The figure at EUR in 2014 was less than 10 percent, compared with the national average of 17 percent. This does not include professors at medical faculties.

Tough measures to get more women in top positions at the university are not far away, if President Kristel Baele has her way. “A quota is definitely something I would consider; we have already been talking about this for a while”, said Kristel Baele in her first interview with Erasmus Magazine since taking office as President of the Executive Board last December.

Pursuing the struggle

“Of course it’s best if the academic community can solve this problem itself. But there are limits to how long you can be talking about this,” says Kristel Baele.

Baele is thus pursuing the struggle of her predecessor Pauline van der Meer Mohr. In her farewell address, the former president plainly expressed her frustration at having failed to bring about change in this respect.

Quota for female teachers

Incidentally, Baele is not particularly considering a quota for the number of female professors. She would like to use the method at an earlier stage: for the appointment of university assistant professors and associate professors. “Otherwise, the good women have gone off to do something else by the time you are looking for a professor.”

However, before she goes ahead with a quota, she first wants to sort out the selection processes. These need to be more transparent and made free from gender bias in texts and in the approach used by recruitment agencies.

Happy with 30 percent

Baele does not just want more women in senior academic positions: she would like to see more managerial positions among the support staff being held by women. “If 50 percent of all managers at the university are women in eight years’ time, I will consider myself successful. I would still be happy with 30 percent.”