EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Gender aspects in Marine Science

Başak Kısakürek Ibsen1, Tiit Kutser2, Katja Matthes1, Marike Schmeck3, Johanna Stadmark4, Viktorija Vaitkevičienė5, Helena Valve6, Joanna Waniek7, and Iris Werner8
Başak Kısakürek Ibsen et al.
  • 1GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Kiel, Germany (
  • 2Estonian Marine Institute, University of Tartu, Tallinn, Estonia
  • 3Kiel University of Applied Sciences, Kiel, Germany
  • 4Lund University, Lund, Sweden
  • 5Klaipėda University, Klaipėda, Lithuania
  • 6Finnish Environment Institute, Helsinki, Finland
  • 7Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde, Rostock, Germany
  • 8Kiel University, Kiel, Germany

The EU-funded project, Baltic Gender (, has been working since 2016 to help reduce gender segregation and gender inequalities in marine science and technology. Gender-sensitive indicators from eight institutions participating in Baltic Gender (from Estonia, Finland, Germany, Lithuania and Sweden) set the scene for the status of gender equality in marine S&T in Europe today. Although 34-50% of doctorate students are women, this proportion drops dramatically at professorship positions (0-27%). The glass ceiling index can be used to look at the career phase, where bottlenecks in an institution appear (i.e., where the retention rates of different genders vary the most). More women than men are observed to drop out at the transition from postdoc to faculty positioning or from junior professorship to professorship, depending on the career path development plan of the specific institution. Data from German research ships (Sonne, Maris S. Merian, Meteor, Poseidon, Alkor, Polarstern, Heincke, Elisabeth Mann Borgese) show that the average length of the scientific cruises led by men and women was the same in 2018, but only one fifth of the chief scientists were women.

Baltic Gender implemented activities at three levels. At the individual level, initiatives (such as mentoring, leadership trainings and grass-root networks) were introduced to support career growth and networking, especially at those career stages where bottlenecks exist. At the structural level, best practice examples were selected from Baltic Gender partners and collected in a handbook to promote structural changes. These best practice examples support equal opportunities, transparent processes and respectful cooperation in marine sciences. Additionally, custom tailored training sessions were organised in the Baltic Gender institutions to raise awareness on various topics such as unconscious bias, work-life balance, border violations to name a few. At the research level, a new methodology that guides the integration of gender perspectives into the content of marine science projects was developed and tested. Finally, Baltic Gender endorsed the integration of the above-mentioned indicators, initiatives and practices in the Gender Equality Plans (GEPs) of its partner institutions, paving the way for long lasting and gender fair structures.

How to cite: Kısakürek Ibsen, B., Kutser, T., Matthes, K., Schmeck, M., Stadmark, J., Vaitkevičienė, V., Valve, H., Waniek, J., and Werner, I.: Gender aspects in Marine Science, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-15174,, 2020

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