Today on International Women's Day, Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven of OCW (Education, Culture and Science) announced that the Netherlands has 100 new female professors in its ranks. In 2017 it was exactly one hundred years ago that the first woman broke through the glass ceiling of the professorship. On the initiative of Athena's Angels, this anniversary was marked by the provision of 100 new chairs for female professors. These chairs were created in a unique collaboration between the Universities (VSNU) and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, with the support of KNAW, NWO and LNVH.

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The Monitor Female Professors 2017 of the National Network of Female Professors (LNVH) shows that in 2016 only 19.3% of professorships were occupied by women. This is not due to the absence of female talent: it is the systematic flow that is the problem. In 2016, the majority of graduates were women (53.5%), while every next step in the academic career shows a decrease in the percentage of women: women make up 42.6% of PhD graduates, 39.4% of UDs, and 27.5% of UHDs. The Glass Ceiling Index points out that women are systematically less likely to move on to higher positions than men.

The aim of the Westerdijk Talent Impulse is to accelerate the breakthrough of the glass ceiling and thus contribute to more diversity in the scientific top. "This is an important step towards catching up. The Netherlands is now well on their way to achieving the agreed European target of 25% female professors by 2020," says Athena's Angel Judi Mesman.

In the past year, all universities submitted applications to the NWO research funding agency. One of the conditions for approving the application for a financial contribution is that the professor in question has the prospect of a permanent employment contract.

Read the message in de Volkskrant here.

Read the message in Trouw here.

Read the message of the Hoger Onderwijs Persbureau (HOP) here.

Read the message of VSNU here.