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  • Writer's pictureMeghann Ormond

Eight ways universities can make career assessment more equitable

Women and members of minority groups remain grossly under-represented in senior academic positions at Dutch universities, despite many institutional and national initiatives. There is growing awareness that current measures of good scholarship are sorely insufficient, or even inappropriate, to assess a diverse population of academics and academic roles. The 2019 position paper ‘Room for everyone’s talent’ called for all Dutch universities to develop recognition and rewards (R&R) policies that support diverse skill- and competency-based career paths, recognize both individual and team performance, and value quality over quantity in academic outputs. Yet diversifying standards of excellence does not automatically advance Gender+ inclusion and diversity in universities. New R&R policies must be designed to foster greater representation so that diverse competences are recognized — without falling prey to bias, whether conscious or unconscious, about how gender and ethnicity, among other factors, shape awareness and interpretations of a scholar’s contributions. A recent Nature article - co-authored by Wageningen Young Academy fellows Sylvia Brugman, Meghann Ormond, Janneke Pieters and Mangala Srinivas - offers eight recommendations for how to begin to recognize, address and correct for such biases at Wageningen University and beyond.

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