Diversity creates an environment in which talent can flourish. Organisations with more diverse management perform better on average, are often more effective and innovative - and more profitable. Greater diversity in higher academic positions gives the university a competitive advantage. Moreover, diversity ensures that the organisation makes the best use of the available intellectual capital. Talent is by definition scarce, and becomes even more scarce as the population ages. So it is vital that we as an organisation make the best use of our available talent. The Faculty of Science recognises the importance of a diverse organisation staff, and has therefore drawn up a faculty diversity policy. A focused diversity policy will eventually result in an academic staff that is more diverse, and therefore of higher quality.
At the moment, the primary focus of the Faculty of Science’s diversity committee is to improve gender diversity, but in the future, the committee will eventually expand its focus to other aspects, such as culture. The appointment of more female researchers is not a goal in and of itself; the purpose of the diversity policy is to create a better organisation that makes optimal use of the (intellectual) capital available. Gender diversity creates an environment in which talent can flourish. Plus, employers that have both men and women in top positions are more attractive places to work for both men and women, which helps to develop and retain talent.
As a result of the signature of the ‘Talent at the Top’ charter by former Board President Yvonne van Rooij, the Faculty of Science has set a goal to increase the percentage of female professors to 20% by 2020. However, over the past five years, the number of female professors appointed has barely increased, and is currently around 10%. Without policy measures, it will take decades before we reach a balanced ratio of men to women. So the Gender Diversity Policy project group was formed and assigned four sub-projects. A separate Diversity Committee has also been formed as an impartial body to supervise this process and other diversity issues. The committee deals with issues related to diversity policy, and provides the Dean with advice at his request or on its own initiative.
Four sub-projects have been set up since the end of 2014. The sub-projects are in various stages of development.
The Diversity Committee
Chair: Ronald Pierik