DEWIS

DEWIS is the women’s network of scientists at the TU Delft and our mission is to help TU Delft to attract more women and create an inclusive, safe environment that makes women want to stay, while giving them the opportunity to grow and flourish in their academic careers. Another important goal for DEWIS is to reach a male-female ratio that more accurately reflects society.


19 december 2022

Department Heads talk about gender diversity: an interview with Michiel Kreutzer

What can we learn from our colleagues regarding the role of women in science? In a series of interviews our Department Heads share their views on gender diversity, equality and inclusion. What are their thoughts, ideas and actions on creating diverse and inclusive working environments? Today we are talking to Professor Michiel Kreutzer, head of the Department of Architectural Engineering & Technology at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment. “When people choose to have a family and therefore take on caring responsibilities, the university should take that into account in the career structure. … Female and male role models are also very important in this respect, i.e. women who balance having children with their careers, as well as men who also take on parenting roles at home. But again, it is not only the institution which has a responsibility here, but also society as a whole.” Michiel Kreutzer How would you describe the gender balance in your department? At the Faculty of Architecture, diversity is not exclusively a gender issue. Within the Department of Architectural Engineering and Technology, about half of the professors are women. Fortunately, I am rarely on teams where women are underrepresented, but the academic sector is still predominantly white. That worries me. For example, I don't see many students from Rotterdam South on campus. What does gender equality mean to you? Our approach is double: from equity and from diversity comes better science. Conventional thinking about science has changed quite a lot. Thanks to Thomas Kuhn, we understand that debate and discussion are indispensable for good science. People like Bruno Latour have made us realise that who does the research is a partial determinant of the scientific outcome. Surely this understanding is different from the pre-war idea of falsification, that science asymptotically unlocks an objective truth, regardless of who does it. For a long time now, biologists have departed from merely being detached scientists who observe an organism – rather, we create the organism. What those organisms do comes from the mind of the scientist, who forms ideas in discussion and debate. This is a somewhat long philosophical introduction, the point being that a diversity of ideas and perspectives is important for science. Research has shown that diverse teams are more creative, as well as more innovative. It is important that the people with whom we build on ideas through discussion and discourse have different backgrounds and perspectives. In addition, the argument for equality is just as important. It is simply not fair if people are given fewer opportunities because of appearance, orientation etc. Such discrimination goes against our sense of justice and should be addressed head-on. Unconscious bias is human, but it can be unlearned to some extent, and we are taking steps to do so. The tricky thing about the fairness argument is that it can be flipped so easily: 'I don't get a chance because you discriminate.' The discussion always has winners and losers. Our approach – that diversity within a department makes for better scientists – suffers less from this accusatory atmosphere. As department chair, I try to play as few 'zero-sum’, ‘winners-and-losers' games as possible on this topic. By all of us being and behaving differently, we all become better scientists, and we all win. Are you aware of the manifestations of the gender biases we all have? How do you recognise bias? What are the consequences of gender bias? I am a white male from a family of academics. That is my background. I feel at home with people from the same background. I am aware of that. Paying attention and occasionally giving myself a little push helps me make sure that I don't surround myself with my reflection. We must overcome the unconscious biases we all have. Of course we pay extra attention to those biases during the big moments, for instance job applications. But we must also consider the thousands of unconscious pressures which people from different backgrounds receive and accumulate over the years, thereby depriving people in minority groups of equal opportunities. It’s certainly not fair, and it’s important to acknowledge that this daily reality for many also makes for a less enjoyable workplace, as well as a lesser university. Let's help each other and discuss without accusation: seek dialogue, let people have their dignity. A classic method of communication is to give precise, respectful feedback: 'You show this behaviour and that evokes this response from me.' I regularly have to engage with people from different backgrounds and I try to look at them with an open mind. When I’m able to do this, my work becomes a lot more enjoyable. For me, a university is a place where people develop and grow. I like it when people evolve. And that is only possible in a safe environment where you are challenged and can be yourself – in other words, an inclusive environment. How would you describe a healthy work-life balance? Is this something personal, or does the institution have a responsibility? Academic careers are very competitive, especially when scarce resources are distributed competitively. Recognition and success are quite dependent on access to those scarce resources. Our whole society has moved in towards individual accountability for success and failure. We see with increasing clarity that this shift creates more pressure than we actually think is healthy, and with the nationwide ‘Recognition and Rewards’ initiative, there is now a concrete action plan to address this. That is one positive step. The university is a place where hard work pays off. We have to accept that almost everyone has a period in life when all that hard work is a little less successful. We shouldn't be too rigid about that. I think it is important that people do not fall out of the loop of their academic careers for lengthy periods. When people choose to have a family and therefore take on caring responsibilities, the university should take that into account in the career structure. Some years will be less productive than others – we must make room for that. Female and male role models are also very important in this respect, i.e. women who balance having children with their careers, as well as men who also take on parenting roles at home. But again, it is not only the institution which has a responsibility here, but also society as a whole. Sadly, female labour participation is low in the Netherlands, and there are norms and values that the institution cannot reverse on its own. We can however set a good example, especially for our students in their formative years. How do you incorporate inclusion and diversity in teaching and research? Inclusion and diversity in teaching is important at the Faculty of Architecture. Bias is not directly relevant in solving a mathematical sum, but your background plays a role in your perception of the built environment. STYLOS , T/U Delft’s student association of the Faculty of Architecture, has drawn attention to this in a nice way. Members of the association pasted posters – I’ll call them ‘provocative’ posters – of white men on the wall with questions such as, 'What’s wrong with this row of famous architects?' Students rightly call attention to this issue. What does your ideal department look like? I am wary of entrenched one-to-one relationships. Many problems are solved when these power relationships – where one person depends on one other person – are avoided. Power relationships should become more diffuse by allowing more people to be more involved in the process of granting promotions and other advancements. The more these kinds of discussions can be held openly in a team, or in a department section if necessary, the safer it becomes. I think that is paramount.

