The glass ceiling is a reality! That is: the higher the step upon the career ladder, the fewer women we encounter. This certainly applies to academic education and research in the Netherlands: 43.5% of PhD students are female, compared with only 20.9% of full professors (LNVH, National Network of Female Professors, 2018). At this point in time, only 11 female full professors have been appointed at FSS (29.7%; Highlighting research and education, 2018).
The Werkgroep Vrouwelijk Talent (WVT; Female Talent Committee) of the Faculty of Social Sciences was established to stimulate high-quality research among female talents in the faculty and to strengthen scientific career opportunities among these talents. Once young female talents have been successful directly following graduation and at the start of their career, their chances of continuing on to top positions are significantly better.
The WVT is explicitly aimed at female talents with the ambition to conduct high-level research; for example, the committee is committed to supporting the acquisition of grants. In view of the ever-increasing competition, it is necessary to support, stimulate and provide such talents, strengthening successful grant application.
To date, the WVT has facilitated promotions of several female Assistant Professors to Associate Professors through the Jenny Gierveld Fellowship, has supported several talented female scholars in writing a Veni-application, and has organized career paths, mentorships and workshops. Most recently, the WVT initiated the Wilhelmina Drucker Awards to support young female talents. Additionally, the WVT organizes informal drinks based on the theme diversity. The WVT also organizes or co-hosts the annual international women's day in March within the faculty.
Bianca Beersma (Professor of Institutions and Identities) is the chair of the WVT. The other members are Elly Konijn (Professor of Media Psychology), Eva-Maria Merz (Associate Professor of Sociology), Romy van der Lee (Assistant professor of Organization Sciences), Marieke Slootman (Assistant professor of Sociology), Özlem Terzi (lecturer in Political Science and Public Administration), and Nadia Bij de Vaate (PhD Candidate Communication Sciences).