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BALANSE-Kjønnsbalanse i toppstillinger og forskningsledelse

CHALLENGE: Meeting the Challenge to Change the Culture

Alternative title: CHALLENGE: Utfordre til kulturendring

Awarded: NOK 1.0 mill.

There is an under-representation of women, both at NHH and in leading business positions in general. The under-representation is greater the closer you get to the top of the career ladder. CHALLENGE will address the career progression inequality by proposing a series of measures that aims at influencing the culture at NHH. The project will involve both female and male faculty at all stages of their career at NHH. These will benefit from networking, training and a mentoring scheme. The project has an internal focus on the culture at NHH, but also focuses on creating an external network and ties to the private sector that may help women climb the career ladder. The project will help NHH fulfill its vision of being a driving force in business and society, while contributing to a more gender balanced and inclusive academic institution.


The current gender equality strategies in the public and private sector foresee females represented in all committees through gender quotas. Yet, the underrepresentation of women occupying the upper academic positions combined with these quotas have put a toll on women at an individual level, as they have to participate in more management, council and committee work than their male peers. As a consequence, females experience a time-shortage that often results in sacrificing research time in favour of more administrative tasks, which weakens their research track record. However, both men and women are subjected to the same promotion criteria which puts women in disadvantage when trying to advance in their career. Rejecting committee work is a sign of bad citizenship, which also reduces the probability for promotion from postdoc to associate professor. We propose a complementary triple path that strengthens NHH’s general measures and focuses on systematically facilitating female career development by creating a cultural change at NHH that includes both genders: Meet Each Other (ME) for defining needs, training and reflection; Meet the Mentors (MM) for creating a career-development plan and creating awareness; and Meet the Business (MB) for inspiration and increased impact. These three paths are designed empower junior female academics, so that they make more informed strategic career choices to obtain full professorship while also making the current and future leadership aware of the obstacles women encounter in their career progression. The synergistic effects of these paths will enable NHH to meet the cultural shift challenge for a more egalitarian career progression at the school.

Funding scheme:

BALANSE-Kjønnsbalanse i toppstillinger og forskningsledelse