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The UT stimulates the advancement of women to the top of our organization, as we are convinced that a diversely composed organization is beneficial for the organizational climate and that it achieves better business results. As a university, we feel responsible for contributing to the presence and visibility of women in science and at other key positions within the UT. We are actively implementing a policy designed to realize these objectives. This includes promoting gender awareness throughout the organization, especially in the field of leadership and recruitment and selection.

In 2006, the UT began explicit measures to stimulate the influx and career development of women in the organization. In 2009, the note "Influx and career development of women at the UT 2009" (Dutch only) was published.

In the same year, the UT signed the "Talent to the Top" Charter, a code of agreements designed to help realize greater male/female diversity at both top and middle management. Signatories commit themselves to clearly measurable objectives and have their results monitored on a yearly basis.

The objectives can be translated into ambitious target figures to be realized in 2014, determining the number of women in the top of the UT. Progress is monitored and discussed periodically at various levels within the organization. The figures are measured at least once a year and published publicly.

These pages show all that the UT has going for them in supporting more women to reach the top.

  • Awards and scholarships

    On this page you will find the UT awards and scholarships for women. These are awarded once a year, during an academic ceremony. For both the awards and scholarships, candidates are nominated, and the award or scholarship is awarded to only one candidate. In order to recruit candidates a 'call' is opened and communicated internally.

    Finally, a list of suggestions of national awards and scholarships that support women in building their careers.

    • UT Professor de Winter Award for academic staff
    • UT Marina van Damme Scholarship for academic staff



  • Figures and successes

    The UT is proud of the fact that, year after year, in all sections of the organization, we are making progress in our efforts to increase the number of women on their way to, and at the top of, the organization.

    Our figures reveal that actively planning for recruitment, promotion and retention of talented women and to offer women and their work environment extra tools and facilities, is effective. These figures also demonstrate that this work is far from finished. We may need to explore new paths to boost this upward trend. To illustrate we will show some successful moments from the careers of three prospering UT women, randomly chosen from a larger group.

    And finally, an impression of external figures and successes.




    Examples of successful UT women in the media



  • Funds and programmes

    In order to give everyone the opportunity to submit an application during the summer period, the deadline has been extended to 31 August.

    This page lists the UT funds and career programmes.

    With the exception of the UT Aspasia Fund, the funds offered are intended for both academic and administrative and support staff.

    These two funds offer financial support to women who want to focus on building their career, the goal being to improve their position at the UT. In order to be awarded the fund, applications must meet certain criteria. Four times a year a 'call' is opened and communicated internally.

    You can find more information on the four career programmes at the pages of the Centre for Training and Development

    Finally, a list of suggestions of national funds and programmes that support women in building their careers.

    • UT Incentive Fund (see below) for academic and administrative and support staff
    • UT Pleasantly assertive for women (only Dutch) for academic and administrative and support staff
    • UT My next step for academic and administrative and support staff




    The UT Incentive Fund is a fund, created and financed by the UT. Originally set up to facilitate female staff development and the promotion of women to address their underrepresentation at the UT, from 2019 its aim has been widened to fund initiatives to encourage innovative, bottom-up ideas valuing and respecting diversity and promoting inclusion at the UT.

    If you have such an idea the UT is keen to support you.

    Diversity is any dimension that can be used to differentiate groups and people from one another. In a nutshell, it’s about respecting and appreciating what makes people different, in terms of age, gender identity, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, education, and national origin.

    Diversity allows for the exploration of these differences in a safe, positive, and nurturing environment. It means understanding one another by surpassing simple tolerance to ensure people truly value their differences. This allows us both to embrace and also to celebrate the rich dimensions of diversity contained within each individual and place positive value on diversity in the community and in the workforce.

    Each individual in an organization brings with them a diverse set of perspectives, work and life experiences, as well as religious and cultural differences. The power of diversity can only be unleashed and its benefits reaped when we recognize these differences and learn to respect and value each individual irrelevant of their background.

    Inclusion is an organizational effort and practices in which different groups or individuals having different backgrounds are culturally and socially accepted and welcomed, and treated equally. These differences could be self-evident, such as national origin, age, race and ethnicity, religion/belief, gender identity, marital status and socioeconomic status or they could be more inherent, such as educational background, training, sector experience, organizational tenure, even personality, such as introverts and extroverts.

    Inclusion is linked to a sense of belonging. Inclusive cultures make people feel respected and valued for who they are as an individual or group. People feel a level of supportive energy and commitment from others so that they can feel empowered to perform to the best of their abilities at work.

    In simple terms, diversity is the mix and inclusion is getting the mix to work well together.

    Your application will be assessed and decided upon by the UT Ambassadors’ Network.


    • The UT Incentive Fund is open to all employees who strive for a diversity-valuing and inclusive university  for each and every one of us. Working together to create a stronger community and more inclusive UT.
    • Proposals can be submitted individually or as a group and should showcase how we as community including its employees can be more inclusive. 
    • If you have a temporary contract, you should have a guarantee for at least one more year of employment at UT.


    The UT Incentive Fund can support any initiative that could help strengthen the UT as a diverse and inclusive community for its employees. We will grant money to translating ideas into activities, studies or projects that could produce a sustainable impact and help the UT be a more inclusive organisation.  

