Jose van Dijck, an Amsterdam University professor and head of the Dutch scientific academy KNAW, has been chosen as most influential woman of 2016 by feminist magazine Opzij.
The annual Opzij ranking used to focus purely on powerful women but the emphasis has shifted this year because ‘you have to do something with your power’, editor Irene de Bel said.
An increasing number of magazines are now coming up with their own rankings but De Bel said the Opzij ranking is still needed.
‘Women are still under-represented in many sectors,’ she said. ‘The number of women in the boardroom went down last year and just one political party has a female leader. We are going backwards, rather than making advances.’
Van Dijck is the first female president of the KNAW which is ‘an enormous step forward in such a male bastion,’ the jury said in their report. She is also a perfect role model in a world in which just 17% of professors are female, they said.
Van Dijck overtook defence minister Jeanine Hennis to take the top spot.