Gender Equality in Academia – from Knowledge to Change

Volume editors:
Øystein Gullvåg Holter, Lotta Snickare
Chapter authors:
Øystein Gullvåg Holter, Lotta Snickare, Eva Amundsdotter, Ylva Elvin-Nowak, Greta Gober, Knut Liestøl
Cathinka Dahl Hambro


What is the state of gender equality in science and technology? Gender Equality in Academia – from Knowledge to Change presents the results of a comprehensive research project and program of initiatives at the University of Oslo’s Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. Researchers have examined gender equality within the department, looking at reasons for imbalance, and at what occurs when measures to promote equality are implemented.

The book opens with an in-depth study of careers, gender issues and gender balance within academia. The study, based on questionnaires, interviews and follow-up evaluation, provides a new and updated understanding of the daily lives of academics in Norway. Among the topics covered are perceptions of equality and gender balance, effects of male dominance, sexual harassment, gender with respect to publishing, and the relationship between gender and diversity.

In addition to presenting new empirical data, the book is also an innovative contribution to theoretical development within gender equality research. In the second part of the book, the authors present three working models that elucidate current mechanisms recreating gender imbalance, and challenges for gender equality. The book’s final part consists of analyses of measures taken to increase gender equality within the department and their effects, and what an organization can do to increase gender equality.

The range of topics in this book make it relevant for everyone concerned with gender equality in research and higher education. Researchers, administrators, students, other practitioners, and politicians will all find this book of interest.

This book is an updated, revised and expanded version of the original Norwegian version (2021), adapted for international readers. Read the Norwegian edition here.


Author Biographies

Øystein Gullvåg Holter

Øystein Gullvåg Holter is a professor emeritus at the Centre for Gender Research (STK), University of Oslo. His research focuses on gender, masculinity, and social inequality. He has participated in Norwegian, Nordic, and European projects, and has written a number of books, among which are: Sjekking: kjærlighet og kjønnsmarked (1981) (Mate Selection: Love and the Gender Market); Menns livssammenheng (with Helene Aarseth, 1993) (Men’s Life Context); Gender, Patriarchy and Capitalism: A Social Forms Analysis (Dr. philos. dissertation, 1997); Can Men Do It: The Nordic Experience (2003); Gender Equality and Quality of Life (2009). Additionally, he has published a number of articles and report contributions, such as Politikk for likestilling (NOU 2012: 15) (Policy for Equality, Official Norwegian Report), and the EU report The Role of Men in Gender Equality (2013). In 1989, he started a network for studies of men, later extended to Nordic and international networks contributing to research, for example Man i rørelse (Men in Movement) 2007. In the FRONT project, Oystein participated as a researcher with particular responsibility for quantitative research, and also worked extensively with the theory development in part two of this book.

Lotta Snickare

Lotta Snickare is a researcher at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University of Oslo, Norway and the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. She is also a researcher at the Centre for Gender Research at the University of Oslo.

Eva Amundsdotter

Eva Amundsdotter is a senior lecturer in pedagogy at Stockholm University, particularly interested in organization and leadership. Her primary research area is processes of change in organizations, focusing on gender, power and norms. Other research and development projects focus on action-oriented gender research, where she, together with leaders and managers, including those in academia, have developed a gender-aware leadership. Eva participated in the FRONT project’s work with leadership development and in the action research carried out in connection with this.

Ylva Elvin-Nowak

Ylva Elvin-Nowak holds a PhD in psychology and is a licensed psychotherapist. She is the assistant operations manager at Academic Primary Health Care Centre in the Stockholm region. She is currently involved in research on health services’ responsibility for disclosing and handling domestic violence. Ylva has written several books from a genderpsychological perspective, such as I sällskap med skulden. Om den moderna mammas vardag (2001) (Accompanied by Guilt. Modern Motherhood the Swedish Way) about the modern mother’s everyday life. Ylva was involved in the FRONT project as a process leader for the women researcher network and in the action research carried out in connection with this.

Greta Gober

Greta Gober is an assistant professor at the Faculty of Journalism, Information and Book Studies at the University of Warsaw. Her research is oriented towards organizational culture, communication, and gendered power relations and identities, especially in the media sector. She is the principal investigator for the “Diversity management as innovation in Journalism” project (2021–2023), funded by the Norway Grants – Basic Research Programme, vice-president of the International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT) and vice-chair of the ECREA Gender, Sexuality & Communication section. Greta participated in the FRONT project as a researcher.

Knut Liestøl

Knut Liestøl is a professor emeritus at the Department of Informatics, University of Oslo (UiO). He has been head of department and vice dean for research at UiO, and chair of the board for the Division of Basic Research and Strategic Research in the Research Council of Norway. Experiences from these roles contributed greatly to his interest in gender equality. Knut has been particularly interested in how excellence initiatives and informal professional prestige hierarchies affect women’s and men’s opportunities to reach top academic positions. He has been chair of the board for the Research Council of Norway’s BALANSE programme since it was initiated in 2013.

Cathinka Dahl Hambro

Cathinka Dahl Hambro (PhD) is educated as a philologist, medievalist and theologian. She has lived in Ireland for several years, worked as an English associate professor, and has nearly twenty years of experience as a translator specializing in academic texts and research dissemination. She has also worked for several years as a leader of academic writing centres in Norway, where she has given courses and supervision on academic writing and English for academic purposes.

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November 22, 2022


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