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Share of female professors, in the Netherlands and EU countries

data publication
26 September 2023
professors Women
What percentage of Dutch professors is female? And how do the Dutch figures compare to other countries in the European Union? In this data publication we share the figures of various Dutch universities, university medical centers (umcs) and scientific areas. We show that the percentage of female professors in the Netherlands is lower than in most European countries.

In short

  • The proportion of female professors in the Netherlands has increased over the years.
  • The technical universities in the Netherlands have the smallest share of female professors.
  • Compared to other EU countries, a relatively low proportion of Dutch professors are women.

What is the proportion of female professors within Dutch universities?

The general broad universities have a higher share of female professors than average. The technical universities have a relatively small proportion of female professors.

In which scientific areas do most female professors work?

Over the past ten years, the share of female professors in the Netherlands shows a steady increase among all scientific areas. Since 2016, the Humanities and Behavioral sciences, as well as Law are the only scientific areas in which over a quarter of the professors (in fte) is female. The lowest share of female professors can be found in the scientific fields Economics and Engineering sciences with percentages of 16.2% and 18.7% in 2022, respectively. 

What is the proportion of female professors within university medical centers?

The monitor on female professors, published by the Dutch network of female professors, presents data on female professors at the university medical centers. The average share of female professors at these centers was 30% in 2022 (28% in 2021), which is a bit higher than the average of female professors at the universities. The share varies between 24.2% and 38%. Compared to 2021, the share of female professors increased the most at LUMC by 2.8 percentpoints. 

How do these figures compare to other European countries?

Compared to the EU countries, the Netherlands has a relatively low share of female professors (based on 2018 data). Of the countries in the figure only Belgium and Germany has a lower share of female professors. But Luxembourg, Hungary and Cyprus (countries not presented in the figure) also have a lower share of female professors than the Netherlands. Because the share of female professors is rising in the Netherlands, the question is whether the Netherlands is still lagging behind in Europe.