on Gender Studies or Gender Equality Units at universities, but there are also other public or private entities and organizations from the Third Sector.   Moreover, the resource offers detailed information of 154 entities committed to gender equality, including Portia. By means of a survey, these entities have shown some kind of interest in network cooperation on this field. Consequently, they have decided to disseminate their identification and contact data, fields of action, organizational features, and their availability and interests for network cooperation in different fields oriented to promote gender equality inside and outside scientific institutions. Each entity is linked to a fact-sheet describing its characteristics and interests. The initiative is a result of the Project Development and participation in networks for cooperation in the promotion of gender equality in science among Canarian, Spanish, European, Latin American and African universities, granted to the Gender Equality Unit of the University of La Laguna by the Spanish Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality and the European Social Fund. The Database is aimed to contribute to create and consolidate networks for cooperation among entities from different countries and sectors, in order to facilitate synergies towards the fulfillment of real gender equality in science, at universities and in society at large. 
14 November 2013

Article published in Pan European Networks on the upcoming Gender Summit 3 - North America. Dr Pollitzer explores the origins, history and potential of the Gender Summit series. You can icon Diversity and Excellence article PEN and read more at

2 October 2013

Dr Pollitzer, a Portia founder and director, was highly commended at the European Diversity Awards at the awards ceremony held last night at the Natural History Museum. The European Diversity Awards are independent awards that recognise and celebrate those organisations and individuals that have shown innovation, creativity and commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion during 2013. Elizabeth was commended in the EmployAbility Innovator of the Year.

26 September 2013

RAND Corporation logoToday in Brussels Elizabeth Pollitzer, Portia's Director, took part in a study to help the European Commission set up a lasting framework to assess global trends for 2030, and develop policy responses across EU institutions. She contributed to the ExpertsLens™ phase of the study, hosted by the RAND Corporation. Dr Pollitzer was "very pleased to be invited and to have the opportunity to raise gender issues in a process designed to inform longterm policy. It is vital that gender issues are incorporated at all levels of policy making, especially at  very early stages such as this, in order to fully take advantage of the opportunities the inclusion of the gender dimension affords us." You can download the report here.

17 September 2013

Elsevier Connect logoToday Elsevier Connect, Elsevier's online community, published an article by Dr Elizabeth Pollitzer, Portia's director, on our current project "Creating Futures in Science". Elizabeth gives an overview of the research that formed the basis of the project and reflections on the pilot workshops held so far. Read the article here.
8 August 2013

Gender & Education Committee logoThe Manifesto for Integrated Action on the Gender Dimension in Research and Innovation was launched after the European Gender Summit 2011 and has since attracted over 4500 signatures. Dr Elizabeth Pollitzer presented the Gender Summit Manifesto at the 56th Annual conference of the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) in 2012. Since then,  CIES's Gender and Education Committee have been working on their own Manifesto on Gender in Education and it is now available to read and sign here. Portia would like to congratulate CIES on this important manifesto and lend our full support.

6 August 213

Nature logo - links to Nature pieceMale and female cells can behave differently — it is time that researchers, journals and funders took this seriously, writes Dr Elizabeth Pollitzer in her comment for Nature. In this fascinating article Elizabeth, Portia's co-founder and director, tracks the many ways that cells differ in accordance with their sex, irrespective of their history of exposure to sex hormones and the implications this has for research methodologies, many of which do not take account of cell sex at present. The article highlights the sex and gender issues in science beyond that of participation, demonstrating the spectrum of issues that our work at Portia covers. Go to the Nature website to read the article.

1 August 2013

European Alliance for Innvation logoEAI was created by leaders from industry, research, and policy making organizations to engage the global community with the shared goal of securing Europe’s future competitiveness through innovation. By harnessing the potential of the ICT revolution, EAI engages the global community in all sectors of society to explore ways in which innovation in technology and business can benefit society at large. EAI combines vision and advocacy of society leaders with a grassroots democratic participative model, functioning together through innovative web tools covering all stages of the innovation cycle to build a new and sustainable innovation paradigm. Portia is proud to have joined as a Member of the Alliance. Read more about their work on the EAI website.
26 July 2013

VERA Forward Visions on the European Research Area logoDr Elizabeth Pollitzer, Portia's Director, participated in the "VERA - Scenario Fleshing-Out Workshop" hosted by Fraunhofer Karlshule. The VERA project, a European Commission Framework Seven funded project, aims to provide relevant strategic intelligence for the future of governance and priority setting of the research, technology, development and innovation systems in Europe. During the workshop European Research Area (ERA) experts and stakeholders contributed to expanding four draft scenarios for ERA's 2030 future. "The organisers had brought together a wide range of experts and stakeholders from across Europe, It was an excellent opportunity for interdisciplinary exchange and input, a vital criteria for policy success". Read more about the Workshop and the VERA project here.

