Women are still seriously under-represented in leading positions in the academic and scientific fields. Only 21% of the highest paid professorships in the EU are held by women; in some countries the proportion is even lower. The figures are similarly high for key committees and commissions that decide on research awards, the appointment of professors and research funding. There is now a consensus in politics and science that the under-representation of women in academic leadership positions represents an untapped potential. However, there is a lack of tools to help decision-makers find proven female experts.
AcademiaNet is intended to be such an instrument. The database contains the profiles of women academics from all disciplines. Decision-makers can use the database to search for the best in their field. This makes it easier to fill scientific committees with female experts, to ask female speakers for a panel and to identify candidates for appointment procedures and awards. AcademiaNet is also a useful tool for journalists and conference organizers who are looking for proven female experts.