Making gender balance from below:
stimulating gender equality among university professors
How may we stimulate efforts to create a better gender balance in top positions at NTNU, given that presently, this balance is skewed in the favour of men and change is slow? This is a 3-year research project which aim at contributing to the development of more inclusive cultures at the departmental level at NTNU. The project will use an action-research approach where 12 departments at NTNU will be invited to participate in a series of three workshops where they will discuss and implement gender inclusive initiatives at their own department, followed by an evaluation of these measures.
Previous initatives to improve the Situation
Most previous initiatives to improve the situation have mainly aimed at strengthening individual women's opportunities. “Making gender balance from below” will use an – in this context – innovative approach of action research involving departments directly, to help develop a better gender balance at NTNU: What works? How is it that some scientists and departments seem to succeed in getting women into top positions? What may other parts of the organization learn? Such an approach allows for seeing new possibilities and measures to change local practices. The basis for change is a reflexive engagement with knowledge and learning, thereby improving the capacity of university departments for constructing an inclusive culture which in turn will foster a better gender balance but also a better, quality focused working environment for all.