Working at Tilburg University

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Gender Policy

In its Strategic Plan 2014-2017, Tilburg University states it will continue to invest in interdisciplinary research and education, to bridge connections between the university and society and to be an organization of and for its international staff and students.

Our mission of Understanding Society shows that we want to contribute solving social issues by developing and transferring knowledge. In this context, we also have a responsibility for our own organization.

Inclusive organization

Increased diversity and inclusion in teams and organizations leads to increased innovation and better performance. A more balanced workforce of men and women, more inclusion of ethnic minorities and an increased balance of Dutch and international employees at Tilburg University is therefore important. This balance has not yet been achieved in all positions. To increase (gender) diversity & inclusion, Tilburg University is working hard to implement the Gender Equality Roadmap that is affiliated to the Strategic Plan 2014-2017. Key Performance Indicators aim 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: abolishing salary disparity between male-female; the improvement of a diverse 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, eight 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.


Tracks and Aspasia training programs offer coaching to female senior researchers, assistant professors, associate professors, and full professors. The programs include network analyses, attracting sponsors, speed dating with full professors who are available for mentoring, strategies for career planning, and individual coaching sessions. 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 annually celebrated International Women’s Day on March 8 with students and staff based on a topical theme. The goal of this event is to add visibility to diversity. In 2017, laureates of the Philip Eijlander Diversity Program will discuss their interests and research discipline under the title ‘Quality Includes Diversity’. The following themes will be discussed: ‘Cultural diversity in group culture’; ‘The glue of (ab)normal mental life, networks of interacting thoughts & behavior; Stereotypes and prejudices, whose responsibility?’ And ‘What would global data justice look like? Toward an inclusive framing of informational rights and freedoms.’

In 2016, the focus was on men and women balance work and care. Read more on Gender Unlimited Events.

Research on gender pay gap

Research on the pay gap between men and women is conducted at Tilburg University and at the 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

Research has shown that 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 one year after pregnancy leave employees can request four months’ worth of education replacement in order to compensate for missed research time.

Marloes van Engen

Gender Policy Advisor en Associate Professor Human Resource Studies, Marloes van Engen on the Philip Eijlander Diversity Program - read here


The university’s Strategic Plan 2014-2017 contains the following targets for 2017.

  • 25% of the full professors is female (17% in 2015).
  • 40% of the associate professors is female (26% in 2015).
  • 25% of the Deans and Managing 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.
  • Reducing the gender pay gap.

State of affairs

Ten years ago, the share of female professors at Tilburg University was 8,5 %. Compared to the current Dutch average (18%), Tilburg University has come a long way to a 1 to 4,3 female-to male ratio of full professors (19%).

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 gender policy team at On Tuesdays, the gender policy team can also be reached at +31 13 466 2871.