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University positions by age and gender

data publication
29 October 2021
Academic careers Women
What is the division (in FTE) between men and women who hold an academic position at a university? In this data publication, we look at the distribution within different age groups and at the annual development of the proportion of men and women per position.

In short

  • In all scientific positions the share of women is still smaller than the share of men, except for teachers.
  • The relative share of women in academic positions decreases with age.
  • The growing employment opportunities at universities are increasingly taken by women.

Academic careers by position, age and gender, 2020 (fte)

Academisch carrierehuis naar functie en gender

Academic careers by position, age and gender (fte)

academic careerhouse 98-20
Source: UNL/ WOPI.
Note: Data on the categories of teachers, researchers and other scientific staff are available from 2005 onwards.

Analysis
In 2019, the share of women in all scientific positions is still smaller than the share of men, except for the teachers. The relative share of men in academic positions increases with age. Age also correlates with position. The majority of PhD students (fte) are aged 25 to 29 years; 56% of them is male. Most professors (fte) are aged between 55 and 59 years; 79% of them is male. 

The number of fte in academics that is executed by women increased more in the past years than the number of fte that is executed by men. After a period of increase between 1998 and 2003, a slight decrease can be observed in the years 2004-2008 for men. The number of fte keeps growing steadily to 17.069 in 2020. The number of fte that is executed by women shows a different pattern. In the past years this number increased from 3,637 in 1998 to 11.874 in 2020 (+226%). The growing employment opportunities at universities are increasingly taken by women. The share of women having an academic position at a university increased from 22% in 1998 to 41% in 2020. With every career step, the gap between the share of men and women increases. The higher the position, the smaller the proportion of women.