“We don’t want to kill all the men”
Although women are doing very well in science, there are still too few female teachers. And in fact, no one believes that this will change soon, as it turned out at a meeting on International Women’s Day.
“Half of the students of the VU are women, half of the teachers as well, but in the upper regions the percentage of women remains around 25%”, declared Marcel Nollen of the executive board at the start of the meeting yesterday in debate. 3d center as part of international women’s day. When asked where VU would be in a year, he said he would aim for 33% female faculty.
This is officially where the VU hopes to be in a few years, but we’ll deliver on Nollen’s promise a year from now. “That’s good,” he said. “I know we won’t reach that goal next year, but I can dream, can’t I? “We can’t break iron with our hands, but it should be faster than now,” he told 3D program coordinator Miranda van Holland, who interviewed him. “We have it at the top of the agenda.”
There were about 40 people present, mostly women, whom Nollen asked what they thought the Executive Council should do to break the glass ceiling at VU. Someone suggested that more female role models were needed, and that idea clearly caught on. Nollen suggested that Ad Valvas feature a female scientist as a role model each month. When someone suggested that the underrepresentation of women in high positions was not a concern for many men, Nollen protested that it was indeed a problem for men as well.
Several clubs introduced themselves to the audience: Patricia Fierro, President of the Faculty of Science Student Council, spoke about Women in STEM, which is committed to bringing more women into technical or scientific studies. Linguist Lena Karvovskaya represented [email protected] “We don’t want to kill every man, we want to grow together so everyone can be the best version of themselves,” she said.
Singer Louise Hensen and pianist Mijin Kim from theater collective FIERE WOMEN provided the musical interludes with old feminist jazz songs. This was followed by a panel discussion with postdoctoral researcher Tamarinde Haven, doctoral student Esther Plomp and sports scientist Julia Haaf. The moderator was Director of Student Affairs and Education Wilma van Wezenbeek, who noted that the panel was made up of white cis women only.
Sexism in teams
The conversation focused on how open science, which strives for a more open and transparent way of doing science, contributes to more inclusivity and diversity. Plomp thinks this is disappointing at the moment, as research results still remain inaccessible to many and the old structures of academia have remained intact.
Haven said replacing the traditional CV with a “narrative” CV, which not only lists accomplishments but also pays attention to acquired knowledge, experience and other relevant issues in a narrative way, has not remedied the fact that job applications always have a bias, where employers choose employees who look like them.
According to Haaf, open science does not resolve sexism in the distribution of roles within scientific teams. Women mainly take on supporting roles, she said.
a little skeptical
Everyone was, in Haaf’s words, “a bit skeptical” about recognition and appreciation. At Recognition & Appreciation, the focus is on teams rather than individual scientists, “but grants still only go to individuals,” says Haaf.
The same skepticism resonated in the audience. “Teaching assistants are almost always men,” someone said, and teachers don’t take men seriously. “Women are asked what they can do to improve the situation, but of course it’s about what men should do.” Yet another pointed out that nothing changes as long as women are still assigned support tasks in a team.
Diversity manager Ruard Ganzevoort suggested that a solution could also lie in deciding what kind of research to conduct. Plomp pointed out that because of the way research is funded, researchers primarily review research for which they are most likely to be funded. It is not necessarily research that interests them most personally.
Haven told a disturbing anecdote at the end. When she sat in front of a panel of men at a job interview, one of them asked her “if she was one of those feminists.”
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