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.
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.
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:
Most institutions encourage appointments advisory committees to actively recruit female candidates. Some tips:
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.
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 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.
“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.
Tools for gender neutral language use