A study by the Dutch Network of Women Professors has revealed subtle differences in conditions for male and female academics. Martine Segers explores why inequalities persist.
Small differences can have big impacts. This is certainly the case in the Netherlands, a country that is striving towards gender equality. Despite ostensibly having the same job chances and career prospects, male and female staff at Dutch universities experience subtle, systematic differences.
A survey of 4,295 scientists undertaken by the Dutch Network of Women Professors has highlighted differences between male and female academics in terms of tasks, access to resources and their ability to negotiate their terms of employment. Every little difference turns out to be disadvantageous for women, not for men, say Ruth van Veelen and Belle Derks, the Utrecht University researchers who conducted the study.