Women less likely to become professors in Sweden

A man who is doing a doctorate in Sweden is twice as likely to become a professor as a woman taking the same degree, according to a report from the National Agency for Higher Education.

The report, which was seen by Göteborgs-Posten, followed up everyone who took a doctorate degree between 1980 and 1991 and looked at how many of those had advanced to professor status twelve years after graduation.

Among the 1991 crop of graduates, 8% of men had become professors by 2003, compared to only 4% of women. Earlier groups showed similar ratios.

Men were found to be more likely to become professors in all subject areas. The difference was especially pronounced within the areas of humanities and social sciences.

In total, 16% of Sweden’s professors were women in 2004.

Universities and colleges in Sweden have the option to apply positive discrimination in their recruitment process, but according to the National Agency for Higher Education’s Helen Dryler this is rarely exploited.

Now the agency wants to put forward new, concrete proposals about how the situation can be changed.

“There could be a hidden gender discrimination which is hard to identify,” said Dryler to GP.

The report is being presented on Wednesday.

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TT/The Local