17 november 2022

Presentations available - 2022 DEWIS Symposium

The 2022 DEWIS Symposium with the title ‘Gendered and Inclusive Research and Innovation (GIRI) in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)’ took place on 14 November 2022 To make women, people with an ethnical background or older people etc. visible in our research and innovation, we need to include the diversity of human-beings to its full extend. GIRI puts the diversity of humans centre-stage. Claudia Werker (TU Delft), introduced the terms used and shared some interesting examples and first insights at TU Delft. TU Delft is the first university in the world to have GIRI in STEM part of TU Delft‘s strategic priorities. Claudia Werker Carmen Leicht-Scholten (RWTH Aachen University), gave a presentation about Socially Responsible Perspectives on Data, Algorithms and Digitalization and showed us the complexity. Societal challenges are asking for socially responsible solutions. We need interdisciplinary approaches and education in the field of ethics and gender/ and diversity, and intersectionality to solve these huge challenges. Carmen Leicht-Scholten Mara Tanelli (Politecnico Milano), gave a presentation about Inclusive and smart mobility. She introduced us to the fair model predictive control system that represents an innovative tool to design fair policies that quantitatively account for social justice. Mara Tanelli David Abbink (TU Delft) made us realise that gendered and inclusive research and innovation requires space, time, reflection and respect for other types of knowledge in his presentation about inclusive robotics at work. David Abbink The participants discussed in groups how to turn research projects in GIRI projects. How does your research affect human beings along the process? Does diversity of human beings play a role in your research, e.g. gender, age, social background? Do you include them, e.g. consider their needs or talk to them? When do you do so and how? David Keyson, TU Delft Diversity Officer Ena Voûte Thank you for participating and we hope to see you next year!

