Active recruitment efforts benefit gender equality

Last changed: 12 March 2024

Too few women hold senior positions at our faculty. By senior positions, I refer to professors, senior lecturers and associate senior lecturers.

Within faculty management, we aim to address this skewed gender distribution. We know that to achieve success, efforts are required at every stage of the recruitment process. A central part of this work involves identifying, actively reaching out to, and encouraging qualified individuals – especially women – to apply for senior positions.

Unfortunately, this particular work can be perceived as unnecessary and laborious, and as our daily lives are filled with other tasks, it is easy to set aside and down-prioritise this area. Nevertheless, the data regarding the gender distribution among those who applied and were ultimately employed in senior positions at the faculty contradicts the idea that outreach efforts are a waste of time (see bar chart).

Something interesting emerges when we take a closer look at the statistics. If we compare the number of those employed in higher positions against the number of applicants for these positions, we see that proportionally, more women than men are successful. This is likely down to the fact that the women who actually apply are, on average, more competent than the men who apply. This leads me to the words of Karin Boye:

Yes, there is a meaning in our journey --
But ‘tis the pathway, which is worth our while

Although her words ring true to a certain extent, I believe that when it comes to recruitment for senior positions, both the pathway and the destination are worth our while.

Christer Björkman, chair of the Academic Appointments Board (LFN)