Ambitious female scientists

Three female assistant professors in the FNP group recivied funding from the Wageningen UR-NWO Aspasia funds.

Three female assistant professors in the FNP group recivied funding from the Wageningen UR-NWO Aspasia funds to (1) give a boost to our careers; and (2) support early career female scientists in our group and (3) enable and strengthen our collaboration as a group. This is from our firm belief that the trajectory to increase female leadership in academia should embrace more 'feminine' approaches of cooperating rather than individualism (Parpart, Connelly and Barriteau 2000). All of us are in different stages of our career but experience similar issues in terms of breaking through the academic glass ceiling.

The Aspasia fund provides the opportunity for sharing knowledge and experiences to give all our careers a boost whilst positioning ourselves as female role models in academia, and working together concretely on a proposal that fits into the FNP research themes, and our shared interests in exploring intersectional approaches in the forest and nature conservation domain. With our combined expertise, we envision new opportunities to do boundary work and to extend our networks with international colleagues. This project is thus a step towards enhancing the acquisition capacities of the FNP group as a whole and provides an opportunity to developing our conceptual approach together.

As scientists we play a vital role bridging between elevating marginalized perspectives that are so often unjustly suppressed, and questioning dominant narratives that often wield science in regime reinforcing ways, and the need to develop our conceptual and practical skills to do so.

Throughout 2021, we will engage in a series of workshops where we as individuals and as a team can develop our acquisition and proposal writing, presentation, negotiation, positioning, personal leadership, mentorship skills and broaden our perspectives on gender and intersectionality within forest and nature conservation. As a way to share and integrate our gained knowledge within the whole group, we will end the workshop series with a ‘reflective’ lunch to which the whole group is invited – taking the approach that positive action to encourage women to perform to the best of their ability should be shared for the benefit of all (men and women) in our group to generate the most benefit.

Other recipients of the Aspasia award include Marielos Pena Claros, Judith Floor, Josephine Chambers, Nowella Anyango-van Zwieten and Reineke van Tol.