News - April 26, 2016

Nobel prize winner needs to inspire female talents

Rob Ramaker

Chemist and Nobel prize winner Ada Yonath is coming to Wageningen for a lecture. On the 18th of May she will give a talk at the presentation of a book about ‘inspiring women of Wageningen UR’.

Image: credit

Yonath, who was invited by Wageningen Young Academy, received the prize for her work on the shape and function of the ribosome. Cells contain such machines to convert hereditary materials to proteins, which in turn causes transportation, firmness and all other processes needed for life in organisms.

Afterwards the book is presented with 22 portraits of female scientists of Wageningen UR. ‘They can inspire all our young employees to form their own path’, says Kristina Raab, project manager at Corporate human resources, ‘especially for the young female researchers in a field dominated by males.’ Raab does not want to share names yet but the people depicted in the portraits will be present during the drink on the 18th of May for everyone to meet.

They can inspire all our young employees to make their own path.
Kristina Raab, project manager at Corporate human resources.

The creation of role models is one of the goals of the gender action plan. Since November 2013 Wageningen UR is trying to increase the number of women in top positons. Previously a mentor programme for female talent and diversity workshops were started. Also the most recent Strategic Plan has the goal to make Wageningen UR a more diverse – here defined more widely than only gender – organization.

From national comparisons it was found in 2015 and 2012 that Wageningen University has the smallest portion of female professors of our country. To tackle this the earlier mentioned gender action plan was formed. Furthermore, last January it was agreed that in 2020 one out of four professors need to be female. From the organization a call for ambition was heard. In December 2015, 62 professors signed a petition which stated that Wageningen UR needs to work harder on diversity.