Gender bias Research paper

helsinki group on gender in research and innovation and gender identity research and education society
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Dr.ThorasRyder,Hong Kong,Researcher
Published Date:07-07-2017
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Gender balance and gender perspectives in research and innovation Policy for the Research Council of Norway 2013 – 2017DEL XX / SEKSJONSTITTEL About The Research Council of Norway The Research Council of Norway is a national strategic and funding research and innovation activities. It is the task of the Research agency for research activities. The Council serves as a chief source Council to identify Norway’s research needs and recommend of advice on and input into research policy for the Norwegian na tional priorities. The Council utilises specifically-targeted fund- Go vernment, the central government administration and the ing schemes to help translate national research policy goals into overall research community. Moreover, the Research Council works action. The Research Council provides a central meeting place for together with research institutions as well as the private and public those who fund, carry out and utilise research and works activity sectors to enhance financial and quality targets in Norwegian to promote the internationalisation of Norwegian research.The Research Council will be a driving force to “grade A» / professorships, Norway lies Gender balance and gender perspectives The Research Council has worked for many years to promote gender equality in just slightly below average. The loss of also receive considerable attention in research, gender perspectives in research female research talent gives cause for con- Eur opean research and innovation policy. and fundamental knowledge about gen- cern for both Norwegian and international We must aspire to become one of the der. We seek to be a driving force in these research. leading countries in Europe in this area. areas, both nationally and internationally. Norway has all the prerequisites – cul- Experience shows that introducing simple, turally, economically and politically – to achieve this goal. With regard to gender balance, we are concrete measures can lead to a substan- especially concerned with accelerating tial improvement in the gender composi- the pace at which change is taking place tion. But to bring about a more sweeping in senior-level academic positions and change, leaders within the sector must research management. In Norway, the play an active role. number of women and men earning doc- toral degrees is the same. Yet even in areas In recent years the Research Council has where women constitute the majority of introduced gender perspectives in research doctoral students, it is men who comprise as a mandatory criterion in the assessment the majority of those recruited to research of grant applications. All of our programmes careers in top positions. and initiatives must specifically assess what the gender dimension means for their par- In a research context, Norway is ranked ticular knowledge field. If we are to succeed, at the top in Europe with regard to the we must raise the level of expertise among proportion of women on boards and as everyone involved. The aim is to enhance Director General leaders of institutions. But when it comes the overall quality of research. The Research Council of Norway 1The Research Council will work in a sys- achieving the ambitious objectives set for a number of forums and initiatives. Norway tematic, strategic and innovative manner Norwegian research. takes an active part in these efforts. to promote gender balance as well as gender perspectives in research. Activities Gender as a perspective implies that The Research Council has worked for biological and social gender is reflected many years to promote gender equality in will be based on cooperation with other actors, the application of internal meas- in research content. A growing number research, gender perspectives in research ures and instruments and an assessment of studies show that diversity, including and fundamental knowledge about gen- of the need for new initiatives. gender balance and gender perspectives, der. The Research Council will strengthen helps to enhance the scientific quality and these efforts by setting more specific, Gender balance implies that both social relevance of research. verifiable objectives. genders participate in research on an equal footing. The overall target is for an Gender balance and gender perspec- These primary objectives will apply in gen- equal number of women and men to be tives also receive considerable attention eral for both gender balance and gender active in all areas and at all levels. Loss of in European research and innovation perspectives, but will be specified and talent and biased recruitment is both a policy. They are key topics in the European adapted to the various areas. democratic challenge and an obstacle to R esearch Area (ERA) and are followed up in The Research Council The Research Council will work The Research Council will will assume a greater more systematically within its strengthen the knowledge base 1 2 3 national responsibility own administration of research for use in research and innova- funding tion policy 2 Photo: ShutterstockGender balance in research and innovation Good welfare schemes, a stated public within the humanities and social sciences. research by developing specialist research gender equality policy and a high degree of The gender imbalance in research also groups of high international quality. All of gender equality in many areas of society all means that role models are unevenly the centres ended up with male directors, indicate that there should be satisfactory distributed among subject areas, thus and male researchers dominated at the gender