Female academic staff


The number of women on the academic staff at all levels has increased over the past ten years. The figure shows that the female shortfall has reduced, but that the higher up the scientific ladder the position, the greater the shortfall in the proportion of women.


For example, the proportion of women among PhD students will be 46% in 2021, while 26% of professors are women (both percentages based on the number of persons).


The Netherlands is catching up in the proportion of female professors compared to other European countries. In 2010, 13% of Dutch professors were women, while the EU average was 20%. In 2018, 21% of Dutch professors were women, while the EU average rose to 26% (She figures).





Research shows that diversity at the top of an organization leads to better performance. It leads to more creativity, better decision-making and a better financial result (McKinsey & Company, Women Matter; Gender Diversity, a corporate performance driver (2007), pp.14.). This shows the importance of a balanced male/female distribution among university staff. Universities also consider this important and have formulated targets for the number of female professors, first for 2021 and recently again for 2025.


To achieve these targets, universities take a critical look at the appointment procedures, mentor programs have been developed and some universities have fellowships that specifically target women (for example, the Rosalind Franklin Fellowship, Delft Technology Fellowship and the Westerdijk Fellowship).

For more information on this topic, please visit the website of the national network of women professors (LNVH).



Last updated on 27-9-2022