14 oktober 2022

Statement of support for women (and their allies) in Iran

The women’s network of scientists at TU Delft (DEWIS) stands in solidarity with the Iranian women and their allies who are fighting for fundamental human rights and freedom for women. We condemn the violent attacks on citizens and students during the protests that followed the in-custody death of Mahsa Amini. To all Iranians at TU Delft, we acknowledge this is a very distressing time for you, with deep concerns for your family and friends in Iran, the struggle of limited communication and the impossibility to focus and function well in your daily life. Faculty and staff at TU Delft struggling to cope can contact the supervisor, the Confidential Advisors or the University Social Worker . Students can access confidential wellbeing resource, including crisis, grief, and trauma counselling. More info can be found on the well being and study page . DEWIS will be organizing a Virtual Coffee on 9 November 12.30 -13.30 for all who want to voice their concerns, express their opinions, and offer their perspectives on the situation in Iran in general and the situation of women in particular. You can join the zoom meeting via this link . The "Women, Life, Freedom" movement is linked to different struggles by Iranian citizens, all connected to basic human rights. DEWIS stands in solidarity with all women’s rights and freedom of expression. Read the statement of the International Human Rights Network of Academies and Scholarly Societies (IHRN)

Upcoming events

13 februari 2023 12:45 t/m 14:00

Delft Women’s Conversations: Sharing Experiences about academic life at Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering (3mE)

Delft Women’s Conversations: Sharing Experiences about academic life at Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering (3mE) 13 februari 2023 12:45 t/m 14:00 - Locatie: 3mE, 't Lagerhuysch | Zet in mijn agenda When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful. Malala Yousafzai Join the DEWIS Round Table conversations about career advancement, working conditions and gender bias in academia with your fellow female scientists. Event information Who: All female scientists from Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering (3mE) Where: 3mE, 't Lagerhuysch When: 13 February, 12:45 - 14:00 Lunch is included Register here Even though progress has been made, women in leading positions are still underrepresented in academia. Our aim is to create awareness about the mechanisms regarding gender inequalities and imbalances; we believe in the power of collective voices and want to see how the sharing of experiences and observations can benefit our understanding. We would love to hear your experience as a female academic working at the faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering. What can we learn from your experience? How can we use your experience for better policymaking? We want to encourage women to speak their mind to foster conversation in benefit of equal opportunities and an inclusive and safe environment. We will also invite a colleague to share her story regarding gender equality and give her perspective on career advancement, working conditions and gender bias. Register now! Many stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign. But stories can also be used to empower, and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people. But stories can also repair that broken dignity. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

