Gender balance measures

(Illustration: iStockphoto)

There is a marked imbalance between women and men in the Norwegian research community. The largest problem is that women are still underrepresented in senior-level positions in virtually every subject. There are many more male than female professors, while the majority of students are female.

In 2004, when the Committee for Gender Balance and Diversity in Research (KIF Committee) was created in an attempt to improve gender balance, the proportion of women professors nationally was 17 per cent. In 2019, 32 per cent of the top academic positions were professorships held by women.

To achieve the goal of gender balance among professors at Norwegian universities and university colleges by 2027, an estimated 3 150 women will have to be hired as professors in the 2016–2026 period, according to a gender equality simulation   produced by the Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education (NIFU).

There is much that research and educational institutions can do – and are doing – to improve gender balance. Numerous measures designed to increase gender balance at universities and university colleges are identified in the boxes below. They are divided into measures for students, for career paths and development, for qualifying for professorships and for management and organization.

You will also find the institutions’ gender equality action plans as well as networks for researchers and students.

Also provided are the KIF Committee’s recommendations for pursuing gender balance and its arguments for why gender balance and ethnic diversity are important.