balance in Norwegian research. helping to maintain the difference in girls’ junior and senior levels as well. When a new Norway is ranked at the top in Europe with and boys’ educational choices. group of centres was established, emphasis regard to the proportion of female board was placed on gender balance. The propor- members and leaders of institutions. Yet Compared with the changes in recruitment tion of research fellows and senior research- Norway lies slightly below the European (doctoral and post-doctoral) positions, the ers who were women rose significantly. average with regard to the overall propor- changes at the senior level of research have tion of women in research and is in tenth been minimal within all subject areas. The The example from UiT The Arctic University place in terms of the proportion of women proportion of women at the professor level of Norway also shows that change is pos- in senior-level positions (She Figures 2012). was slightly less than 25 per cent in 2012. sible. In 2002 UiT had the lowest figures of The Research Council’s aim is to strengthen This is due in part to the low proportion all the universities, with women comprising Norway’s position to become one of the of women in the recruitment pool for top less than 10 per cent of the professors. leading countries in Europe in this area. positions in some subject areas and in part Ten years later the proportion was close to to drop-out, especially by women in the ca- 30 per cent, and thus the highest among reer trajectory up to senior-level positions Norwegian universities. Through targeted Major differences in all subject areas. efforts, concrete measures and, not least, ac- In recent decades the proportion of wom- tive leadership, the institution has achieved en recruited to research has increased This is the greatest challenge with regard significant changes in relatively few years. dramatically. However, there are major to gender balance in Norwegian research. differences among the various subject are- The Research Council as. While men comprise the vast majority of those at the master’s and Ph.D. levels Change is possible will do its part in some natural science and technology In 2003 the Research Council launched the The Research Council will take steps to subjects, women dominate in medicine, Centres of Excellence (SFF) scheme. The ensure that its funding is not biased. This health sciences and certain subject areas objective was to strengthen Norwegian means that the gender distribution among “When 40 per cent of your researchers at one level are women while only a little over 20 per cent at the next level up are, then you as a leader have a problem. We have to acknowledge and counter the effects of implicit bias. It’s the responsibility of those in leadership positions to insure that career advancement is equally available to everyone, independent of sex.” Curt Rice, professor of linguistics, UiT The Arctic University of Norway 3The promotion project at UiT The Arctic University of Norway In 2011 UiT The Arctic University of Nor- the proportion of women professors at qualifications by the end of 2013. One- way launched an initiative known as the a faster rate than the other universities. on-one career meetings were held and promotion project to increase the propor- The university set a target of 30 per cent offers of promotion were given which were tion of women in top positions. The project women in senior-level positions over a adapted as far as possible to the individu- was based on the Norwegian scheme for two-year period. Department heads were al’s needs, such as mock evaluations and personal promotion to professor level. In asked to provide the names of candidates writing weeks. The project had the strong the course of a few years UiT had increased who they believed could acquire professor support of the university leadership. “Despite some advances in recent years, women in research remain a minority and a glass ceiling is in particular blocking women from top positions. This is a serious injustice and a scandalous waste of talent. The Commission is focused on fostering gender equality in our research programmes, and working to change a deeply-rooted institutional culture.” Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science 4 Photo: Universitetet i TromsøCentres of Excellence (SFF) scheme In 2003 the Research Council launched the Centres of Excellence development for female researchers. An earmarked sum was set (SFF) scheme. The objective was to strengthen Norwegian research aside to encourage the centres to implement active measures. by developing specialist research groups of high international The impact was pronounced. The Research Council received a quality. All of the centres ended up with male directors, and male researchers dominated at the junior and senior levels as well. greater number of applications with women centre directors. The proportion of female research fellows increased from 35 When a new group of centres was established five years later, per cent for the first group of centres to 53 per cent at the new emphasis was placed on gender balance in the grant applications, centres. At the post-doctoral level the proportion rose from 27 and applicants were requested to give a detailed description of per cent to 44 per cent, and among senior-level researchers from how they would work to recruit women and promote career 17 per cent to 23 per cent. ally targeted programmes and EU-funded project managers and senior researchers Special challenges in projects must not be more imbalanced The challenges are especially great in three projects. than the recruitment pool. Additionally, areas of the Research Council’s activities: the Research Council will work proactively excellence in research initiatives, interna- Trade and industry has the most uneven to improve gender balance in all