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From the Ivory Tower to Public or Private Power?

The Role of Gender and Ethnicity in PhD-to-Labor-Market Linkages

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Gender and ethnic inequality in the labor market is a key societal issue. Some groups are overrepresented in rewarding jobs, whereas others face difficulties finding their footing. The academic labor market is not excluded from such patterns: women and ethnic minorities are underrepresented among professors. Such reproduced advantage instead of distributed opportunity causes individual scientists to face structural career barriers. It also renders academia stripped of talented academics. This issue is at the center of a PhD-project on gender and ethnic inequality among Dutch PhD-recipients. With big data of nearly all Dutch PhDs (1990-2021) the project considers how gender, ethnicity, and social networks influence labor market outcomes. We answered these questions for labor market outcomes within academia.
The project uniquely considers careers outside academia. Only tiny fraction of PhDs become academics, yet there is little insight on where most PhD-recipients end up and what their careers look like. Note that this is due to the setup of most studies that consider academic databases, making it difficult to study non-academic careers. This paper changes that by cross-linking PhD data to non-science career databases to answer the following question:

How can we explain gender and ethnic labor market differences of Dutch PhD-recipients?

Participating organisations

Netherlands eScience Center
Radboud University Nijmegen
Social Sciences & Humanities
Social Sciences & Humanities


Jisk Attema
Jisk Attema
Programme Manager
Netherlands eScience Center
Bas Hofstra
Lead Applicant
Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
Anne Maaike Mulders
PhD student
Radboud University Nijmegen
Flavio Hafner
Research Software Engineer
Netherlands eScience Center