This year’s remarkable winner, Antoinette de Bont, is Professor of Sociology of Innovation in Healthcare at the Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management (ESHPM). She receives this recognition for her many concrete contributions to advancing diversity and inclusion at Erasmus University Rotterdam, which were extensively noted both by those who nominated her, and acknowledged by the members of the jury.
"The actions of Antoinette de Bont are characterized by the tranquillity she radiates and the daring to raise subjects, she always does so in a constructive way and with respect for all parties involved", says Prof. Dr. Liesbeth Noordegraaf-Eelens, Chairman of the jury FAME Athena Award.
Initiatives for more diversity
She has “helped to smash the glass ceiling by becoming the first woman member of the Board of ESPHM”. She has given “people from various backgrounds the best chances she can offer”. She is indeed “an inspiration to those surrounding her.” The jury was greatly impressed by the way Antoinette de Bont has strengthened the position of women, also with an eye to intersectional differences, within ESPHM in her role as diversity officer. This has taken many forms, including: in-house trainings, promotion of the 25-25 programme, devoting attention to position of women within the School and supporting young fathers who combine their academic career with a full contribution to family life, in such a manner that it normalizes (and strengthens) a more gender equitable approach to ensuring a healthy and productive balance between work and family life, also for women.
Large number of nominations
The Fame-ATHENA Award recognises members of the EUR-community who have supported female talent in an exceptional and indeed remarkable way. Last year’s ATHENA Prize was awarded to prof. Dianne Bevelander. This year, the jury received an unprecedentedly large number of nominations: 30 EUR employees were nominated, spread over all EUR faculties. This year, the jury took note of the numerous, promising initiatives that are taking place all over the EUR to support Diversity and Inclusion, in Research, in Education and in management. Amongst the initiatives we have noted that are EUR-based, or in which EUR colleagues are actively involved include:
- Academic Leadership: Minding the Gender Gap
- The student-staff initiative Divers-EUR
- Flourishing Female Networks within ESE and EMC (Vena)
- Active attention to diversity and inclusion matters by the Faculty Council
- The SYNC Lab
- Athena’s Angels
- Dutch Network of Women Professors (LNVH)
Through these, and many other initiatives that are out there, we are pleased to see how, through individual efforts and at the institutional level, both EUR policy and practices are increasingly supporting (gender) diversity. It shows that the concern for a gender-diverse university is widely shared.