Female Faculty Network Twente
Background and motivation: The idea that there should be more women in top positions at universities is shared by many.
These days women have in principle the same chances as men. However, they still lag behind in many departments. The causes for this are institutional, cultural and individual.
It cannot be denied that there are differences between male and female professional attitudes. Women stereotypically being cooperative, communicative, supportive, giving preference to good atmosphere, and avoiding risk. Men stereotypically being competitive, strategic, taking risks, and giving preference to his personal career.
Many agree that stereotypic male and female would form good teams at the top. In practice it works out differently. Often power politics are needed to get and stay at the top. A ‘female’ attitude is valued, but it does not bring her to the top. The question is how to change this.
Today, high educated women often feel reluctant about emancipation measures. Women are not invalids who need special measures in order to make them feel as if they are equal to men.
This is a dilemma. Women lag behind, and measures are required to take away the hidden obstacles of culturally grown, self-fulfilling social patterns. At the same time, women do not feel comfortable and properly valued if they get their positions through special measures.
The way the world has been for most of human civilization is that leaders were male. It would be naïve to believe that this situation can be easily changed. Nevertheless, cultural change can be stimulated. On the other hand, male and female faculty may have different qualities. The question is whether these differences are limitations for fulfilling top positions. If so, the question is how to change this. Political measures may be needed. This kind of development will need some pushing. Here the Network could play a role. In addition, female faculty may be able to develop specific skills to support their career development. Therefore, the focus of the Female Faculty Network Twente will be to further develop professionalism of women in academia.
The goal of the Twente Female Faculty Network is further development of professionalism of female faculty. The network wants to achieve this goal by providing a platform for:
1.Networking between female faculty from the University of Twente, as well as other academic women (business, governance) in Twente;
2.Organizing professional development events, such as workshops and presentations;
3.Organizing activities that would stimulate other women towards education, academic careers and professional development;
4.Exchanging ideas on research and management styles;
5.Social meeting other academic women. Key objectives of the Network are: to create a network where academic women can meet and exchange ideas and experiences;
to provide female faculty with professional training;
to advise UT Management Board about female faculty issues;
to raise awareness about female faculty issues (both among women and men);
and to monitor the implementation of female faculty-friendly measures.
Activities Activities of the Network will be organizing lunch meetings, workshops and social events.
The Network aims at monthly meetings at the campus. At the lunch a presentation on a specific theme will be given by one of the members or an external speaker.
Members will be stimulated to organize events or new activities within the Network. Workshops at professional issues such as networking in the scientific world, politics in sciences, career orientation and writing funding proposals.
The Network aims at a yearly event or conference with a specific theme. Participation at the activities is mostly free and gratuity (as well for members as for non-members), for some special activities registration is necessary and a small fee can be asked (this will be announced explicitly).
The activities planned for the near future can be found in the agenda www.utwente.nl/ffnt/agenda.
Organisation Female faculty, including professors, UHD’s, UD’s, Post-docs, and PhD students, can become a member of the Network. The Network is administrated by an executive committee. Tasks of this committee are long-term vision, a plan for the year, coordination of smaller committees and finances.
Campus Universiteit Twente
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