The FFNT (Female Faculty Network Twente) is the professional network of female academic staff members at the University of Twente. Our vision is to establish and maintain the current culture and the practices of diversity in our university. Our mission is to promote female academic leadership and help shape policies that increase gender diversity at our university.
Academic workplaces and academic careers are supposed to be gender-neutral. However, even today, less than 20% of female researchers are promoted to professors in Dutch academic institutions. At the same time, the number of female doctoral candidates in different faculties as well as female postdocs is quite comparable to the numbers of male colleagues. The leaky pipeline is an alarming reality in Dutch academia. If talent walks away, in the long run this often translates in sub-optimally used opportunities for growth and for innovation. An inclusive work environment is a key factor to retaining and leveraging female researchers’ talent and assuring long-term benefits and growth. To address the ‘leaky pipeline’ issue at the University of Twente, a number of enthusiastic female academic established the FFNT in 2005. Since then, this organization has grown to 220 members at all academic levels. It engages with and for its members, with UT managers and administrators to keep up the dialogue about equity, diversity and inclusiveness. We are actively involved in building the business case for gender diversity at various levels of the university, in human resources departments, as well as in teaching and research. FFNT also offers a lot of training sessions to train its members in professional academic skills and leadership qualities, effectively tuned for women.
FFNT collaborates with other UT organizations, such as OBP-VN, the UT’s Human Resources Department, the UT’s Ambassadors Network, PNUT, the Twente Graduate School, and Studium Generale.
Objectives and activities
In line with its 2015-2020 strategy, the Female Faculty Network Twente has three main goals:
- To contribute to FFNT members' professional development
- To increase attractiveness of FFNT
- To contribute to the UT as an inclusive organization
We do so through a number of activities, such as yearly conferences, lunch discussions and workshops on various topics relating to gender in academic workplaces. We meet and discuss with UT management as well as our members to address gender and related issues faced by our members, such as transparency of hiring and promotion criteria and family-friendly policies. We also encourage the pro-active engagement of our members in shaping their own careers and promoting their leadership at different levels of the UT.
Our events are free of charge for the FFNT members. We encourage you to contact us with your suggestions for future events - you can help shaping our annual program of activities based on your needs!
The network is run by the FFNT Board, which is responsible for the long-term vision, strategic planning, organization of the events, and finances. The FFNT Board consists of academic staff members from all faculties, with administrative support by a secretary. The aim of the Board is to cover the needs and interests of all female academics at the UT and therefore, the Board welcomes professors, associate professors, lecturers, researchers and PhD candidates.
Female academics, including full, associate and assistant professors, post-docs, and PhD candidates, are welcome to become a member of the FFNT. Membership is free of charge. To learn about the membership benefits, please click on our Membership.