12 July 2013

FEBS congress logoToday Dr Pollitzer held a seminar entitled "We need to talk about sex" at the 38th Congress of the Federation of European Biomedical Sciences in St Petersberg, Russia. The congress is a six day event with over 3000 delegates. Elizabeth's talk, which sparked lively exchange during the session, examined the wide range of different levels where sex and gender impact the quality of science and scientific endeavour, where they are separate and where they interlink. Topics included sexual dimorphism of cells, improving research efficacy for women and men, gender bias in hiring, diversity in teams and much more. Many of these topics will be further explored at the Gender Summit 3 - North America in Washington D.C. on the 13 - 15 November 2013. Read more about the FEBS Congress at

10 July 2013

Robert Bosch Foundation logoPortia is partnering with Fraunhofer Gesellschaft on a new project funded by the Robert Bosch Foundation. We are are examining more than 1000 entries of the excellent women scientists and engineers included in the AcademiaNet database to identify patterns in their career development paths and career decision stratagems they have used to make progress in their careers. Established as the initiative of the Robert Bosch Foundation, Academia Net aims to act as a prime resource for finding high-level candidates for leading job roles, expert panels, or committees.  Each individual accepted to Academia Net has to be nominated by a top-level science institution.  Consequently, the database represents an important source of exemplars of potential role models.  By analyzing and comparing their career profiles, we will extract information about the choices that can be made to successfully navigate the science and employment landscape in which careers develop and can thrive.

18 June 2013

FP7 Capacities logoToday we began the GenPORT project. The four year project will create a portal that supports access to the plethora of excellent resources available on gender and science, to inspire and support action. The project is funded by the EU FP7 Capacities Science in Society Programme under the theme ‘Creating a transnational community of practitioners (Internet Portal)’. We are delighted to be working with five partners from across Europe —  The Open University of Catalonia  (co-ordinator), GESIS in Germany, Fondazione Giacomo Brodolini in Italy, Matej Bel University in Slovakia, and Örebro University in Sweden. Read more about GenPORT in an article by the project director, Dr Juliet Wesbter. 

15 May 2013

International Innovation logoInternational Innovation has published a six page spread in on the European Gender Summits 2011 and 2012. See page 15 (or 13 as per pagination) onwards. A detailed series of articles interviewing key speakers and contributors to the European Gender Summits 2011 and 2012. Portia is a co-convenor of the Gender Summits and we are looking forward to this year's Gender Summit - North America, to be held in Washington D.C. with the National Science Foundation of the USA as the lead North American partner.  Read the articles.
19 March 2013

Dr Elizabeth Pollitzer, Portia Director, with President of DCU, Prof Brian MacCraithDr Elizabeth Pollitzer, Portia's Director, spoke at a Research Day at Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland, 6 February 2013. Her talk was entitled "HORIZON 2020 : what will ‘integrating the gender dimension’ mean in Science and Engineering if it’s not all about role models and recruitment?"

2 March 2013

We have relaunched the genSET website and, along with all the project documents, presentations, briefing documents etc. you can also download over 100 reference documents from the downloads section. genSET is a platform for dialogue between scientists and gender scholars that seeks consensus on actions needed to effectively promote gender equality in science, engineering and technology, both at a participation and research content level. genSET is founded in promoting research excellence through equality. genSET began as a project funded by the European Commission's 7th Framework, of which Portia was the coordinator. We now run it independently at Portia as one of our programmes. The briefing documents, that were prepared for 14 Science Leaders who participated in the genSET Consensus Seminars, provide an excellent introduction to the topic of gender in science. 

2 July 2012

Participants explaining their future CVs at the Israel workshopThe second pilot workshop was held in Israel as part of our Creating Futures in Science project, funded by the Elsevier Foundation's New Scholars programme. 27 participants attended the event hosted our partner organisation, Tel Aviv University, on December 10th and 11th 2012. You can read more about the project here.

11 December 2012


Creating Futures in Science displayThe first of four pilot workshops has been held in Berlin as part of our Creating Futures in Science project, funded by the Elsevier Foundation's New Scholars programme. The event was held at our partner organisation, Fraunhofer Gesellschaft in Berlin, on the 6th and 7th of September 2012. You can read more about the project here.

10 September 2012