Long Term, Interrelated Interventions to Increase Women’s Participation in STEM in the Netherlands

Noortje Jansen, Gertje Joukes


In this paper we describe the gender activities of VHTO, the Dutch National Expert Organisation on Girls/Women and STEM (www.vhto.nl), within the context of the Dutch national Universe and Sprint Program, which was designed to encourage more students to opt for STEM subjects in secondary education and advanced STEM programs in higher education (2004-2011). In this context, VHTO organised speed-dates for girls, teacher training and consultations with school managers in secondary education, and gender scan trajectories in higher STEM education. Statistics show that in the course of the Universe and Sprint Programs more girls (and boys) opted for STEM subjects and higher STEM education, especially in pre-university secondary schools. In secondary schools that participated in VHTO gender activities, significantly more girls opted for STEM subjects and advanced STEM programs.


gender equality, gender policy, gender mainstreaming,

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