International Women’s Day - COST fully committed to support Women leadership.


Since early 1900, the International Day of Women, March 8th, marks a date to celebrate how far women have come in society, in politics and in economics to reflect on progress made. Over time, it has evolved, and it is celebrated to inspire next generation of women and their achievements. Women are still at the forefront of diverse movements for social change and equality. That includes their leading role in taking a stand against climate change, fighting for a green economy, pushing for women’s rights and gender equality.

COST is fully committed to promoting gender equality and supporting talented women in research and innovation. The COST Excellence and Inclusiveness Policy strongly encourages gender balance of research networks, as well as the take up of leadership positions by (young) female COST Action participants. As such, COST aims to ensure equal opportunities and gender-friendly career advancement.

State of play of women representation in COST Actions:

  • 47% of female representation in COST Actions
  • 37% of the Chairs and 49% of the Vice-Chairs are women
  • 49% of the total participants in COST Actions are young female researchers
  • 53% of ITC participants in COST Actions are women

Watch the interview of Dr Anusha Panjwani – Head of Science Operations at the COST Association.

Even if progress is slow, COST is committed to taking that challenge further by encouraging women researchers to take more leadership positions within the COST Actions. In the EU, women are still underrepresented with only 8% of CEOs of the EU largest companies are women according to the European Commission latest figures.

This year theme is focusing on women’s leadership in all forms calling for women as key contributors.  It seemed obvious to COST to join the campaign and support women researchers in the challenges they will continue to face.

Additional reading

Supporting women in science and technology

Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025

The UN official page – International Women’s Day

UN Women Generation Equality