‘Our long-term goal is to help the University of Twente become the reference inclusive employer in the Netherlands. We want the UT to be the first choice for female academic staff,’ FFNT board member Sonia García-Blanco opened the meeting in the Faculty Club.
20% by 2020
One of FFNT’s main efforts is to ensure that the UT employs 20% of female (full) professors by 2020. ‘Last year was exciting in terms of gender diversity,’ continued García-Blanco. ‘But the LNVH (Dutch Network of Women Professors) publications show that the UT is still the third worst university in the Netherlands if it comes to the percentage of female professors, of which the UT employed about 12.6% in 2017.’
In order to change this situation, FFNT and the Ambassadors’ Network were involved in round table discussions with the UT management last year. ‘Based on these meetings, we concluded that if we want to get to 20% of female professors by 2020, the only solution is to hire new people,’ said Professor Marieke Huisman, who is the chair of the Ambassadors’ Network. ‘However, the 20% mark should only be seen as in intermediate goal. We should work towards reaching 50% by 2050.’
In 2018, FFNT will continue in a similar direction as last year, when it organized a number of lunch discussions, workshops and other activities, such as the #MeToo open discussion. To keep that topic on the agenda, the network will organize a #MeToo series. This series of events will include, for example, a speech by Wiendelt Steenbergen who will talk about ‘Integrity code of conduct in BMPI’ (Biomedical Photonic Imaging group) in February.
Female Faculty Network Twente will also continue with its ‘Inspirational lunch discussions’. And as in the past years, FFNT will soon distribute its survey to analyze the situation of gender balance at the UT and career perspectives of female academics.