While the Dutch Minister for Education, Culture and Science, Jet Bussemaker, recently reproached women for not focussing enough on their careers, it appears that women who try hard to get ahead face many problems. Researchers, such as Professor Victoria Brescoll of the Yale School of Management, show that women in the work place still encounter many obstacles. Professor Brescoll is appointed to the Jantina Tammes Chair at the Faculty of Economics and Business to carry out further research into these issues.
Professor Brescoll’s focus lies with the way in which people judge male and female behaviour in the work place. In one of her previous research projects, she showed that when men become angry, they are rewarded with respect, while an angry woman is criticised for being unprofessional. With this, Brescoll shows that gender stereotypes are still a major influence on the opportunities for women on the job market.
From 1 June, Professor Brescoll has become the Jantina Tammes Professor at the University of Groningen. She will be spending her time at the Faculty of Economics and Business where she will carry out research together with colleagues. “What makes Professor Brescoll’s research so interesting is her focus on women who have managed to reach positions of power,“ says Dr Floor Rink of the Faculty of Economics and Business. “Most researchers who work on gender issues in the workplace concentrate on women that try to work their way up the ladder. That is also the phase that we focus on at our faculty. Brescoll takes it one step further.”
Rink thinks that it is crucial to connect the research of both phases: “Some behavioural strategies that help women to reach positions of power might cause a backlash once they work on that level. Professor Brescoll’s visit to our faculty gives us the opportunity to exchange knowledge and develop new and comprehensive strategies together. ”
However, Brescoll not only address the problems, she focuses also about the strategies that women can use to attain a leadership position and keep it.
She received her MS, MPhil and PhD in social psychology from Yale University. Her work has been published in many leading scientific journals as well as outside the academic world, in newspapers such as the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. In 2004, she worked for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton under a Congressional Fellowship.
Jantina Tammes and the Jantina Tammes Chair
After admitting Aletta Jacobs as the first female student in 1871, the University of Groningen took on Dr. Marie Loke in 1907 as the first female lector in the Netherlands. After this, appointing the first female professor was just a matter of time. Indeed, in 1911 Dr. Jantina Tammes (1871-1947) was the first woman in the Netherlands to be nominated for such a position. It took until 1919 before she was appointed as professor. Jantina Tammes was famous for her research in biology, more specifically in genetics and botany.
Victoria Brescoll is the 10th Jantina Tammes Professor at the University of Groningen (Faculty of Economics and Business). The Jantina Tammes Chair has been established in order to enable female visiting professors to carry out research in Groningen with colleagues in the field of gender studies. Every Jantina Tammes Professor teaches classes for one semester and gives a public lecture.
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