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Sexual harassment in the workplace can get worse if nobody asks about it, according to one researcher. Her view is supported by Swedish educational institutions. Uppsala University has trained more than 3,000 employees about sexual harassment in the past nine years. And the demand for knowledge is growing.
“Asking about sexual harassment is one of our legal duties,” says the Equality and Anti-discrimination Ombud.
When Solveig wanted to switch her major from English to natural science, the professor for the class was so distressed about getting yet another female student that he tried to scare her away. “It’s so difficult. There are many who die,” he said.
Physics has a reputation as being only for the stereotypical nerds. According to science education researcher Maria Vetleseter Bøe, that is unfortunate both for the field and for everyone who misses out on the chance to find out how much fun physics is.
The question of whether gender points should be awarded to men who apply for female-dominated study programmes is a topic of much discussion these days. The KIF Committee has reviewed its arguments for and against introducing gender points and has issued a statement.
A new report shows that female researchers put themselves in a less advantageous position than their male colleagues. “This is a phenomenon that needs more research,” says Research Director Cathrine Egeland.
“It’s about time that we explore what includes women in the ICT field and stop focusing on what excludes them,” says Knut Holtan Sørensen, who recently published a book on the topic.
Gender balance and gender equality in research is being discussed more often at research conferences. “What is special with this autumn’s conference in Bergen is its status as an international meeting place for researchers and practitioners,” says Gender Equality Adviser Anne Marit Skarsbø.
"After a thorough discussion and consultation round, we have concluded that UiO will not introduce the use of two extra gender points for men," says Pro-Rector Inga Bostad. The decision will now be reported to the Ministry of Education and Research.
For three years the Norwegian government has allocated NOK 10 million annually to increase the percentage of women in high-level positions in mathematics, natural science and technology. Figures from 2010 show that half of the funding remained unused after one year, and there is strong evidence that the same holds true for 2011. What's gone wrong?
More and more humanities fields are being discontinued at Norwegian universities. Many of them are popular with female students. Gerd Bjørhovde, chair of the KIF Committee, is worried about this trend.
For generations it was usually the men who became doctors, psychologists and dentists. Now it is different. Today there are so few men applying to professional studies in medicine, psychology and dentistry that the University of Oslo is considering giving them preferential treatment.
The recipient of the Gender Equality Award for 2011 is the University of Tromsø, which according to the jury is one of the key players in the field of gender equality. “It is very gratifying to have been selected for this award,” says Rector Jarle Aarbakke.
Earmarked funding for gender equality measures will no longer be available when the new Centres of Excellence are established.
According to the science hierarchy, sociology has low status whereas mathematics has high status. Both this hierarchy and the peer-review process have characteristics that structurally downgrade women’s position in academia.
A Norwegian gender equality committee won the poster competition at a large EU conference held recently in Brussels. The winning poster was “Mission: Gender Balance”.
Uppsala University in Sweden is proud of its new tool that reveals gender balance at the touch of a keyboard. Gudrun Schyman of the Feminist Initiative is positive towards the tool, as are Ministers Tora Aasland and Audun Lysbakken. Norwegian educational institutions, however, seem sceptical.
The Norwegian Government’s national budget for 2012 does not allocate any funding to the Research Council of Norway’s initiative on Gender Balance in Senior Positions and Research Management (BALANSE). Executive Director Anders Hanneborg confirms that the initiative is in danger of being discontinued.
Norwegian researcher networks in fields with an uneven gender balance can once again apply for financial support from the Committee for Gender Balance in Research (KIF). The application deadline is November 1st.
In 2007, the rector of the Norwegian Academy of Music said the institution would implement measures to improve the uneven gender balance among academic employees. He cited figures showing that only three professors were women while 41 were men. Now as 2011 draws to a close, only seven professors are women and 53 are men. Minister Tora Aasland is not pleased.