Equality and recruitment
How do we get into a situation where the higher levels of academia are dominated by men? And how do you build a career in academia? These were questions posed by Curt Rice, chair of the Kif committee, at the seminar on gender balance and perspectives.
The seminar and panel debate on gender balance and gender perspectives in relation to quality took place at NHH on 22 March.
Curt Rice, Rector of OsloMet and chair of the Committee for Gender Balance and Diversity in Research (KIF), was the key note speaker, and Aline Butikofer presented NHH’s first BALANSE project scheduled for start-up in August 2019. Head of the Department of Finance Jøril Mæland and Vice Rector for Research Kenneth Fjell took part in the panel debate, with Professor Inger Stensaker as moderator.
"How do we get into a situation where the higher levels of academia are dominated by men? How do you build a career in academia?" asked Curt Rice.
Men and women are assessed differently. Implicit biases govern both men and women, and neither men nor women are able to dismiss this fact. It is difficult to compensate for biases, but something can be done.
NHH needs better data. We need to examine whether there are implicit biases in the recruitment processes at NHH and, if so, what we can do about it. This was one of the conclusions from the seminar.
Force is problematic, but the higher education sector has a long tradition of male gender quotas, and this is done informally and entirely implicitly.
A QUOTA SYSTEM IMPROVES QUALITY
A common argument against quotas is that a quota system, by definition, will lower quality. However, research shows to the contrary that quota systems increase quality. This is a result of the effect that the decision to use quotas has on which candidates apply.
The decision to use quotas affects the population of candidates since a greater number of qualified women apply while less qualified men refrain from applying.
DIVERSITY IMPROVES QUALITY
Curt Rice pointed out the importance of recruiting from among the whole population to ensure the best candidates. Diversity leads to better quality. Diversity must be handled in a diverse way, which means that people must be treated differently. Cultural differences are an advantage. Men and women must be treated differently, but in a smart way, he claimed.
Curt Rice was clear that the system must be changed and that it needs to take place from the top down.
NHH’s action plan for improving the gender balance in academic positions will be revised in spring 2019.