FEM - Female Empowerment Maastricht University

FEM (Female Empowerment Maastricht University) is a network empowering women and female leadership at UM, and foster a culture of gender equity and diversity. We aim to unite and welcome everyone (independent of gender orientation or academic background) through a yearly event, lunches, workshops and a strong mentorship programme.

The FEM Team

FEM was established by a group of women working at different faculties of Maastricht University. This group now forms the Executive Board of FEM. The internal governing rules can be found here. 


You can always contact us with questions, suggestions, or to sign up to our newsletter: fem[at]maastrichtuniveristy[dot]nl

For confidential reports or notifications of discrimination or sexual harassment, contact the confidential advisor:

Why FEM?

Diversity of staff and students is, as described in the UM strategic programme Community at the CORE, essential in the further development of UM’s high quality academic research and teaching. Achieving gender equity and inclusivity is an essential part of our diversity policy. FEM addresses these needs by uniting and welcoming everyone, independent of gender orientation, or academic background, to empower women to have active and fulfilling careers in the academic community.

FEM would like to cultivate gender equity at UM and address diversity issues (e.g. only 20.9% full professors at UM in 2016). This requires both women and men to strive towards this goal. We intend to address not only researchers, but also administrative staff. The prospects and obstacles for career advancement for women in administrative positions should be discussed more openly.

Furthermore, FEM is not restricted to women who aspire towards steep career trajectories, but explicitly welcomes women who want to grow within the position they occupy. Our starting point is to empower women to pursue their own plans and not superimpose on them any predetermined idea of success. Both academic and administrative staff of UM, irrespective of gender or position can therefore become a member of FEM.


FEM is a network and a forum where people can meet, have workshops and get support. Three main activities are organised by FEM: trainings, a mentorship programme and networking events.

  • Trainings 
    Tailored workshops that build academic skills and leadership qualities will be organised to foster empowerment of female administrative and academic staff.
  • Mentorship 
    FEM aims to set up and host a strong mentorship programme. We will organise matching events for mentors and mentees and support them with trainings and guidelines for the ‘mentorship relationship’.
  • Network 
    The launch event will be followed by bi-monthly informal networking lunches. Every academic year, an event will be organised during which a FEM-prize will be awarded to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to female empowerment.

Join us! For an overview of activities and to register, click here.