The newly re-launched initiative includes measures designed to help female talent be promoted to associate professor or full professor positions. “We will ensure that [talented female academics] have a good understanding of their progress towards their next career step and of what is needed for them to actually be able to take that next step,” said an EUR spokesperson. “As part of the programme they will receive mentoring, help getting their portfolios in order and confidential feedback, and where applicable, they will receive financial support to ensure that their portfolios are complete.”

Many endowed professors will be promoted to full professorships in the next few years. Since a relatively high number of women currently holds ‘special’ professorships, the large-scale promotion will result in EUR almost achieving its interim quota of 20 per cent women professors by 2020. However, the university has previously declared that the promotion of ‘special professors’ is not related to its effort to fill the quota.

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Erasmus University promised as far back as nearly four years ago that a quarter of all full professors affiliated with EUR would be female by 2025. At the time it was a conservative ambition, since all other Dutch universities had chosen to achieve this target by 2020. EUR has been at the bottom of the female-professors rankings for years. In the Netherlands, only Wageningen University & Research and Eindhoven University of Technology have lower percentages of women professors. At year-end 2014, only 9.5 per cent of EUR’s 117 full professors were female. By year-end 2018, the number had risen to 13.5 per cent, which is still far below the target. For its part, Erasmus MC (where 20.8 per cent of full professors are female) is doing considerably better. This year’s numbers will be released by the Dutch Network of Women Professors (LNVH) in mid-December. According to EUR, 18 per cent of its full professors are currently female.

Veel bijzonder hoogleraren promoveren de komende jaren tot gewone hoogleraren. Omdat er relatief veel vrouwen bijzonder hoogleraar zijn, heeft de massale promotie tot gevolg dat de EUR het tussenquotum van 20 procent vrouwelijke hoogleraren in 2020 bijna haalt. Maar het quotum is niet de reden van de promotiemaatregel, luidt het officiële standpunt van de universiteit.

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