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Both male and female researchers with children struggle to combine career and family. The competition is coming more and more from international researchers who don't have children or access to welfare benefits such as parental leave.
The Norwegian Government presented the white paper “Gender equality in practice” in early October. While the report gives a thorough account of the situation in academia, it lacks both measures and money for gender equality efforts.
Oslo is the city in Norway with the greatest ethnic diversity, but a lack of good statistics makes it hard to design effective, targeted measures to ensure diversity.
“The diversity study now underway in Norway is a ground-breaking project,” states Paula Mählck of Stockholm University.
The structural reform of the Norwegian higher education sector is well underway, and several institutions are in the midst of major consolidation processes. What happens to gender equality efforts when institutions are merged?
Female researchers publish less than their male colleagues. But according to a new study, this is mainly because women tend to have lower positions in the academic hierarchy.
Research on ethnic minorities in academia is mostly non-existent in Norway. Now the research institutes AFI and NIFU have been commissioned to remedy this situation.
The Norwegian police academy has long sought to increase diversity among the student body and the future police force. Since 2012, they have been working systematically with recruitment to achieve this.
There is a large body of research on the barriers to gender balance in academia, but very little on ethnic diversity. Now the KIF Committee has announced funding for a study to fill this gap.
The KIF Committee’s strategy for its work with gender balance and ethnic diversity in research up to 2017 has been completed. Feedback from the sector shows that the institutions appreciate the committee’s active role, but they would like a clearer definition of “ethnic diversity”.
When the Research Council recently selected 17 new Centres for Research-driven Innovation, one-third of them had women at the helm. According to the Research Council, an awareness-raising campaign was the main reason for the increase.
“If Norwegian researchers do a better job of fulfilling the EU requirements on gender perspectives in research, they will have a competitive advantage in Horizon 2020,” says Curt Rice.
There are sound legal arguments both for and against allowing the niqab to be worn at higher education institutions. A ban can send a clear signal in support of gender equality, but it can also be exclusionary and lead to more extreme attitudes.
It is more difficult for women to meet the requirements to qualify for tenure track positions, according to one researcher.
When the daily newspaper VG presented Norway’s top 20 economists, there was not a single woman among them. “Economics is a male-dominated field,” states economist Karen Helene Ulltveit-Moe of the University of Oslo.
She is future oriented in her work to bring diversity and change to the IT field, but Oda Award winner Beathe Due thinks it is just as important to be aware of the past when working for change. “It’s worth remembering that information technology has not always been a man’s field,” says Due.
Now that government award schemes for gender equality efforts in academia have been discontinued, it is up to each individual institution to improve the gender balance in senior-level academic positions.