The mission of Amsterdam UMC 'Together we discover the healthcare of tomorrow' expresses our vision of being an inclusive and representative organisation. In an environment where everyone feels safe and at home, staff will flourish and jointly contribute to excellent team science. We have developed policies and measures for women and individuals from under-represented groups to contribute to gender balance and diversity.

Gender Equality Plan of Amsterdam UMC

Our Gender Equality Plan is part of the broader Action Plan for 2021 and after: Diversity & Inclusion at Amsterdam UMC: Differences make us stronger together (in Dutch: AMC / VUmc). This makes Amsterdam UMC eligible for research funding under the Horizon Europe framework programme (Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025 / Factsheet / She Figures 2021). We comply with the four mandatory building blocks for a Gender Equality Plan as formulated by the EU, as well as deploy activities in each of the five recommended areas.

1. Public Document

The Amsterdam UMC Action Plan is a public document describing our vision, mission and goals with regards to both Gender Equality and Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) and comprises concrete policies, measures and actions.

  • The Action Plan has widely been disseminated by publication on the Intranet of both our locations, on the corporate website, and in D&I newsletters
  • The Action Plan and appendix have been signed by the Executive Board, showing the commitment of our top management
  • Inclusion is engrained in our new strategy ‘We are Amsterdam UMC’
  • Diversity & Inclusiveness is one of our top priorities in our Framework letter 2021
  • Our dedication to gender equality in particular is shown by endorsing the Charter Talent to the Top with the objective to appoint more women at top and sub-top levels
  • A growing internal network of diverse staff acts as sounding board and accelerators of the inclusive culture, consisting of D&I experts (HR advisors and researchers), ambassadors, supporters and representatives of under-represented groups from the full width of the organisation
  • The vision underpinning our Action Plan is being spread widely by a D&I offer with a variety of meetings, events & activities, workshops, interviews with D&I role models & ambassadors, games, podcasts, etc.

2. Dedicated resources

To strengthen gender equality and diversity among our staff, Amsterdam UMC has dedicated resources and expertise to promote equal opportunities for women and people from under-represented groups (Diversity and inclusion in Amsterdam UMC):

  • A D&I ambassador: dr. Karen Kruijthof, member of the Executive Board
  • A D&I Steering group, consisting of members of the Executive Board, HR, Communication department, and Diversity Officers. Their aim is to develop a cohesive, organisation-wide, result-oriented, and innovative D&I programme
  • Principal D&I investigators and educators: Jeanine Suurmond and Petra Verdonk (Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute), who are advancing gender and D&I themes in research and teaching
  • A D&I Office, with Diversity Officers Jeanine Suurmond and Ilja Swets, involved policy-making, gathering of data, implementation of measures and spreading of the word, as well as setting up a variety of workshops, activities and ways to participate
  • A Participation program to support the integration of people with disabilities into the workforce of Amsterdam UMC, coordinated by Ilja Swets
  • A Support office for gender-related questions, receiving the 2021 Sigra Diversity Award as innovative and concrete initiative in (health) care and support
  • In- and external mentor programmes for and by staff and students, in particular the UvA mentoring programme for postdoctoral researchers from under-represented groups in which Amsterdam UMC researchers participate.

The following programmes are specifically targeted at researchers:

  • The Female Career Development Programme supports talented and ambitious female scientists in their academic ambitions and enlarge their career perspectives by offering workshops, (peer) coaching, mentorship as well as role-play and a voice coach
  • The Women in Science Fund offers a travelling grant to young women researchers to do a work visit abroad and thus accelerate their career development
  • The Amsterdam UMC fellowship aims to attract extremely talented researchers, who have the potential to build, expand and maintain their own successful research group. As Amsterdam UMC aims to promote diversity in our organization, at least one of the two selected Fellows will be representing an underrepresented background.

3. Data collection and monitoring

Amsterdam UMC collects facts and figures on staff and students for regular reporting on and gaining insight into the need for targeted interventions to attain a more equal men-women balance in the top and sub-top levels and to become a more diverse organisation, by means of:

  • The D&I dashboard, by which figures are gathered on multiple dimensions of diversity among our staff, such as ethnic-cultural and/or international background, gender, LGBTQ+, having a disability or distance to the job market, or being a refugee with a background in caregiving.

These figures are used for our participation in:

 4. Training & capacity building

Amsterdam UMC offers several workshops and trainings to raise awareness and help employees integrate diversity in their own teams and collaborations. For example:

  • The Implicit Biases workshop
  • A training offered by the Ombudsman and Confidential Affairs providing guidance on how to recognise, counteract and de-escalate aggressive behaviour at an early stage
  • A workshop on working together harmoniously with and despite differences in origin, backgrounds and cultures in the workplace
  • The Goodhabitz training platform offers a wide range of trainings, including several on diversity and inclusion, such as To overcome your prejudices, Cultural Diversity, or How to interact with colleagues with a non-visible disability
  • The training Introduction into intersectionality in public health of Petra Verdonk, Saskia Duijs and Maaike Muntinga is aimed at young researchers to make their health research diversity-responsive by taking health inequalities among social groups into account, that result from social identity factors such as gender/sex, ethnicity/race, class, sexual orientation, religion, etc.

In addition to the four mandatory requirements, Amsterdam UMC also fulfils the five recommendations of the EU that can be covered by a Gender Equality Plan.