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Reminder: Help reform the Dutch Tenure Track: sign the petition!

“The Dutch maternity/paternity policy during the tenure track is generally rather conservative relative to other countries. For example in the US, the tenure clock for women is stopped for one year for every child born during this period. In the Netherlands typically there is no formal arrangement.

The current norm and policy do not consider that tenure track staff are often in a phase in their lives when they start a family. Rather, it is now often regarded as an exception that needs to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. From personal experiences, corroborated by research linked to below, we know that very talented female scientists leave academia because they are convinced that it is impossible to combine a family with academic life. This view is reinforced by a policy that treats having children during the tenure track as an exception.

We feel that urgent action is needed now to improve the tenure-track policy and level the playing field. After investigation, we have found that it could be legally possible to stop the tenure clock for parents after having a child, if at the beginning of the contract tenure-trackers are given a longer contract with space for extension(s).

An even stronger solution would be to change Dutch laws surrounding contract policy such that contract extensions (one year per child) could be provided to tenure-trackers on an as-needed basis. Please note that many of our recommendations apply equally to faculty members who have taken other forms of leave during their tenure track.” [Source]

The petition was presented to Jet Bussemaker (Minister of Education, Cultural Affairs and Science) on June 21th and is still online for signing.
Read more and sign the petition!