slider nieuw

4 women in academia

Many people assume that men and women have equal opportunities to be successful in an academic career. Yet women continue to be approached and treated differently than men, in ways that impact on their scientific career prospects. This website is designed to elucidate the specific challenges  women have to overcome to realize their scientific  ambitions , and where possible eliminate these.

Four female full professors have united under the name Athena’s Angels, to defend the interests of women academics.  The mission of Athena’s Angels is to offer men and women truly equal opportunities to advance in their scientific career. What is needed to achieve this? 

Know the facts   -   Report maltreatment   -   Ask for advice   -   Recognize sexism   -   Join forces 


Pallas Athena

athenaThe Greek goddess Pallas Athena is the feisty goddess of wisdom. The owl is her symbol. It is true: she was born, fully armed, from the head of her father Zeus, and can be pretty male-identified at times. The first women in academia did sometimes show this trait. But we are happy to carry out our missions under Athena’s aegis.



Share this page!





Mixed effects of diversity training

A recent article in PNAS investigated the efficacy of a short evidence-based diversity training about women at work. The authors show that the diversity training successfully produced attitude change, but not behavior change, among employees whose average untreated attitudes were relatively less supportive of women than other groups. On the other hand, the training resulted in behavior change among employees whose average untreated attitudes were already strongly supportive of women. These results denote the limited efficacy of diversity training, especially among those groups whose behaviors policymakers are most eager to influence.

Read the full article here

Eight things to know when interpreting sex and gender differences in scientific research

Cordelia Fine, Daphna Joel, and Gina Rippon describe eight things to consider when interpreting scientific research on sex and gender differences. 

Read the article here

LNVH-report 'Hidden differences in work tasks, resources and negotiations on working conditions between female and male scientists in the Netherlands'

Commissioned by the National Network of Female Professors (Landelijk Netwerk Vrouwelijke Hoogleraren, LNVH), dr. Ruth van Veelen and prof. dr. Belle Derks investigated potential differences in the interpretation of the work as a scientist among more than 4000 scientists in the Netherlands. The report shows that female scientists in the Netherlands spend less time on research and more time on teaching than male scientists. These differences seem to arise mainly when scientists have children: contractually, female scientists with children spend on average 40% of their working time on research, while male scientists with children spend on average 45% on research. For scientists without children there is no difference in contractual agreements on research time, but in practice women spend on average three percent of their time more on teaching and less on research than men. This is about 52 hours per year.

Read the full report here (in Dutch)