Practical examples

Creating awareness: Group Model Building

In a Group Model Building session participants jointly identify the bottlenecks for advancement. Awareness, acceptance and willingness to take action are the result. Radboud University and Tilburg University carried out Group Model Building with the MTs and heads of various faculties. The facilitators (scientists from the Radboud University) visualised the bottlenecks in a model and the participants jointly formulated solutions.

Creating awareness: Gender bias

Participants gain insight into the unconscious preconceptions that they have about men and women, in a workshop on gender bias. The workshop does not immediately lead to behavioural change, but is primarily an eye-opener. Among others, FOM, Wageningen University and Research and Utrecht University hold workshops on gender bias in the recruitment and selection of scientific personnel. A number of institutions are considering introducing an observer to appointment advisory committees, who can raise the issue of gender bias, when relevant.

Recruitment and selection: how do you define quality?

Naturally, we choose the best candidate. But how do you ensure that men and women have equal opportunities? Eindhoven University of Technology is developing a handbook for this and the VU Amsterdam is developing a scouting guideline. A selection of the recommendations:

  • Ensure there is an even mix of male and female competencies in the function profile.
  • Ensure that the description of vacancies uses gender neutral language.
  • Avoid cloning behaviour. Look at the composition of the team in terms of diversity and dynamic. What can a person contribute to the composition?
Recruitment and selection: active recruitment of female candidates

Most institutions encourage appointments advisory committees to actively recruit female candidates. Some tips:

  • Identify female talents per discipline (via a ‘fleet inspection’ or talent scan).
  • Recruit via alternative channels, such as women’s networks (Dutch Network of Women Professors), your own (female) scientific personnel and international networks.
  • Approach female talents personally for a academic position. They sometimes need an extra push.
Greater advancement
of women in
why and how?

Download the whitepaper

Stimulate female talent: mentor programme

Various institutions have a mentor programme for female postdocs or UDs. The mentor discussions and workshops focus on positioning and career development, with themes like strategic negotiation, personal branding, networking and visibility.

Facilitate female talent: employment conditions

Maternity leave produces a gap in the CV. Among others, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Tilburg University and University of Twente offer a financial scheme to compensate for this gap. Women might for example invest the budget in a sabbatical which they use for writing new publications, or they might engage a lab- or student assistant.

Cologne University: Gender Equality Officer

Cologne University is using its gender policy in order to become an excellent university. This has produced good results (40% of newly appointed professors are women). For instance, the university has a gender equality officer (this is the case in all public institutions in Germany). This officer is tasked with checking the implementation of gender policy and supporting the Board, committees and individual personnel members. He or she is also entitled to attend board meetings.

More information

Use of language in recruitment texts

“Gendered” language use in job descriptions has an influence on recruitment outcomes. For example, women find it less appealing if the candidate is referred to as “he”. For this reason it is important to pay attention to the language used in drafting job descriptions.

More information

Tips from and for female scientists
  • Build a network.
  • Look for sponsors: prominent individuals in your discipline who will support your career development.
  • Try to find a niche within your discipline.
  • Make sure you are visible; sell your research.
  • Keep a sense of fun and enthusiasm in your work. This way you create your own flow and you will automatically be selected sooner or later.
  • Always be yourself. Don’t try to act like a man.
  • If you see an opportunity, take it. Be open for opportunities and dare to take the plunge!

Uw naam


Naam ontvanger

E-mail adres ontvanger

Uw bericht