On paper, people of all genders have the same opportunities to ‘rise up the ranks’ in academia. Yet, the numbers don’t add up. Women currently account to 21% of full professors at the University of Twente – which is still a major increase compared to twenty or even ten years ago. Three female professors, who have worked at the UT for decades, share their experiences and their advice. ‘The situation was definitely worse when I started.’
Op papier hebben mensen van alle seksen dezelfde kansen om 'hogerop te komen' in de academische wereld. Toch kloppen de cijfers niet. Momenteel is 21% van de hoogleraren aan de Universiteit Twente vrouw, wat nog wel een grote stijging is ten opzichte van twintig of zelfs tien jaar geleden. Drie vrouwelijke hoogleraren, die al tientallen jaren aan de UT werken, delen hun ervaringen en hun adviezen. 'De situatie was zeker slechter toen ik begon.'
Findings published in the Women Professors Monitor 2020 showed that the UT has only 17% of female associate professors – a percentage even lower than the number of full female professors, which is now at 21%. Are there specific hurdles than women encounter when climbing up the academic ladder? Based on multitude of interviews with female scientists at the UT, one answer comes to mind: (lack of) support.
The number of female associate professors at the UT is low compared to other universities. While the national average is 29.4%, only 17% of all UT associate professors are women. ‘We need to consider this with great care,’ says Vanessa Magnanimo, chairwoman of Female Faculty Network Twente (FFNT).
Dutch universities are employing more and more women as full professors. Women now occupy 23 percent of professorships, according to the latest figures, which means nearly one in four. There are, however, considerable differences between universities.
As a researcher on prices and expenditures in the healthcare sector, I am particularly keen on the opportunity cost of new technologies especially since most are high-cost but not many are high-value. Combined with my role as a member of the University of Twente community, I cannot help but wonder about the value of contacting an external HR firm, albeit located at the Kennispark, to carry out the recruitment of 10 additional female professors by 2020.