TU Delft Delta PhD graduates
30% of all TU Delft PhD graduates is female. (Photo: pxhere.com)

Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven (Ministry of Education, Culture and Science) is considering training doctorate committees on gender bias.

(Read in dutch)

The reason for this is that women earn fewer cum laudes when obtaining their doctorates. But at TU Delft, proportionately more women than men earn cum laudes. “Thirty per cent of all PhDs are female, and 25% of them receive a cum laude,” says Peter Wieringa.

One hundred per cent
In his capacity of Dean of the Graduate School, Wieringa evaluates all the cum laude doctorate proposals. He noticed that the doctorate committee honours 100% of the proposals by female candidates and 66 of the male candidates. Despite these positive statistics, Wieringa believes the gender discussion to be ‘nonsense’. He believes that the discussion should be about quality and not about gender.

Too few female professors
Van Engelshoven will soon enter into discussions with The Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) ‘about the positive effects that training can offer’. She believes that when brought together, scientific committees already take much account of the male-female ratio. Wieringa confirms this. “The ratio in the doctorate committees is just about the same. But there are few female professors among the chairs of the doctorate committees for the simple reason that there are not always female professors available for these jobs.”