Organisation - September 11, 2014

Wanted: ambitious women

Rob Ramaker

Wageningen UR is looking for ambitious women researchers and experienced mentors to coach them. A mentor programme will be launched in October to get more women to the top.

Photo: Lego launched shortly a set with female scientists. See @LegoAcademics for realistic situations.

At the level of the top academic jobs in Wageningen UR you see relatively few women. Although the male-female ratio among graduates is roughly equal, you find steadily fewer women the higher up the career ladder you look. The proportion of women professors is not even 10 percent. The gender policy action plan of November 2013 aims to do something about this, and one      of the tools is a mentor pro-gramme. 

For the programme, Corporate Human Resources (HR) seeks women researchers who are still  in the early stages of their careers. HR will link them up with an established scientist, male or female. Not all researchers are suitable candidates for the role. ‘Mentors must have adequate social skills,’ says Kristina Raab, project manager at Corporate Human Resources. ‘And it needs  to click between them too.’
In order to guarantee the quality  of the coaching, all the mentors will receive training. 

Raab thinks the benefits will spread beyond the young researchers. After all, the mentors will hone their coaching skills and make contacts across disciplines. About 30 mentors have already signed up, but she is hoping for even more. Interested academics can fill in a registration form on the intranet and send it to