Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 508685
Title Tenure Track Policy Increases Representation of Women in Senior Academic Positions, but Is Insufficient to Achieve Gender Balance
Author(s) Bakker, M.M.; Jacobs, M.H.
Source PLoS One 11 (2016)9. - ISSN 1932-6203
DOI https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0163376
Department(s) Land Use Planning
WASS
Cultural Geography
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2016
Abstract Underrepresentation of women in senior positions is a persistent problem in universities worldwide, and a wide range of strategies to combat this situation is currently being contemplated. One such strategy is the introduction of a tenure track system, in which decisions to promote scientific staff to higher ranks are guided by a set of explicit and transparent criteria, as opposed to earlier situations in which decisions were based on presumably more subjective impressions by superiors. We examined the effect of the introduction of a tenure track system at Wageningen University (The Netherlands) on male and female promotion rates. We found that chances on being promoted to higher levels were already fairly equal between men and women before the tenure track system was introduced, and improved–more for women than for men–after the introduction of the tenure track system. These results may partly be explained by affirmative actions, but also by the fact that legacy effects of historical discrimination have led to a more competitive female population of scientists. In spite of these outcomes, extrapolations of current promotion rates up to 2025 demonstrate that the equal or even higher female promotion rates do not lead to substantial improvement of the gender balance at higher levels (i.e., associate professor and higher). Since promotion rates are small compared to the total amount of staff, the current distribution of men and women will, especially at higher levels, exhibit a considerable degree of inertia—unless additional affirmative action is taken.
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