Women in physics in the Netherlands: Recent Developments

Adrianne R.T. van Eerd, Nienke van der Marel, Petra Rudolf, Els de Wolf

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Although women are still a small minority in physics in the Netherlands, their visibility has increased markedly over the past five years. The measures put in place after the first IUPAP Women in Physics Conference in 2002 have in fact not increased the total number of female staff, but put the spotlight on female talent in physics. Affirmative actions by Dutch science faculties and physics departments have brought about a more than fivefold increase of female full professors: by now only one university is left without a female chair. At the assistant and associate professor levels, the MEERVOUD and ASPASIA programs of NWO (the national funding agency for scientific research) have been a success. The FOm/f program of the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter has accomplished its goal of stimulating the participation of women in physics through covering salary costs, giving research funding and postdoctoral positions, and highlighting outstanding female physicists through the MINERVA prize. Despite these success stories, the number of female physics students is still far too low, and even if there is an important influx of foreigners at all career levels from the PhD student upward, reaching 10% women in permanent positions in physics is still a goal for the future.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWomen in Physics: Third IUPAP International Conference on Women in Physics
EditorsBeverly Karplus Hartline, Renee K. Horton, Catherine M. Kaicher
PublisherUniversity of Groningen, The Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials
Number of pages2
ISBN (Print)9780735406452
Publication statusPublished - 2009
EventThird IUPAP International Conference on Women in Physics -
Duration: 8-Oct-200810-Oct-2008


ConferenceThird IUPAP International Conference on Women in Physics


  • the Netherlands
  • attracting girls into physics
  • gender mainstreaming
  • affirmative action
  • women in physics

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