Netherlands will only reach 50% female professors in 2042

The percentage of female educators in higher education is on the rise, but slowly, according to figures from the Dutch network of female professors LNHV. If this pace continues, the Netherlands will only reach a balance of 50 percent female and 50 percent male professors in 2042, the network said.

Currently 23.1 percent of professors in the Netherlands are women, up from 20.9 percent last year - the biggest increase in Dutch history. On the downside, the percentage of women among associate professors decreased from 28.6 to 28.4 percent.

LNHV is hopeful that more women will be appointed as professors in the future, as there is definitely enough potential - this year 53.9 percent of graduates were women, 43 percent of PhD students, and 41.8 percent of assistant professors. The current professors in the age group 55 to 65 years - the nearing retirement age group - are largely men. "The LNVH estimates that 77 percent of the outflow due to retirement can be replaced by women associate professors", the network said. 

The share of women professors increased at almost all Dutch universities last year, with an average of 2.2 percent. The biggest increase happened at Maastricht University, up 5.2 percent, followed by the Open University with an increase of 4.2 percent and Utrecht University with 3.0 percent. The open University had the highest proportion of women professors last year at 34.7 percent. 

Last week the Volkskrant reported that universities in the Netherlands left at least 2 million euros in subsidies intended to promote promising female scientists untouched over the past six years.