More women enroll in doctorate degree programs, but men hold higher positions

More than half of all students enrolled in doctorate degree programs in Croatia are women, but men hold higher positions, the chairman of the selection board of the national program “For Women in Science”, academician Zvonko Kusic, said at the opening of the new scholarship award cycle on Monday.

Two-thirds of students and more than half of those enrolled in doctorate degree programs are women, but men are still more often in high positions, Kusic said, adding that the “For Women in Science” program has greatly contributed to equalising men and women in science over the past 18 years.

“The main goal of the program is to debunk the established view of women’s occupations,” Kusic said, adding that the “self-effacing and long-lasting” work that laureates do is “what society should do.”

“Our society is quite talented, but we are not ready for discipline and work. Work is done without direct reward, and today everyone strives for quick success. This society should work,” he said.

After completing a certain level of education, women do not have financial stability, said Professor Zrinka Ljubesic from the Department of Biology at the Faculty of Medicine, the winner of the first scholarship under this program.

“The worst part is the insecurity after a doctoral or postdoctoral degree. Love for science is not enough, we need financial stability,” Ljubesic said.

Scholarships are awarded by the L’Oreal Adria company and the Croatian Culture Ministry’s Commission on UNESCO. They have been awarded to 66 Croatian women scientists since 2006.

The Croatian national scholarship program for natural sciences was launched as part of the “For Women in Science” program launched by L’Oreal and UNESCO in 1998, which covers over 110 countries and through which more than 3,900 women scientists have been awarded.

Applications for the 18th scholarship cycle of the national program “For Women in Science” opened on Monday and close on 4 December.