50% women employees at Norwegian universities

Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education (NIFU) has recently published a data-based analysis of a number of issues in Norway. Focus in this oulook is data from the university sector.

gender analysis at Norwegian universities

The graph shows the Number of researchers and professional R&D staff at Norwegian universities, and the share of women. 1989-2019. Source ↓.

The graph shows clearly that at the moment there is a gender balance among professional R&D staff. However, it is not a scorecard of the internal distribution at all levels.

Age distribution of PhD-candidates dissertations

The average age - thick black line - has been fairly constant over the years at around 38 years of age. Mathematics and technology PhD's are a few years younger when they reach "the finishing line", wheareas PhD candidates in medicine and the social science are a few years above the average age.

average exam date for Phd:s in Norway

Comment by Johan Schlasberg.

Gender equality at universities is obviously more complex than the relative number of men and women employees. One may ask the general question of what would an acceptable gender distribution be? If one assumes that a 40 to 60% distribution - of either sex and direction - is OK, does that mean that the debate and efforts will turn to other gender aspects such as pay, funding, or citations?

Is there an ideal timeline for PhD studies that takes into account when the "should" be started and when they "should be finished"? Universities may have one perspective but certainly it varies depending on factors like field of research, interest in pursuing an academic career and many others. What are the lessons to be learned from the graph above?

Source: Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education (NIFU), june 2021
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Summary by:   Johan Schlasberg

Published: June 2021   Updated: July 2, 2021

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