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Does excellence have a gender? A national research study on recruitment and selection procedures for professorial appointments in The Netherlands

Marieke van den Brink (University of Groningen, Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences, Groningen, The Netherlands)
Margo Brouns (University of Groningen, Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences, Groningen, The Netherlands)
Sietske Waslander (University of Groningen, Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences, Groningen, The Netherlands)

Employee Relations

ISSN: 0142-5455

Article publication date: 1 November 2006

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to show that upward mobility of female academics in regular selection procedures is evolving extremely slowly, especially in The Netherlands. This paper aims at a more profound understanding of professorial recruitment and selection procedures in relation to gender differences at Dutch universities.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper explores the recruitment of university professors as a gendered process and is mainly based on the analysis of selection committee reports between 1999‐2003 from six large Dutch universities (n=682).

Findings

The research findings give a clear indication of gender differences in selection and recruitment procedures. Although not in all disciplines, the paper observes a disparity in the percentages of male and female applicants who were successful in the selection procedure. There is no confirmation of the predicted relationship with the nature of the procedure (open/closed), but there is a correlation with the number of women on the committee.

Research limitations/implications

As it was not possible to make any pronouncements about the quality of the applicants, a strict measurement of gender bias is not possible.

Practical implications

The results show that academic disciplines are gendered in a different way, requiring different measures at the institutional and individual levels.

Originality/value

This is the first paper on recruitment and selection procedures that takes into account disciplinary differences and factors such as the number of applicants for each professorship and the recruitment potential by gender.

Keywords

Citation

van den Brink, M., Brouns, M. and Waslander, S. (2006), "Does excellence have a gender? A national research study on recruitment and selection procedures for professorial appointments in The Netherlands", Employee Relations, Vol. 28 No. 6, pp. 523-539. https://doi.org/10.1108/01425450610704470

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited