Sept. 9, 2020

WIIS Releases Gender Scorecard of Think Tanks and Journals
Spotlight on the Nuclear Security Community

Significant gender gaps remain at expert staff, leadership and board levels at top institutions  

WASHINGTON, D.C.— The 2020 WIIS Gender Scorecard is out! It shows that despite some progress, the national and international security field remains a male-dominated field. Women remain underrepresented at the governing board and expert levels. The 2020 Scorecard also spotlights the nuclear security community and provides baseline data on the gender balances in think tanks, including think tanks focusing on arms control and nuclear security issues. Lastly, the Scorecard provides information on the gender distribution in major international security and arms control and nuclear security journals. The Gender Scorecard, is part of a continuing effort by WIIS to measure the gender disparities in US foreign policy and security communities. See where your think tank stands! WIIS Gender Scorecard: Think Tanks and Journals – Spotlight on the Nuclear Security Community.

The scorecard does three main things: 1) Scoring the Think Tanks by assessing the gender distribution in 32 U.S. think tanks (22 foreign policy and 10 arms control and nuclear policy think tanks), we also examine the extent to which gender has been integrated into programming; 2) Scoring the Journals by reviewing the gender distribution in 16 international journals (11 major international security journals and 5 major arms control and nuclear security journals), we also examine the extent to which gender perspectives are represented in the journals; and 3) Bringing into focus the Nuclear Security Community by examining the gender distributions of nuclear security experts in 32 think tanks, the distributions of articles on arms control and nuclear security issues in 16 international journals, and examining to what extent gender perspectives are represented in arms control and nuclear security articles.

Significant findings:

  • The percentage of women leading think tanks has declined from 32% in 2018 to 19% in 2020
  • The percentage of women experts working on foreign policy, national and international security issues has increased, from 27% in 2018 to 35% in 2020
  • Of the foreign policy and international security think tanks surveyed, only 10 % of experts ( 3% women and 7% men) focus entirely or in part on nuclear issues
  • In the international security journals on 9 percent of articles published between 2015 and 2019 were devoted to nuclear security. Only 15% of those articles were written by women.
  • Only one out of 32 think tanks has integrated gender into its programming.
  • In the academic and specialized literature, most articles with a ‘gender’ perspective focused on women in the field – very few articles examined how gender (and notions of masculinity and femininity) shapes thinking about national and international security, including about nuclear security.



Media Contact Info: Women In International Security: Email: [email protected]