Equal opportunity in academia: can we count on quota?

Institutions of higher education in Belgium and in the rest of the world still grapple with achieving gender equity. According to official KU Leuven statistics, as of December 2019, 30% of Senior Academic Staff within KU Leuven were women. KU Leuven has since reiterated its commitment to improving its gender policy. But what is the current state of affairs within (EU) law regarding positive actions? How effective is the current gender policy? Which positive action policy should be taken by academic institutions, if any? Where is the intersectional lens within gender policy to ensure a gender policy that also works for Black and Brown women, women with impairments, women from working class backgrounds, etc?

UNDIVIDED for KU Leuven organized together with Lean In Leuven Law an online lecture and panel discussion on equal opportunity in academia on the 16th of November. During the 3-part event, a range of experts guide us through those questions.

  • Introductory lecture regarding the legal context of affirmative action (prof. dr. Jogchum Vrielink, Saint-Louis)
  • Diversity policies at KU Leuven: facts & figures (dr. Andrea Bardyn, KU Leuven)
  • Conversation on the use of quota in academia – moderated by dr. Yousra Benfquih (Hannah Arendt Institute), who is joined by:
    – Dounia Bourabain (PhD-candidate at RHEA, Vrije Universiteit Brussel)
    – Prof. dr. Liesbet Stevens (deputy director, Institute for the Equality of Women & Men)
    – Nomfundo Ramalekana (PhD-candidate at DPhil, University of Oxford)
    – Deb Vansteenwegen (human resources director, KU Leuven)

UNDIVIDED is an intersectional student organisation in Leuven. We work on decolonization of academia, LGBTQ+ right and anti-ableism through research, policy, activism and community-building. Stay updated on our socials, participate in our events or reach out to us to join the team!

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