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Levelling the Playing Field

Increasing equity in science with a focus on gender and academic capacity building in sub-Saharan Africa: Leveling the Playing Field

Empowering Scientists
Gender Equality in Science

There is extensive evidence of gender differences in science suggesting that women are underrepresented, underpaid, and suffer a significant disadvantage in the transition to permanent and senior roles in science, whether in academia or industry. Despite more awareness of gender disparities and significant work ongoing to address the issue, recent output from the EU suggests that at the current rate of progress gender equality is estimated to still be 99 years from reach.


In addition to the ethical and moral imperative to address this disparity, an increasing body of research clearly indicates that improving gender equality across organizations contributes to an increase in innovation. Given the increasing complexity of the scientific challenges facing society, innovative and typically interdisciplinary solutions will be required and therefore Bayer Foundation is committed to addressing this issue as the basis for advancing innovation in science and thereby further enhancing the impact of science for the benefit of society.


Falling Walls Foundation – Female Science Talents

We are proudly a founding supporter of the Female Science Talent program developed together with the Falling Walls Foundation. The program broadly promotes female leadership in science, business and society through a global platform that drives inclusive excellence as well as the promotion of exceptional talent.


The program is supported by a group of inspiring female role models – leading women from across a range of our organizations – including our own Executive Director Monika Lessl. Through workshops, roundtables and the newly launched “intensive track”, it supports young female science talents to achieve their goals, evolve their career ambitions and fulfill their dreams.


The new intensive track is designed to provide close support for 20 exceptionally talented young women. They will have the opportunity to meet outstanding women leaders, will be paired with high profile mentors and benefit from intensive personal development trainings as well as the opportunity to speak at the Falling Walls Conference each year in November. The mentoring has a reciprocal nature and connects talented women to high-caliber female role models to exchange perspectives and mutually inspire each other. Additionally, talents gain access to exclusive networking events of Female Science Talents.


Each year Falling Walls Female Science Talents organizes an event which gathers female science talents and high performing female leaders from science and industry to share their vision of excellence and to break the wall of gender disparity in leadership.




As founding partner of the Female Science Talents program in 2021 together with the Falling Walls Foundation, we were delighted to extend our collaboration in 2022. From 2022 – 2024 we will support this critical program with a donation totaling 300,000 €.


Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard-Foundation Stipends

Founded in 2004, the Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard-Foundation for the promotion of science and research, supports talented young women with children in the field of natural sciences, experimental research, and medicine.


The stipend aims to give women with children the freedom and mobility required to further their scientific careers. Funds awarded can help reduce the burden of household chores and childcare, and consequently can provide women with the time and flexibility to maintain a high standard of research, despite the demands of parenthood. The goal is to prevent the loss of outstanding female talent in science and to expand the number of qualified women undertaking high-quality research in Germany.


Each year, we fund two fellowships for doctoral students or postdoctoral researchers working in a German research institute or university.


The application process is managed by the CNV-Foundation independently of Bayer Foundation. For more information please read here.


Applications can be submitted from September 1st until November 30th of each calendar year.


Each year, Bayer Foundation donates 20,000 € to support two exceptional young women.