CanCell Equality seminar June 9th
Gender and diversity equality in academia – how can we achieve this? This was the topic of our very first CanCell Equality lunch seminar held by zoom on the 9th of June 2021. Chara Charsou, a postdoc and member of the CanCell Equality Forum introduced the keynote speaker Mari Teigen.
Teigen is the institute leader at Core Senter for likestillingsforskning and also leader of the NORDICORE – Centre for Research on Gender Equality in Research and Innovation. Her work focuses on gender equality in research and on equality politics. In a well-attended seminar, Teigen presented many of the challenges towards achieving actual gender equality and diversity in academia. She focused on the mechanisms that can contribute to gender inequality at the workplace and provided us with some input on the results from the CanCell Equality survey that was carried out in October 2020. We learned that academia still has a way to go before we achieve true gender equality. It was a very inspiring seminar and an engaging discussion afterwards.
“Related to the CanCell equality report, Mari pointed out the obvious gender gap in professorship and leadership positions between men and women at the Centre”, said Charsou after the seminar.
Not only is this related to the division in positions held within academia, but as some of our members pointed out in the meeting, women also tend to take up more teaching related roles than men. According to Charsou and the other women at the Centre which contributed to the blog piece “Covid mothers” the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has affected women more than men and this promotes an even greater gender gap in academia.
Challenges to diversity in academia which Teigen touched upon, were also reported by our own members in the CanCell Equality Forum survey. Chara says that CanCell members which don’t have Norwegian as a first language, experience more stress in the workplace than members having Norwegian as their mother tongue. The ongoing pandemic has contributed to worsening of these challenges, but there are also hope for improvement. Awareness about equality challenges allow us to focus on these differences and contribute to a better workplace for everyone in academia.