    Please note that the Incentive Fund does not provide grants for pure scientific research, however doing a study to fill a knowledge gap in diversity and inclusion could be a possibility. Requests for equipment or data collection will not be considered.

    The total available budget for this call is €45.000. The maximum for any individual application is € 10.000. If the number of proposals exceeds the budget available, the proposals with the largest expected impact on the UT community will be approved.


    Proposals should contain two parts:

    1. Motivation + plan (max. 2 pages)
    A description of your motivation and ambition to value diversity and improve inclusion. It has to be clear what the identified opportunity or problem consists of and how it will be addressed. Explain why you are the appropriate person / group to execute this proposal. You need to add a description of the proposed activities, along with convincing argumentation for how those activities will impact the UT community and contribute to valuing diversity and increasing inclusion. A clear timetable must be part of proposal.

    2. Activity overview and budget (max. 1 page)

    A detailed overview of activities and necessary budget.

    Planned activities

    Costs applied for

    Costs borne by others**

    Expected results









    Total budget:

    ** Indicate here how other costs are being financed and whether this finance is guaranteed (please refer to the financial department of your faculty or service department in case of substantive questions related to your budget overview)

    Please take the points stated below into consideration when writing your proposal:

    • Your application will be assessed by the members of the UT Ambassadors’ Network. From your plan they would like to understand in particular how the proposed activities will champion diversity and inclusion.
    • The maximum amount that can be awarded is € 10.000 per application.
    • Your application can be awarded partially.


    • The expected impact on the UT community.
    • The direct link to diversity and inclusion.
    • The clarity of the planned actions and budget overview.


    • Closing date for proposals: 11 June 2021
    • Decisions on the application will be taken at the Ambassadors’ Network meeting of mid June 2021 and will be communicated in end of June 2021.
    • Your application should be submitted to Mette Strubbe, HR policy advisor & Secretary ambassadors network a.i.
    • Please contact Mette Strubbe for more information.
    • The outcomes of funded projects must be reported back to the Ambassadors’ Network within three months of the project ending and can be used for communication purposes.
  • Networks

    On this page you will find the UT networks and external networks for women.

    The three UT networks have been established in order to promote the interests of women at the UT. The UT stimulates and supports the networks in the performance of their activities and actively encourages participation.

    The Female Faculty Network (FFNT) specifically focuses on academic staff and the OBP Female Network (OBP-VN) focuses on administrative and support staff. The activities of both networks consist of varied training programmes, lectures and networking activities, targeted towards continued professional development. The questions and needs of women are the basic principles behind the activities on offer.

    The UT ambassadors network was established by the Executive Board and consists of members who want to stimulate women's career development and helping them acquire top positions. The network advises the Executive Board on measures to improve women's advancement to the top, and also monitors the policy implementation within faculties and services. In addition, the ambassadors network assesses the applications for the UT Aspasia Fund and the UT Incentive Fund.

    A common goal of the networks is actively propagating the importance of gender awareness, both within and without the UT.

    Finally, on this page you will find a helpful, but not exhaustive overview, of national networks that support women in their careers.

    • UT Ambassadors Network (see below)
    • UT FFNT (Female Faculty Network Twente)
    • UT OBP-VN (Female Network for Administrative and Support Staff)



    • The ambassador's network

      The ambassador's network advises the executive board of the University of Twente on diversity policies. This includes gender policy, but also diversity in other aspects.

      The name ambassador's network dates back to more than 10 years ago, when various national ambassador's networks were created, uniting industry professionals who wanted to increase the number of women in their companies that would grow into a top position.

      The ambassador's network actively contributes to discussions about how to support diversity in hiring and career development. In particular, we discuss diversity targets for the different faculties and departments of the university, and we advise on how to create awareness of implicit biases that influence hiring and career decisions. We also advise on how to create an inclusive working environment, where all members of the UT community feel appreciated and comfortable.

      Concrete activities of the ambassador's network are:

      • regular meetings with members of the university's executive board, to discuss diversity policies at UT level
      • regular meetings with deans and heads of the university services, to discuss the situation within the faculty or service
      • to advise on the applications for the UT Incentive Fund
      • to advise the human resource department on concrete measures to increase diversity in hiring and career development, as well as on inclusive and safe working conditions at the UT, and
      • regular exchange of information, and where appropriate collaboration with the female faculty network (FFNT) and the non-faculty female network (OBP-vrouwennetwerk)

      The members of the ambassador's network represent the different faculties and services of the University of Twente. The current members are:

      EEMCS: Prof.dr. Huisman (Marieke) M.van Keulen (Maurice)
      BMS: Prof.dr. Millar (Carla) Prof.dr. van der Meulen (Barend) Dr. M. Renkema (Maarten)
      ET: Venner (Kees) L. Volker (Leentje) 
      S&T: Hilgenkamp (Hans) Lindhoud (Saskia)
      ITC: Dr. R. Darvish (Roshanak) Prof.dr. Willemen (Wieteke)  
      Support staff: Drs. M.J. Winkler (Mariëlle), P.M. van Dijk (Paul)
      FFNT representative: Dr. M.P. Ruiz (Pilar)

      Secretary and policy advisor diversity & inclusion: C van Goor

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