Special Reports

Universities In Switzerland Fails To Achieve Goal Of More Women Professors


Switzerland universities may not be able to reach the goal of having more women professors by the end of the year. The stated goal was to have women make up 25 percent of educators in the country.

Swissinfo.ch reported that women currently account for 20 percent of professorships. While it has made a significant rise, the figure is still unable to reach the goal of 25 percent by the end of 2016.

Swiss Universities secretary general Martina Weiss noted that universities will not be able to reach the 25 percent goal in time. "We know that, in conjunction with the universities, we have more work to do," she said. Swiss Universities is an organization that represents higher education institutes in Switzerland.

It was revealed that the primary reason that Switzerland is having fewer female professors is that it is women who often stay at home to look after the children. Moreover, Weiss added that there are few women who have the confidence to take the steps to becoming a professor.

She believes that women ought to be given more encouragement to take this option. Also, Weiss recommended universities to reach out to women in the academic fields more actively and make a more targeted approach to filling positions with women who are highly-qualified.

The government is helping this effort. It has made CHF14 million, about $14 million, available in the recent years to promote women at universities.

The publication noted that the news about the lack of female professors in Switzerland universities come in the midst of a debate about quotas for women in the business sector. The government has played a major role in backing non-binding quotas for women on company boards and top executive posts at major-listed companies.

According to University World News, Irene Rehmann from the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation, has said that the government expressed its regret that the goal was not reached. "We can only hope that progress will be made, but unfortunately development is still very slow," Rehmann added.

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