THE NETHERLANDS. For the next 18 months, all academic jobs at Eindhoven University of Technology will be open to female candidates only in an effort to improve the balance between men and women on the permanent staff.
If a vacancy fails to attract suitable candidates within six months, it will be opened up to men, and after 18 months the entire scheme will be revised, the university said on Tuesday. The university expects to have some 150 positions to fill with the next few years.
Female newcomers will also be given an extra starter package, including €100,000 which they can use for their own research and a special mentoring programme, the university said. ‘We attach great importance to equal respect and opportunities for women and men,” said university rector Frank Baaijens. ‘And it has long been known that a diverse workforce performs better. It leads to better strategies, more creative ideas and faster innovation.’
Measures already in place to boost the number of women among the university’s academic staff are not having the desired effect, he said. ‘We are now using the fact that plans to expand our academic staff considerably in the coming years can be used as a means to make a big step forward in one fell swoop.’
All in all, the university wants at least half of all newly-appointed assistant professors to be women while the minimum for associate professors and full professors will be 35%. The Irène Curie Fellowship programme will run for five years.
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