Gender Diversity

On this page you will find: Current Gender Diversity Statistics, Past Gender Diversity Statistics and Beyond Gender Diversity.

2019 Gender Diversity Statistics

Past Gender Diversity Statistics

The iGEM Diversity & Inclusion Committee has investigated gender diversity in iGEM since 2013, following inspiration from the 2013 Paris Bettencourt iGEM team. This team performed an extensive study of gender diversity within the iGEM Competition, and found that women were underrepresented at all levels of iGEM, with lower levels of representation for more senior categories of participants.

In 2018, self-reported gender data was collected from iGEM participants. We are so pleased to see that gender representation has improved greatly since 2013!

  • 42% of iGEM students reported as female or non-binary
  • 44% of advisors, instructors, and PIs reported as female or non-binary (up from 25% in 2017)
  • 50% of judges were female or non-binary (for the first time)

Figure 1: The gender statistics for iGEM 2013, compiled by the Paris-Bettencourt 2013 team. Figure provided by Aude Bernheim.

Figure 2: The gender statistics for iGEM 2018. All gender data collected by iGEM is kept strictly confidential.

Members of the iGEM community, we challenge you to help us improve these numbers for 2021 and beyond! We will need your continued help in improving gender diversity among iGEM students, advisors, instructors, and PIs as you advance in your careers. Our committee has offered several recommendations to help teams adopt diverse and inclusive practices, and we invite you to share your best practices and new recommendations with us as well.

Past years

Beyond Gender Diversity

Moving forward, our committee wishes to focus on improving diversity in other areas as well, such as age, ethnicity, disability, religion, and economic status.

For example, it is clear that there is uneven geographic distribution of iGEM teams by continent, and certainly there is the possibility for much more detailed analysis in evaluating global diversity in iGEM beyond this. We would like to better identify specific factors that contribute to these limitations and increase participation of teams from underrepresented regions.