TEDxDelftWomen 2015 | Interview | Anka Mulder

Anka Mulder | Photo by Sam Rentmeester

Since April of 2013 Anka Mulder has been the Vice-president for Education and Operations at TU Delft. She has worked all over Europe and is now an important figure at the university, both as a woman in a top administrative position and an agent pushing for the internationalisation and accessibility of education. She has served as the president of the OpenCourseWare Consortium, been the Director of Education and Student Affairs at TU Delft and in 2012 was named one of business’ most creative individuals by Fast Company magazine.

Mulder took some time to answer a few questions about the importance of inspiration, progress and the TEDxDelftWomen 2015 event to both TU Delft, and the wider community.


1) People would argue that gender equality exists, would you agree with this?

The position of women has improved, but we have not reached gender equality yet. In academia, for example, that is quite clear. Women are underrepresented in higher positions. That is especially the case in science and engineering. At TU Delft, 26{95388bbb2e9df0f2b3d26445fc24fe82185b1b567dbb094bc3a45074083d0a2b} of our students are women, 28{95388bbb2e9df0f2b3d26445fc24fe82185b1b567dbb094bc3a45074083d0a2b} of our PhD candidates, and only 10{95388bbb2e9df0f2b3d26445fc24fe82185b1b567dbb094bc3a45074083d0a2b} of our associate professors. 9{95388bbb2e9df0f2b3d26445fc24fe82185b1b567dbb094bc3a45074083d0a2b} of our full professors are women. That was 4{95388bbb2e9df0f2b3d26445fc24fe82185b1b567dbb094bc3a45074083d0a2b} 10 years ago. So we are making progress, but slowly.

2) Why do we still need to have women focused events, like TEDxDelftWomen?

I am hoping that gender equality is just a matter of time. In the meantime, extra action is needed to reach that goal earlier. TEDxDelftWomen is a good example. Another example is TU Delft’s “Fellowship” recruitment program for women academics, through which we have attracted talents from around the globe.

3) What do TEDxDelft and TU Delft have in common?

I think we have a shared belief that a world class university is open to all talent, male and female.

4) What are you hoping will come out of TEDxDelftWomen?

I am hoping that we will hear some fantastic new ideas at TedXDelftWomen. But in the end, it is all about inspiration.