Competition on gender equality measures in academia

The Gender Equality Award of NOK 2 million instituted by the Ministry of Education and Research will be presented for the third time this year. All Norwegian university colleges, universities and independent research institutes are eligible to compete for the NOK 2 million prize.

The prize will be awarded to the institution that has implemented the most effective measures to promote gender balance within its organisation.

The University of Bergen (UiB) and the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration (NHH), also in Bergen, were the co-recipients of the 2008 prize, receiving NOK 1 million each. The two institutions were selected because they have devised comprehensive action plans and their gender equality efforts are well incorporated in the strategic focus at top administrative level.

Bergen - hometown of the two recipients of the 2008 Gender Equality Award.

Bergen - hometown of the two recipients of the 2008 Gender Equality Award.

Offensive measures at UiB

The Gender Equality Award has generated enthusiasm and drawn more attention to gender equality efforts, according to Sigmund Grønmo, Rector of the University of Bergen (UiB).

“Some of the prize money will be used for additional measures to promote gender equality. For instance, we plan to hire more women in professor II positions, especially at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, and preferably recruit some of them from abroad,” says Rector Grønmo.

“We have also launched the Women’s Faculty Lunch Club, in which women in academic positions form networks across disciplines,” says Rector Grønmo. A third measure made possible by the prize money is leadership training. The university has a small percentage of women in leadership positions in the academic departments, and the measure targets the fields of medicine, dentistry and psychology in particular.”

“We will also conduct a survey of the working environment with a focus on gender issues at the Faculty of Social Sciences, and some of the prize money will go to special grants for women researchers so they can be exempted from teaching duties,” he explains.

More women researchers and professors

The Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration (NHH) has used the prize money to implement long-term, systematic efforts to promote gender equality. “We focus primarily on two things in our gender equality efforts: recruiting more women researchers and qualifying female employees for professor-level positions,” says Rector Jan I. Haaland.

The administration gives the academic departments incentives to recruit women researchers by providing a lump-sum funding allocation or by covering salary costs.

Nomination deadline 13 November 2009

The Committee for Mainstreaming – Women in Research is responsible for announcing the award, evaluating the nominees and making a recommendation to the ministry. The deadline for submitting nominations is 13 November, and the award will be presented in January 2010.

For more information visit the Research Council of Norway.

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