An employee works in the engine assembly section of the car factory in Ingolstadt, Germany. File/ AFP
A top European university will open vacancies exclusively for women staff in the first ever kind of move to shrug off the gender bias tag off its shoulders.
The Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) in its official website said the varsity is opening up vacancies for permanent academic staff exclusively for women in the first six months of recruitment.
It also said, for the next year and a half, this will apply to 100% of vacancies, after which the university will review the percentage covered by the scheme each year.
The move is planned to realise a better gender balance.
In the coming years, the university will have some 150 positions to fill.
Under this scheme, female newcomers will receive an extra starter package specifically tailored them. For each new Fellow in this programme, the university board will make an additional 100,000 euros available they can use for their own research line, along with a special mentoring programme for this new intake.
“We attach great importance to equal respect and opportunities for women and men,” explains Rector Frank Baaijens of Eindhoven University of Technology.
“And it has long been known that a diverse workforce performs better. It leads to better strategies, more creative ideas and faster innovation. That’s why we’ve had measures in place for years to increase the low percentage of women among our academic staff, but we’re progressing too slowly. We’re aware that we are suffering from an implicit gender bias. 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.”
Vacancies for which a good female candidate has not been found within six months will be reopened outside of the programme. Nevertheless, it will remain the case that the application committee must nominate at least one female candidate and one male candidate. All in all, TU/e wants at least half of all newly-appointed assistant professors to be women. The minimum for associate professors and full professors will be 35 per cent.
The measure has been checked against European legislation. It allows targeting recruitment from among underrepresented groups.
Thousands of women and girls are lured to Europe each year by the promise of work, but end up trapped in debt bondage and forced to sell sex, the United Nations says.
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