Research deserves our support for one simple reason: it improves societies and the lives of their citizens. Researchers discover what was previously unknown and they use that knowledge for innovation - they use it to make a difference.Several hundred scientists and policy makers have gathered at the European Parliament in Brussels today to discuss how research can be even better. They are working to create the conditions for higher quality results for you and me. And the key, as they see it, is gender.The European Gender Summit will enhance its participants’ understanding of how gender balance makes research organizations better. It will also let them see how the results of research projects are better for everyone when gender is included in our research questions. These two different but related challenges can improve the productivity of researchers and the quality of their results.[link] Scientists take note: women are key to the best results.The daily grind of research happens of course in the context of a workplace. We know that productivity is affected by employee satisfaction. And we know that employees in organizations with gender balance in their management teams have higher job satisfaction than those in organizations with only male managers. Therefore, gender balance gives higher productivity. And in the private sector, gender balance has been shown to give increased profits.One topic at the Gender Summit is how to get more women to the top; it isn’t difficult, but in research organizations there are challenges that play out differently for men and women, such as the importance of self-promotion for career advancement. Heightened awareness of those differences will lead to better balance at the top.