Women must make up one in three professors at VUB
The Free University of Brussels is introducing a quota system that will require a third of its professors to be women
But more action is needed to get more women to the top of academia, VUB rector Caroline Pauwels (pictured) said in an interview with the newsweekly Knack.
The decision to introduce a quota flowed out of administrators’ realisation that they would fail to realise their aspiration of having 33% female professors by 2021. “We noticed that the percentage had only increased by one percentage point in the last 10 years – from 27% to 28% – so we will not reach our goal at this rate,” Pauwels told public broadcaster VRT.
She said she felt uncomfortable introducing a quota, but defended it as necessary to achieve more gender equality among the university’s professors.
It’s not yet clear how the VUB will apply the quota to reach its 33% goal. “You cannot do that in the blink of an eye; the right people have to be available,” Pauwels said. “We are now analysing our staff figures and examining what time frame is realistic; it could be four or five years.”
She added that more support measures were also needed to help women more easily advance to the position of professor.
Photo courtesy VUB
Free University of Brussels (VUB)
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