15 May 2018

Four Utrecht University Professors join OECD groups on Gender and the Future of Work

demonstranten voor gelijke rechten
Demonstranten bij een mars voor vrouwenrechten.

Linda Senden, Belle Derks, Rosemarie Buikema and Maarten Goos will share their expertise in so-called "engagement groups" of the worldwide Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Every year, the 35 countries of the OECD meet in Paris to discuss economic issues and developments. In order to tackle societal issues in a more concrete way, so called "engagement groups" are now being formed with leaders from the business world, academics and policy makers. They will meet more often and also collaborate digitally. OECD countries will be able to approach these groups directly with questions. Four Utrecht University Professors have an important voice in two of these new working groups.

Issues like digitisation and social inequality

Professors Linda Senden (Law), Belle Derks (Social Sciences) and Rosemarie Buikema (Humanities) take part in turns, in the engagement group "Girls in STEM", (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths). This group focuses on the study and career choices of women and on issues related to social inequality and gender. Maarten Goos (Economy) participates in the "Future of Work" group, which deals with issues such as robotisation, big data, aging, new skills, labour protection and the labour market. This group also includes people from Randstad, the Bertelsmann Stiftung and scientists from the London School of Economics. Maarten Goos is, in his own words, "honoured to work together with colleagues to make strategic policy and to work together with key partners in this area."

The OECD is now more aware of the social component of economics

Peter van der Maas, involved in the Utrecht strategic programme Institutions for Open Societies, worked to make the OECD cooperation possible. "You see that an economic forum like this is becoming more aware of the social component of economics. They are committed to tackling societal issues such as inequality, inclusiveness and resilience. We can absolutely contribute to that as a university. "

Top Research on Future of Work and Gender and Diversity

In research and education, Utrecht University focuses strongly on areas such as 'the future of work' and 'diversity'. Top research in these fields comes together in Hubs, so-called nodes where science cooperates with social organizations, the business community and the government. Collaboration aimed at solving major societal challenges. The university works in this capacity from the Hubs "Future of Work" and "Gender and Diversity" together with the OECD.