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Nordic and Baltic young researchers make a stand for gender equality


Representatives of young academics in Nordic and Baltic countries at meeting.

Photo: Erik Thor

Gender equality in academia is essential to ensure the science we need in tackling the pressing societal and environmental issues of our time. This is the message of a joint statement from the Young Academies of Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Estonia and Lithuania.

By issuing a joint statement with proposals for promoting gender equality in academia, the aim is to engage the new generation of researchers.

– Even though the Nordic countries are often considered trailblazers when it comes to gender issues, significant gender-related challenges remain, also in academia. We believe dedicated policies are necessary to accelerate the pace of progress, and to correct the skewed gender distribution in higher-level academic positions, leadership roles and in specific academic fields. Improving gender equality in academia will also contribute to greater diversity in research questions and approaches and is therefore likely to improve the quality of research, says Katerini Storeng, chair of the Young Academy of Norway.

In the Nordic countries, women are well represented at the PhD and postdoctoral levels but still disproportionally underrepresented at the professor level. Despite attempts to recruit and retain more women in academic positions, a strong gender disparity persists. It is time to identify and weather out outdated practices that are harmful to the science we love.

The statement presents a number of prioritized proposals for all areas of academia: recruitment, promotion, research funding, work environment, mobility, scientific meetings and the peer-review process.

– We urge leaders and decision-makers at academic institutions and research funding agencies to act on these proposals. Improving the culture within academia and bringing in new perspectives will benefit society. We simply cannot afford to continue wasting a substantial share of the best researchers, says Maria Tenje, chair of the Young Academy of Sweden 2018–2019.

The statement is signed by The Young Academies of Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Lithuania and Estonia, as a result of the first joint meeting of these academies held in Stockholm 19–20 March with support from NordForsk and The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies (Östersjöstiftelsen). The collaboration creates a unique platform that opens up for interactions across borders, identifying common interests and strengthening our role in the wider European and global context.


Maria Tenje, 070-866 70 66,
Magnus Jonsson, 070-089 62 31,
Karl Wennberg, 070-510 53 66,
Sebastian Westenhoff, 076-618 39 36,
Annika Moberg, 070-325 32 18,

Young Academy of Denmark
Young Academy Finland
Young Academy of Norway
Young Academy of Sweden
Young Academy of Estonia
Young Academy of Latvia
Young Academy of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences