Restoring the gender balance: TU Eindhoven only hiring female academics

Restoring the gender balance: TU Eindhoven only hiring female academics

The TU Eindhoven has the lowest share of female university professors in the Netherlands. To remedy this, the university will only be hiring women for academic positions for the coming one-and-a-half years.

Calling all female academics

In the coming years, the university anticipates having to fill 150 jobs and hopes to be able to give a great number of these to women. If after six months a vacancy is still open and there is no suitable female candidate, the vacancy will be opened up to men. Via the Irène Curie Fellowship, the women recruited will receive 100.000 euros for research and a mentor. Furthermore, the fellowship will run for a term of five years.

The call for female academics only will begin from July 1 and it is hoped that by next year the share of female professors at the institution will have increased to 20 percent (last year it was 12,6 percent). This is not to say that the share is not already growing, it was a mere 5,7 percent in 2011, but it is, “too slow”, says Rector Magnificus of TU Eindhoven Frank Baaijens.

Is this discrimination?

According to Baaijens, the university in Eindhoven has been taking measures to attract women for years. “And it has been known for some time that a diverse workforce functions better. It leads to better strategies, more creative ideas and faster innovation.”

The latest measure- only hiring women- has been reviewed against European legislation and does not constitute discrimination. In fact, it allows the university to expressly hire women as this group is underrepresented.

Mina Solanki


Mina Solanki

Completed her Master's degree at the University of Groningen and worked as a translator before joining IamExpat. She loves to read and has a particular interest in Greek mythology. In...

Read more



Leave a comment

Luca Ambrogioni 16:06 | 19 June 2019

This is simply plain discrimination. What TU is doing does not solve any bias. They don't even think they have the burden to prove that this bias exist. Their student population is 25% female. Assuming fair hiring you would expect 25% female professors (This is close to the actual number especially for assistant professor positions). TU thinks that the fact that the percentage is not 50% automatically proves discrimination even if the number of applicants is not 50%. This is just nonsensical. This is just a group of people with power discriminating another group of people with less power for self benefit. Discrimination plain and simple.

TraceDie 12:22 | 20 June 2019

This is an absolutely disgraceful practice by TU Eindhoven. I completely agree with the previous comment (by Luca Ambrogioni). As a woman I find this patronizing at the very least. Discrimination toward men is now actively being promoted and accepted, especially by academic institutions. All positions such be met on merit, not by discriminative quotas. What a surprise that the European legislation does not constitute this measure as discrimination. A perverse interpretation of logic if there ever was, pure and simple. One can only hope that reason and good judgment will be again be restored but I won’t be holding my breath!