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Broken through the glass ceiling?

Number of interviews: 30

Availability: unknown

In the thesis “The glass ceiling broken?”, Lore Goovaerts examines which women at UGent in the recent past still managed to break through this glass ceiling and in what way they did so. My focus is on the female emeriti of UGent and not on the still active female professors. The emeriti of UGent are a clearly defined group and bear witness to a recent past, namely the situation at UGent during the second half of the 20th century. What are the experiences of female emeriti in relation to gender issues? What is their life story and profile? How did they succeed in becoming professors? Did they experience opposition in their careers because they were women? What was the work/life balance like during their career? Did they have a network with other female professors? Through interviews with several female emeriti, Lore Goovaerts tries to answer these questions.

Het glazen plafond doorbroken?

Master’s thesis submitted to the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy
for the degree of Master of History.
Academic Year 2015-2016


Goovaert’s thesis focuses on the life stories of women who managed to rise to the highest academic ranks at Ghent University in the second half of the 20th century. This makes her thesis highly relevant both socially and academically. Socially relevant, because to this day, such success is reserved for far too few women and pressure must still be exerted on Dutch and Belgian university administrators to offer women the same career opportunities as men. Scientifically relevant, because beyond the statistical material that often supports policy papers, we actually know very little about how women themselves have experienced the ups and downs of their careers. Lore Goovaerts has produced a methodologically and substantively outstanding piece of work. It does justice to the historical life experience of successful women scientists and also sharpens all of us’ sights on something that should finally become history: the glass ceiling in the university.