Since 2019, SLU has a broaden organisation for gender equality and equal opportunities (JLV). The proactive work is to a large extent guided by the provisions of the Discrimination Act on preventive work against discrimination, called active measures.
– Yes, there is a lot regulated in the law (that we should investigate if there are any risks of discrimination, analyse to find the causes, take active measures, and follow up and evaluate the work), and this is good because it can both inspire and strengthen our work and help us achieve our goals. There is a lively and conscious work going on at SLU and many of us cooperate across the university on these issues, says Malin Ekström, who work as equal opportunities administrative officer in matters relating to gender equality and equal opportunities at both the VH and NJ faculties.
In terms of gender equality, SLU will contribute to meeting Sweden’s political gender objectives. This is done through what is called gender mainstreaming. Gender mainstreaming applies to all higher education institutions.
Some of the work done at SLU on gender equality and equal opportunities is done in the faculties’ JLV committees. In the VH committee, Lena Lidfors is chair and vice-dean for these issues. Staff, students and unions are represented in the committee.
– It is a dedicated committee where we address what is happening in the field, what has happened since the last time and not least contribute to planning the faculty’s JLV work. This spring, the committee will update the faculty’s action plan for JLV work. We hope it will be more concrete and easier to follow up and evaluate our work, Malin says.
Most recently, last week, the VH JLV committee organized a seminar on how gender perspectives can be considered in research and research project “What is the gender dimension in research and why does it matter?”. The seminar was well attended, almost 120 participants when we were at our peak in the Zoom room, which is of course great, says Malin, and it shows that there is a need to discuss these issues. You can read more about the seminar at SLU Global’s news on the staff web, Malin suggests. If you would like to see the power point presentations from the seminar, please e-mail Malin.
– This was one way to raise these issues and many want to learn more. For example, it has become more common for research funders to require that you, as researcher, describe in the application itself whether there is a gender dimension in the proposed research project.
Malin’s role includes supporting the JLV committee and the departments in their work on active measures and gender mainstreaming. Malin of course also collaborates a lot with the other eaqual opportunities administrative officers at SLU.
– We check in with each other every week for half an hour or so, exchange information and experiences, and collaborate on various support materials. Right now, for example, we are developing an annual wheel that also relates to already existing processes, which we hope will be a good support for the departments.
In the spring, the Educational Development Unit is running a pilot course on Inclusive University for teachers, which is another example of how we collaborate across the university on JLV issues. We, the equal opportunities officers, have also been involved in the planning of the course and will also be involved in the actual implementation. Now I’m very much looking forward to the course finally happening, says Malin, who points out that the application for the course is still open (until March 1st).
You can read more about SLU’s JLV work on the staff web. If you have any thoughts or questions related to JLV work, you are very welcome to contact me, Malin concludes.
Text and photo: Mårten Granert-Gärdfeldt.