Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in the Aeronautics, Defence and Space industries

Following the launch of an industry-wide survey on equality, diversity and inclusion (ED&I) in the European Union earlier in 2022, the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Defence Industry and Space (DG DEFIS) released the key findings and data gathered across the aeronautics, defence and space sectors.

Due to growing evidence on the necessity to collect data on the main ED&I KPIs in the industry and the need to gather information on the matter through a bottom-up approach, the initiative aimed to assess the state of play of these issues among both employers and employees in European and national agencies, organisations and academia – all part of this specific ecosystem – to eventually better shape diversity-enhancing policies and regulations. The initiative is part of the European Commission’s strategy to reach the social protection targets outlined in its Action Plan towards a stronger social Europe by 2030. 


ARTICLE ‘Twenty years of gender equality research: A scoping review based on a new semantic indicator’

We share with you this interesting article in which our partners from the University of Pisa have participated as co-authors.

Gender equality is a major problem that places women at a disadvantage thereby stymieing economic growth and societal advancement. Also Defence is impacted by this issue, as evidenced by the interest gained by the workshop  ‘Gender Equality in Aerospace and Defence’, organised by the Directorate General for Defence Industry and Space that took place last May, and we as ASSETs+ care about having an inclusive educational approach in defence. For this reason, we studied the state of the art literature on the topic.

In the last two decades, extensive research has been conducted on gender related issues, studying both their antecedents and consequences. However, existing literature reviews fail to provide a comprehensive and clear picture of what has been studied so far, which could guide scholars in their future research.

This paper offers a scoping review of a large portion of the research that has been published over the last 22 years, on gender equality and related issues, with a specific focus on business and economics studies. Combining innovative methods drawn from both network analysis and text mining, it provides a synthesis of 15,465 scientific articles.

The authors identify 27 main research topics, we measure their relevance from a semantic point of view and the relationships among them, highlighting the importance of each topic in the overall gender discourse. Also find that prominent research topics mostly relate to women in the workforce–e.g., concerning compensation, role, education, decision-making and career progression. However, some of them are losing momentum, and some other research trends–for example related to female entrepreneurship, leadership and participation in the board of directors–are on the rise.

Besides introducing a novel methodology to review broad literature streams, our paper offers a map of the main gender-research trends and presents the most popular and the emerging themes, as well as their intersections, outlining important avenues for future research.

In the future, we aim at focusing gender studies also in the defence sector, to help attract talents independently from their gender.

Authors: Paola Belingheri ,Filippo Chiarello ,Andrea Fronzetti Colladon ,Paola Rovelli