parts tionalisation measures and industry-ori- gender distribution in all parts of the of the research sector: universities and ented measures. In these areas the propor- research system, with women comprising university colleges, independent research tion of women among project managers a total of 21 per cent of the research per- institutes, health trusts, and trade and and key researchers in large-scale projects sonnel (2012). No systematic statistics have industry. is considerably lower than the average. been compiled on research management in trade and industry broken down by gender. This will be accomplished by providing New excellence in research initiatives, such The Research Council will cooperate with input to the ministries, engaging in as the new centre initiatives, must follow Innovation Norway, Siva – the Industrial dialogue with the sector and cooperating up the valuable experiences and good Development Cooperation of Norway and with the Committee for Gender Balance in results from the Centres of Excellence (SFF) others to learn more about the situation Research (the KIF Committee) appointed scheme. and to improve the gender balance. by the Ministry of Education and Research. Funding must be more consciously de- The proportion of women among Norwe- Innovative measures signed to promote women’s participation gian project managers under the EU Sev- To encourage more rapid improvement in at higher levels of research. Increasing enth Framework Programme for Research the gender balance at the senior level in the proportion of women among project is lower than the European average. Meas- Norwegian research, the Research Council managers and senior researchers in pro- ures to promote internationalisation must has established the Programme on Gender jects funded by the Research Council will have as a goal to increase the proportion Balance in Senior Positions and Research contribute to this. of female project managers in internation- Management (BALANSE). 5The BALANSE programme enables the The BALANSE programme is underway Research Council to provide funding for inno- vative measures to improve the gender bal- ance and thereby have a nationwide impact. The Research Council established the Knowledge development and The BALANSE programme will also foster Programme on Gender Balance in knowledge sharing; mutual learning between research environ- Senior Positions and Research Manage- Better research management; ments. The programme will provide support Career development measures. ment (BALANSE) in 2013. to and strengthen the efforts of the research institutions and research environments in The primary objective is to promote The BALANSE programme will serve as a this area. The programme is based on three gender balance at the senior level in national learning arena, provide areas of activity: BALANSE projects, a national Norwegian research and to strengthen support to the research institutions’ learning arena, and knowledge development structural and cultural renewal of the own efforts and develop a gender and new research on the processes that pro- underlying research system. This equality toolkit for use within the sector. mote and obstruct gender balance. objective will be achieved through: A joint Nordic or European initiative may be beneficial by increasing the volume and strengthening the quality of this research. 6 Photo: Sverre JarildThe Research Council will The Research Council will The Research Council will assume a greater national work more systematically strengthen the knowledge responsibility for achieving to promote gender balance base on gender balance for 1 2 3 gender balance in all parts of within its own administration use in research and innovation of research funding policy the research sector The Research Council will: The Research Council will: The Research Council will: fur ther develop the knowledge base in engage in ac tive dialogue with the assess the impac t of all its forms of Committee for Gender Balance in funding on gender balance; areas with significant knowledge gaps Research (the KIF Committee) and the on gender balance; sector at large to discuss challenges in troduce special measures to promote and design measures to achieve more gender balance within excellence in re- initiate Nordic and European research rapid improvement in gender balance in search instruments, internationalisation cooperation to generate more know- research; and research in trade and industry; ledge about gender equality challenges in research; giv e the topic of gender balance a more use the BALANSE programme in inter- prominent role in budget input and action with other programmes; participate actively in international f orums to promote, systematise and other input to the ministries; increase the proportion of female share knowledge at the European level; highlight the topic of gender balance in project managers and women in key communication targeted towards the academic positions and set a target of incorporate gender balance into general public; over 40 per cent women in such posi- analyses of the R esearch Council’s tions for new projects by 2017; funding ac tivities. use the B ALANSE programme to strengthen the efforts of research apply moderate gender quotas in the institutions; distribution of research funding w ork to help Norway take on a lead- ing role in this field internationally in Horizon 2020, in the development of the European Research Area (ERA) and in Science Europe. 