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Gender Policy

Diversity and inclusion in teams and organizations leads to increased innovation and better performance. A balanced workforce of men and women, of ethnic and cultural minorities and of Dutch and international employees is therefore important. This balance has not yet been achieved in all positions. To reach (gender) diversity & inclusion at all levels, Tilburg University is working hard to increase the proportion of women in higher academic positions: 40 % associate professors; 25% full professors; 25% deans and directors; 30% selection committees; one member of the Executive Board.

A number of extra goals have been set: abolish salary disparity between men and women; an inclusive environment on our campus from student to the top; attention for gender equality in internal and external communication; gender & diversity as a focus area in education (curriculum) and research.

A new Gender Equality Roadmap will be created alongside the Strategic Plan 2018-2021.

Philip Eijlander Diversity Program

This prestigious program aims to amplify the amount of women in higher academic positions though creating extra openings for assistant professors, associate and full professors. Excelling talent is recruited both internally and externally, as well as internationally and nationally. At present, eleven extra academic positions have been created in order speed up the proportion of women in top positions. Read more about the Philip Eijlander Diversity Program.


The Aspasia and Tracks training programs offer coaching to female senior researchers, assistant professors, associate professors, and full professors. The programs include goal setting, career strategy, building leadership capacity, visibility, networking, profiling, gender dynamics, and work-life balance. Evaluations show that the program is highly valued by former trainees from our Schools. Read more about the mentor program.

Group Model Building

Formulating a shared view of gender inequality with academic teams using the Group Model Building method. Read more about team development.

Academic leadership

As part of the university’s training of (future) supervisors, information is given on the importance and objectives of the university’s gender policy, and on the relevance of diversity in general.

Gender Unlimited Festival

Tilburg University celebrates International Women’s Day on March 8 with students and staff. The goal of this event is to add visibility to gender & diversity. In 2017, laureates of the Philip Eijlander Diversity Program discussed their interests and research disciplines under the title ‘Quality Includes Diversity’. The following themes have been addressed: ‘Cultural diversity in group culture’; ‘Networks of interacting thoughts & behavior; Stereotypes and prejudices, whose responsibility?’, and ‘What would global data justice look like?’

Read more on the Gender Unlimited Festival.

Research on gender pay gap

Research on the pay gap between men and women is conducted at Tilburg University and at national level. Its aim is to repair and prevent discrepancies in the earnings of men and women. At Tilburg University, this study is being conducted under the direction of Dr. Marloes van Engen.

Research Support after Pregnancy Leave

Research Support after Pregnancy Leave

Female academics can miss out on research time because of pregnancy leave, causing a gap in publications when compared to colleagues. The European Commission has estimated that, on average, women produce 15 publications less per child. Tilburg University enables women to publish on a par with their male colleagues, irrespective of pregnancies. Within 1.5 years after pregnancy leave employees can request four months’ worth of education replacement in order to compensate for missed research time.

Gender Marloes Engen

Interview with gender expert

Assistant Professor Human Resource Studies, Marloes van Engen, on the relevance of gender policy measurers - read here

Gender Johanna Westerdijk

Westerdijk Talent Scheme program

100 years ago the first female professor, Johanna Westerdijk, was appointed in the Netherlands. In the present, women fill around 18% of professorships in the Netherlands. Unless additional measures are taken, an equal male-female ratio among professors in the Netherlands will not be achieved until 2054 .The aim of the Westerdijk Talent Scheme program is to increase the number of female professors and therefore the contribution to a greater diversity at the top of Dutch academia. Tilburg University joins this program and appoints 4 full female professors.

Gender Make yourself heard

Unacceptable Behavior Complaints Regulations

Tilburg University wants to eliminate unacceptable behavior including (sexual) harassment, aggression, violence, and discrimination. To that end, the Executive Board has adopted a Code of Conduct and has appointed confidential advisors whose task it is to offer initial assistance to those who have been or are being confronted with unacceptable behavior. Tilburg University’s three confidential advisors are available to anyone at the university who is confronted with unacceptable behavior. Read more


The university’s Strategic Plan contains the following targets for 2020.

  • 25% of the full professors is female (18% in 2017).
  • 40% of the associate professors is female (30% in 2017).
  • 25% of the deans and directors is female.
  • Of the academic members of selection committees, preferably two, but a minimum of one is female.
  • Improving the diversity climate, from the student to the top.
  • Creating awareness of gender issues in internal and external communication and networks.
  • Paying attention to gender and diversity in teaching and research.
  • Abolishing the gender pay gap.

State of affairs

Ten years ago, the share of female professors at Tilburg University was 8%. The last ten years showed an annual increase of 1%, resulting in 18% female full professors at Tilburg University.

Thanks to the dedication of the university and the gender policy team, Tilburg University has undertaken a series of interventions to stimulate equal opportunity for women in the process of recruitment and promotion. This has led to a yearly increase of 1% in the share of female professors at the university.  We are committed to continue and improve interventions to reach the target of 25% of female professors in 2020.

Contact gender policy

For more information, comments, or suggestions on gender policy, please contact the HR gender policy team at and 013 - 466 2871.

Ilja Hijink, policymaker diversity & inclusion

Amber Kersten, student employee

Suzan van Kruijsdijk, student employee