8 Mar 2018

Westerdijk Talent Scheme: The Netherlands gains 100 female professors

On 8 March, International Women's Day, minister of Education, Culture and Science Ingrid van Engelshoven will announce that universities have succeeded in appointing 100 new female professors. The year 2017 marked a century since the first Dutch woman, Johanna Westerdijk, became a professor. To commemorate this 'Westerdijk year', the ministry made additional resources (5 million euros) available to appoint 100 female professors. Universities interested in making use of this Westerdijk Talent Scheme submitted their applications to NWO.

The aim of the Westerdijk Talent Scheme is to increase the number of female professors, thereby contributing to a greater diversity among top-ranking academics. Minister van Engelshoven is pleased to see that the universities have embraced the initiative so energetically. 'This shows that if the will is there and you really put your mind to it, you can appoint more women and break open the old boy network. This Westerdijk Talent Scheme has given universities a much-needed boost. We still have a long way to go before we can speak about a fair distribution, but the universities’ commitment last year inspires confidence.'

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The LNVH board responds to the results of the Talent Scheme in de Volkskrant [in Dutch]: '100 vrouwen als hoogleraar erbij in 1 jaar: viermaal zoveel als normaal, maar Nederland blijft nog altijd achter', door Martijn van Calmthout. Lees het artikel hier.