With few women in Europe taking up research jobs, a campaign launched Thursday by the EU executive seeks to convince teenagers that science is a "girl thing."
"Science does not just mean old men in white coats," said Research and Science Commissioner Maire Geoghegan-Quinn. "The under-representation of women in a sector so vital to our economy does not make sense at a time when Europe is fighting for more growth and jobs."
Women represent more than half the students across the 27-nation European Union and 45 per cent of all doctorates but account for only one third of career researchers, the European Commission said.
With the EU needing up to one million more researchers by 2020, the three-year campaign will seek to get teenage girls interested in studying science, technology, engineering and maths.
A second phase will encourage female students to pursue scientific careers.
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