Equality policy, is that something we in K2 have to think about?

Jone Trovik, portrett til disputasI grew up in a school system with a fairly even distribution of boys and girls with equal skills.

When I was a medical student (early 80s) we were also equally distributed (as opposed to the current situation with 70% girls), but the lecturers were essentially men, and women professors were a rare breed. (I can actually remember that Professor May-Elin Koller of the anesthesia department made an impression as an almost solitary swallow.) In gynecology I have always had many female colleagues and at KK the management also has a dominance of women now.

When I stepped into the University function however, it was like tugging “back to the 80s”: I experience that I am the almost single swallow! Look around your section: How many research groups, platforms or centres of excellence have female leaders? And in middle management, how is the situation there? In the hospital we can clearly see how male nurses largely possess such positions, and how is it for the Medical Laboratory Scientists?

Is this inequality a problem? Should we just sit around and wait for all the current female students and PhD students to grow up an hope that it will then even out? Or should we have an active equality policy where this is on the agenda? A friendly push; actively encourage women to apply for management positions (yes you ARE good enough!) and employ them! Should we have affirmative action? We are currently writing a new strategy document. Should a greater proportion of women in the scientific positions be an objective? If we do not mention it,it means we do not find it important (enough) to work towards. It is a choice.

Jone

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