08 maart 2023 14:30

International Women’s Day 2023: Embrace Equity

International Women’s Day 2023: Embrace Equity 08 maart 2023 14:30 - Locatie: TU Delft Aula, Auditorium | Zet in mijn agenda On 8 March 2023, we are celebrating International Women's Day at TU Delft. On this day and beyond, let's all fully #Embrace Equity. Each one of us can actively support and embrace equity within our own sphere of influence. We can all challenge gender stereotypes, call out discrimination, draw attention to bias, and seek out inclusion. Forging gender equity isn't limited to women solely fighting the good fight. Allies are incredibly important for the social, economic, cultural, and political advancement of women. What can we do to make students and staff feel welcome and valued? Everyone everywhere can play a part. How can we forge harmony and unity? How can we help drive success for all? On this day we will share the passion and excitement that comes from valuing and supporting difference and reflect on how we can all be part of the solution, not the problem. Register now! Programme 14.30 Welcome by Zofia Lukszo, DEWIS Chair and Professor Technology Policy and Management 14.40 Musical performance by Merel Vercammen and Dina Ivanova . On 8 March 2023, Merel and Dina will play for us a program with music composed by only great women, for example Lili Boulanger, Grażyna Bacewicz and the young Amsterdam composer Mathilde Wantenaar 15.00 Talk by Rob Mudde, Vice-Rector Magnificus/Vice-President Education, Executive Board 15.15 Omdenken show : how to change your thinking from problem based thoughts to opportunities and solutions. Omdenken’ is a way of thinking and doing, in which you look at reality as it is and investigate what you could do with it. ‘Omdenken’ approaches a problem as raw energy; frustration that has not yet found its form. The Omdenken Show shows you the benefits of ‘omdenken’ in a penetrating and inescapable way: innovation, creativity and inspiration. It is the ultimate mix of theatre, cabaret and performance. The show will be in English More about ‘omdenken’ 16.00 Panel conversation with the audience: How can each one of us actively support and embrace equity within our own sphere of influence? Panel members and moderator: Marien van der Meer, Vice President Operations, Executive Board Caspar Chorus, Dean Industrial Design Engineering Emile Chappin, Associate Professor Technology Policy and Management (moderator) Yan Feng, Assistant Professor Civil Engineering and Geosciences Pravesha Ramsundersingh, Faculty Student Counsil, Electrical Engineering, Mathematics & Computer Science 16.30 Musical performance by Merel Vercammen and Dina Ivanova 16.45 Festive drinks So, do encourage and rally your fellow students and colleagues to embrace equity and join us on 8 March! Click here to register! Omdenken 'Omdenken’ is a way of thinking and doing, in which you look at reality as it is and investigate what you could do with it. ‘Omdenken’ approaches a problem as raw energy; frustration that has not yet found its form. The Omdenken Show shows you the benefits of ‘omdenken’ in a penetrating and inescapable way: innovation, creativity and inspiration. It is the ultimate mix of theatre, cabaret and performance. The show will be in English More about ‘omdenken’ Merel Vercammen en Dina Ivanova Fotografie: Marco Borggreve Fotografie: Marco Borggreve Violinist Merel Vercammen graduated cum laude from the Royal College of Music in London. She was prizewinner of the London Grand Prize Virtuoso Competition, the National Contest of the Stichting Jong Muziektalent Nederland and the Princess Christina Contest. Merel has performed all over the world and played in concert halls such as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, De Doelen in Rotterdam, the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg and the Wigmore Hall in London. In 2022, the first edition of her own festival about science and music took place: SNAAR in TivoliVredenburg. www.merelvercammen.com Dina Ivanova studied at the Central Music School in Moscow and the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow with Alexander Mndoyants. Since September 2018, she has been studying with Grigory Gruzman at the Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt in Weimar. Dina has won prizes at various contests, including the second prize at the Liszt Competition in Weimar, the second prize at the Ricardo Viñes Competition in Spain and an Honorary Mention Award at the Paderewski Competition in Poland. In 2017, Dina won the public prize and the third jury prize at the Liszt Competition in Utrecht. www.dinaivanova.com In March 2019, Dina released her debut album Symbiosis with pianist Dina Ivanova, which received rave reviews in the press. In 2021 she released the album The Boulanger Legacy with Dina Ivanova about the influence of the sisters Lili and Nadia Boulanger. These albums were also praised by the press. On 8 March 2023, Merel and Dina will play for us a program with music composed by only great women, for example Lili Boulanger, Grażyna Bacewicz and the young Amsterdam composer Mathilde Wantenaar. “Vercammen en Ivanova spelen jaloersmakend goed samen. Ze vinden timbres te over, van altvioolachtige diepte tot ijle hoogte. Mooi hoe ze van zelden gehoorde stukken een dwingend parcours maken.” – Guido van Oorschot, De Volkskrant **** “Samen weten zij het ensemblespel op een zeldzaam hoog niveau te tillen. Bij dit tweetal wordt kamermuziek een medium zonder pietluttigheid of valse ijdelheid. Vercammen en Ivanova musiceren met het hart op de tong en dan zit je als luisteraar gekluisterd te luisteren.” – Maarten Jan Dongelmans, De Gelderlander ***** “Zodra violist Merel Vercammen begint te spelen, stap je een andere wereld in. Ze klinkt naar vioolhelden van vroeger, met een toon die niet is schoongepoetst maar omgeven door een waas van ragfijn vibrato. Met die toon kan ze toveren” - Biëlla Luttmer, De Volkskrant ****
Dit onderdeel wordt voor u geblokkeerd omdat het cookies bevat. Wilt u deze content (en anderen) alsnog bekijken? Door hier op te klikken geeft u alsnog toestemming voor het plaatsen van cookies.