And that is the percentage that the university promised in 2016. Incidentally, that percentage is already 5 percent lower than that pledged by many other universities (see graph).

The main reason why EUR will not achieve the target is the Glass Ceiling Index1. At the Rotterdam-based university, this is the highest in the Netherlands. The GCI gives an impression of how easy it is for a woman to advance to a higher position. Erasmus University has quite a lot of women in less senior academic positions (university lecturers, associate professors and PhD candidates) and very few in the highest positions (full professors), hence its high GCI.

Milestone

The good news: one in five full professors in the Netherlands is a woman, meaning that the milestone of 20 percent has been passed for the first time. This is also thanks to a considerable government investment: all universities received Westerdijk funds to appoint more female professors.

To be precise, 20.2 percent of professors in 2017 were women, according to the new monitor of the LNVH. An increase of 1.6 percent compared with 2016 and the biggest rise since 1998, reports the LNVH.

With the exception of the University of Amsterdam, the percentage of female professors has risen in all universities. The Open University leads with over 30 percent. Eindhoven University of Technology brings up the rear with 12.6 percent female professors.

‘No sustainable change'

But this ‘artificial’ rise does not bring about a sustainable cultural change, warns the network, which is also concerned about the continuing decline in numbers of female PhD students.

In 2015, all universities determined how many female full professors they wished to have in 2020. The universities of Leiden, Maastricht and Nijmegen already reached their targets at the end of last year. Despite their high ambitions, four universities will probably not achieve them, thinks the LNVH: Erasmus University, Eindhoven University of Technology, University of Twente and Wageningen University & Research.

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  1. The Glass Ceiling Index (GCI) is an indicator for
    (barriers to) the advancement of women to
    more senior job categories.

    GCI > 1.0 – Blocked advancement
    GCI = 1.0 – Normal advancement
    GCI < 1.0 – Easy advancement

    The GCI is calculated by dividing the percentage of women in job category x-1 by the percentage of women in job category x.
    The GCI does not give any information about actual advancement and is not the same as advancement opportunity. ↩︎

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