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Summer greetings from the Dean: As a university, we must lead the way when it comes to gender equality

There is a long way to go before we have true gender equality, as men dominate the academic career track positions, receive the majority of funding from foundations and are over-represented on most assessment committees. This is according to Dean Lars Bo Nielsen, who uses his summer greeting to call for a better gender balance at Health.

The Dean at Health, Lars Bo Nielsen, wants gender equality to be high on the agenda.

First the positives: The most recent statistics on the gender distribution of academic positions show an increase in the number of newly-appointed female professors. But nonetheless, woman still only hold a fifth of professorships at Health.

"As a university, we have to help push society towards greater gender equality, and we must do more to break down the barriers that prevent real gender equality," he says.

Watch the video with Dean Lars Bo Nielsen's summer greeting

Academic career-track positions are not the only area where women are lagging behind. There is also a shortage of women on the majority of the faculty’s assessment committees, and generally, the largest grants go to male researchers.

Everybody’s support required

Aarhus University has appointed a central equal opportunities committee which is tasked with launching specific initiatives to promote diversity and gender equality at AU.

“So far, gender equality promotion at Health has been entrenched in the faculty management team, where we will continue to focus on a better gender balance in our academic environments and ensure that men and women are equally represented when we recommend people for awards or appoint them to specific functions at the faculty,” says Lars Bo Nielsen.

Lars Bo Nielsen emphasises that promoting gender equality is to a large extent a matter for the management and that it requires continuous monitoring and follow-up in the departments. At the same time, he encourages everyone to support the work being done to improve gender equality by discussing the topic in the environment where they work.

"Gender equality must be higher on the agenda. We need to be better at spotting and breaking down the discriminatory barriers that prevent women from making it to the top. I hope that everybody at the faculty will contribute to ensuring that men and women have the same equal opportunities.”