Participation of women in doctorate, research, innovation, and management activities at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid: analysis of the decade 2006–2016

  • Estela Hernández-Martín
  • Fernando Calle
  • Juan C. Dueñas
  • Miguel Holgado
  • Asunción Gómez-PérezEmail author


This article studies the participation of women in doctorate, lecturing and research, innovation, and management activities at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM), the most important and largest university in Spain devoted to engineering and architecture. The analyses revealed significant differences in the ratio of male (76%) and female (24%) lecturing and research staff. This unequal ratio conducted to women underrepresentation in other actions such as coordination of international projects, decision-making designations, patenting and software licensing, collaboration with companies, and PhD supervision. PhD enrolment and PhD defence data, disaggregated by gender and by technological area, were also analysed as they are the starting point of the academic career, and showed a widespread male prevalence over women (ca. 70% men vs. 30% women). The aim of this paper is to present actual, accurate, objective, and gender-segregated information extracted from UPM databases, to carry out a qualitative study drawing on an opinion survey and a “gap” analysis, and to undertake a critical examination of the historic, political, sociocultural and personal factors affecting gender inequalities in academia. Policy recommendations to improve the situation of women and to achieve gender balance in the disciplines of engineering and architecture are also provided.


Research Innovation Doctorate Management Women STEAM 

Mathematics Subject Classification

62-07 62-09 

JEL Classification

I23 I24 J24 J71 N34 O30 



This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors. We thank Miguel Ángel Lucas and Cristina Merino for extracting the raw data from S2i database; Carmen de Miguel and Valle Hernández for providing all the information about doctoral theses; and Carmen Pérez Nadal, Carmen Gascó and Effectia Consulting for carrying out the opinion survey and the “gap” analysis and processing the qualitative data. We also thank Paloma García-Maroto (UPM Equality Unit Director) and Guillermo de la Torre (Observatorio I + D + i UPM Unit) for assistance with the data provided in the Electronic Supplementary Material. We also thank the Vice-Rectorate for Technology Services for extracting the raw data from AGORA database.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (TIFF 27 kb)
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Supplementary material 2 (TIFF 29 kb)
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Supplementary material 3 (TIFF 29 kb)


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Vice-Rectorate for Research, Innovation, and Doctoral StudiesUniversidad Politécnica de MadridMadridSpain

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