On diversity as a tick-box exercise

Nov 12 2018 Published by under Academia, diversity, role models, women in science

A few days ago I wrote about women in higher positions at Dutch universities and how it seems from research at economics departments that "women are still not gaining a foothold through the regular application and employment policies." At first glance, it is therefore encouraging to see that the Dutch scientific organization, the main funding body of Dutch academic science, has a diversity statement on their website.*

My initial enthousiasm about this waned when I wondered if this is just a tick-box exercise, instead of a true effort to transform Dutch academia into a more diverse and inclusive ecosystem. The reason that got me thinking about this is another edition of "Pump your career", the "Talent day for female scientists". I wrote about issues that I have with this title before, but one of the speakers at this event pointed out that at least NWO removed all the images of shoes from the website, so I guess that is something. But what is more problematic with this event is the fact that it puts the onus - and thus the work - to improve diversity on women. Why does it not focus on everybody to create a more inclusive work environment?

And then I noticed a picture of the recipients of a large amount of grant money and saw that they are all white men (click the picture in the tweet to see more white men!).

So women get a one day event to learn how to negotiate better, but consortia led exclusively by men get 19 million Euro for research.

 

* But when will NWO start focussing on diversity other than gender diversity...?

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