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The Ministry of Education and Research in Norway has appointed a new Committee for Mainstreaming – Women in Science. The new committee will be chaired by pro-rector Gerd Bjørhovde, and its period of office will extend until 1 April 2010.
An abridged version of the final report from the Committee for Mainstreaming – Women in Science in Norway is now available in English. The report is entitled Gender balance in higher education and research – golden opportunities.
A new Nordic network for research policy is currently under way. The initiators hope that the network can contribute to promote gender perspectives in research on national, Nordic, and European level.
The Committee for mainstreaming – Women in Science asks the Ministry of Education and Research to consider economic rewards to institutions that hire women as associate professors and professors. If the Ministry follows this advice, Norway will be the first country with such a model.
The number of women in academia in Norway has increased, yet they are still a minority, and the target that women should make up half of all academic personnel in permanent positions has not been achieved. If the current rate of change in the higher education sector continues at the same tempo as it has in the 1990s and the current decade, it will take another 25 to 30 years before half of those in permanent positions are women. These figures emerge from a new report compiled by NIFU STEP.
Norwegian Minister for Education and research, Øystein Djupedal, emphasizes the use of positive discrimination to recruit more women to top positions in academia, and he is looking to the EU for the means to do this. However, he is receiving criticism for his budget from the opposition.
The start package was not a lifesaver, but it has given professor Heidi C. Dreyer the opportunity to work towards her long-term goals.
There is a great deal of focus on the proportion of women among permanent staff at universities and university colleges in Norway. But it is in business and independent institutes that the proportion of women is the lowest.
What will minister Øystein Djupedal do to speed up gender equality work in the higher education sector?
In the autumn, here in Norway, a new round of the grant Outstanding Young Investigators (OYI), will be launched. Professor Inge Henningsen is of the opinion that the Research Council of Norway should make an equal opportunities assessment of the whole program.
“I know what to do to make gender equality work succeed, but it is only rarely that I am allowed to do it.” This is how Eva Mark began her lecture at the Network Meeting for gender equality workers 29 May.
Carry out a gender equality evaluation of the budget.
New thinking on gender equality is taking place at Norwegian universities. In recent years the burden of responsibility has been moved, equal opportunities budgets have been increased by millions of Norwegian kroner and new initiatives have been put in place. We have checked the progress at two of the country’s universities.
Who decides what science is excellent? Who decides which research projects will be funded, or which researchers will be recruited? These are issues we have to look at closely if we want to promote gender equality in science.
Last year the University of Tromsø was singled out as having the worst gender balance in the country. Director of personnel Håvard Bekkelund hardly remembers this. Because things are changing fast.
The rector at the University of Bergen will spend a further 2 million Norwegian crowns on equal opportunities work. This is how Bergen will become a leading university on gender equality.
Sure, the situation for women in science has improved. But a lot remains to be done, says Kari Melby, chair of the Committee for Mainstreaming – Women in Science.
A gender researcher in the Senate, an innovative gender equality adviser, new tactics and good timing. These factors were instrumental when the University of Oslo passed a new gender equality action plan.