The Swedish government has requested that higher education institutions develop a gender mainstreaming plan 2016–2019. The plan should be presented by 15 May, 2017. The Swedish Secretariat for Gender Research at the University of Gothenburgh has been commissioned to support this work, and received associated funding. The secretariat is expected to assist in all phases of the process. This should include sharing knowledge and experiences as well as best practices in meetings and workshops. Last week, representatives from the secretariat visited KI and met with the KI management group and people more directly involved in the daily work related to equal opportunities, including our newly recruited strategist for gender equality, HR consultant Klara Folkesson.

Gender Mainstreaming

The purpose of gender mainstreaming is to contribute towards the nationally declared gender equality objective of women and men having equal opportunities. In our sector, this includes for example career opportunities and better balanced education choices, both being clear challenges at Karolinska Institutet. Furthermore, the core values as set out in KI Strategy 2018 is inclusion, openness, equality and diversity.

The gender mainstreaming plan should describe how gender equality is integrated into everyday operations, including management processes. In addition to the plan, universities should continuously report implemented measures and results to the government 2016-2019.

At the meeting, we had lively group discussions during the afternoon where our visitors from Gothenburg helped to suggest a few prioritized, and relatively concrete areas to focus on. More concrete plans should now be further developed with Klara Folkesson at the helm. In the KI management, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor Henrik Grönberg is responsible for equal opportunities as part of his responsibility for our internal culture, often referred to as KI inner life.

Professor installation

With regards to career opportunities and particularly the unequal balance between male and female professors at Karolinska Institutet, it is worth noting that half of the 20 new professors being installed last Thursday evening were women.

The professor installation is an opportunity to honor those who are taking on the role as professor at our university,  but also those who have made prize-winning efforts to foster the advancement of education and research as well as those who have been awarded the Grand Silver Medal for important contributions to Karolinska Institutet. These academic ceremonies are important as they continue as they did for our predecessors and lay down the groundwork for the achievements of our successors. I believe that our newly installed prize winners and silver medalists do inspire and lead the next generation of young researchers and students, who, in turn, will one day participate in academic ceremonies similar to the one we had in Aula Medica last week.

 

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