7Gender perspectives in research and innovation A diversity of entry points and perspectives New ideas relevant. This means that all programmes in research strengthen the quality of know- Innovation processes are dependent on a and initiatives must specifically assess ledge production, the relevance of research rich assortment of ideas and perspectives what the gender dimension means for and the ability of society to innovate. Gen- to meet various needs. Both in ERA and their particular knowledge domain. der perspectives are an important aspect Horizon 2020 it has been pointed out that of this diversity. Society is comprised of gender perspectives are not a sufficiently Gender as a perspective may be manifest- women and men with biological, social and integral part of research and innovation. ed in the research questions raised and cultural differences, and sound research This applies in Norway as well. Integrating the theoretical approaches and methods must reflect this. gender perspectives into innovation activ- used. This means that both genders must ities will pave the way for new opportuni- be represented in the groups being stud- Research generates knowledge that ties and better results. ied, and consideration must be given to serves as the basis for social development, whether the significance of the research policy formulation and the development results will be different for women and of services and products. It is crucial that Better results men. this knowledge benefits all individuals in The Research Council will work to ensure society, regardless of gender. that gender is integrated as a perspective Gender as a perspective spans a wide range from gender as a variable in in all the research it funds, when this is Gendered Innovations “Thirty years of research have revealed in science and technology. Gendered Inno- that sex and gender bias is socially vations offer sophisticated methods harmful and expensive. Gender bias also of sex and gender analysis to scientists and leads to missed market opportunities. engineers. Integrating these methods into basic and applied research produces excel- In basic research, failing to use appro- lence in science, health and medicine, and priate samples of male and female cells, engineering research, policy, and practice.” tissues, and animals yields faulty results. In medicine, not recognising osteopo- rosis as a male disease delays diagnosis Londa Schiebinger, Professor, Stanford and treatment in men. niversity, USA, Dr Schiebinger heads the project “Gendered Innovations” at It is crucially important to identify gen- Stanford. der bias and understand how it operates genderedinnovations.stanford.edu 8research, via gender as one of several key Research Council will follow develop- administration and among those who perspectives, to gender as the main theo- ments in this area. assess grant applications. retical or empirical focus. Mandatory criterion To succeed in achieving broad-based in- Gender research projects are increasingly In recent years the Research Council tegration, the responsibility for this must being funded through the Research Coun- has introduced gender perspectives in be clearly defined within the organisation. cil’s open arenas, thematically oriented research as a mandatory criterion in the The Research Council will follow up the programmes and other types of initiatives. assessment of grant applications. In policy by establishing operational targets Research institutions have an ongoing with clear leadership responsibility and order for this measure to be effective, it responsibility to maintain gender research is necessary to increase awareness and report on the performance within its own as a separate field of knowledge, and the competence within the Research Council activities. 9 Photo: Sverre Jarild10 Photo: Sverre JarildThe Research Council will The Research Council will The Research Council will assume a greater national work more systematically to strengthen the knowledge responsibility for promot- promote gender perspectives base on gender perspec- 1 2 3 ing gender perspectives in within its own administration tives for use in research and of research funding innovation policy research and innovation The Research Council will: The Research Council will: The Research Council will: evaluate the capacity and quality of establish a national meeting place on assess the significance of gender gender perspectives in research between perspectives in the development and gender research in Norway with a view basic gender research, other research programmes and activities; to developing this research field; fields and across disciplines; in troduce annual division-based report- include analyses of gender perspectives draw on gender research when develop- ing on efforts related to gender perspec- in the Research Council’s annual reports. ing subject field strategies and evalua- tives in programmes and activities; tions; strengthen gender perspectives in include discussions of gender perspec- selected priority areas; tives in research policy input related to government white papers, national assess the r elevance of gender perspec- strategies, institutional strategies, the tives in all application assessment; development of international research initiatives, etc.; implemen t competence-building measures for the administration and inc orporate gender perspectives in programme boards in various thematic the Research Council’s dialogue with and subject areas; research institutions; take the initiative to strengthen policy - in tegrate gender perspectives in Nor- -oriented research on gender equality way’s participation in the EU framework challenges in society. programmes and international funding instruments. 1112 Photo: Shutterstock0 7 T E O S K L R O E - M 2 Ø 4 J 1 L 3 I 4 M 4This publication may be ordered at www.forskningsradet.no/publikasjoner The Research Council of Norway Stensberggata 26 P.O. Box 2700 St. Hanshaugen NO-0131 Oslo Telephone: +47 22 03 70 00 Telefax: +47 22 03 70 01 postforskningsradet.no www.forskningsradet.no February 2014 ISBN 978-82-12-03302-3 (print) ISBN 978-82-12-03303-0 (pdf) Copies: 300 Design: Fete typer AS Cover photo: Shutterstock Print: 07 Gruppen AS English translation: Connie Stultz/Carol B. Eckmann