Independent University Newspaper
Copenhagen Business School

Popular searches:

Independent University Newspaper

Copenhagen Business School

Denmark achieved gender equality a long time ago… “Let’s be frank – it’s bullshit!”

Sofie Carsten Nielsen (RV) leaves the stage after her speech on International Women's Day. (Photo: Mette Koors)

At CBS’ celebration of International Women’s Day, participants were asked to come up with suggestions that could bust the myth that gender equality had already been achieved in Denmark. CBS delivered one of three cases for discussion: How could CBS get more women to move up the academic hierarchy? “Male professors, give up power,” one suggested.

News |   12. Mar 2019

Anne Thora Lykkegaard

Journalist

Two questions are asked every year on International Women’s Day. Is there anything left to fight for? Don’t we have gender equality already?

Well, if you ask Sofie Carsten Nielsen, member of parliament and the Danish Social Liberal Party (Radikale Venstre), she will give you this answer: “Let’s be frank, it’s bullshit and a mistake to think that there’s nothing left to fight for.”

And this was the answer she gave in her speech when CBS invited her to the celebration of International Women’s Day to discuss and find solutions to what she describes as the “greatest maintained myth of all” – that we have gender equality in Denmark.

“Denmark has not only been stalling, but moving backwards when it comes to gender equality. Even the majority of politicians don’t recognize the imbalance, and they keep telling us that there’s nothing left to fight for, or that the battle’s been won. But it’s bullshit. We must keep on fighting,” she said.

The new President of CBS, Nikolaj Malchow-Møller had his first public appearance after taking over the position on March 1, and he too pointed out Denmark’s poor gender equality compared to our neighbors.

“We like to think that we are a lot like our Nordic peers when it comes to gender equality, but we are actually lacking behind. According to the World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Index, we placed 14 in 2017,” he said and called for action.

“Diversity leads to better decisions, and right now we only seem to use part of the talent pool,” he stated.

Finding solutions in the GenderLAB

The event hosted a line-up of speakers – including the co-host of the event, Kvinfo’s CEO Henriette Laursen and CBS student, Nima Sophia Tisdall – as well as a laboratory called the GenderLAB.

Every participant got divided into three colors, each color representing one of the cases that were up for discussion at the GenderLAB.

The Danish Defence was looking for ways to obtain greater gender equality within the organization. Roskilde Festival wanted to gain input on how the festival can best ensure that guests are safe and free. And lastly CBS presented the issue of an enormous gender gap when moving up the academic ladder.

At CBS, women represent 20 percent of the professors, and the figures haven’t improved for 20 years. So what does it take to get more women into academia, especially the more senior positions? Well, these were some of the suggestions:

“Male professors, give up power.”

“More curriculum by female authors.”

“Increased transparency in recruitment to be compulsory. Ensure that the same number of male and female applicants are invited for interview and enforce stronger argumentation for final selection of candidates.”

“Ministry gives basic funding to universities having 50% female professors + executive management.”

The organizers of the event will look at the suggestions and decide what to do with them.

Shake the table

Women are not only poorly represented in top positions within academia. They lag behind in the business sector too.

According to an article in the Danish newspaper, Berlingske, only 27 percent of leadership positions in Denmark are taken up by women. This makes Denmark stand out from its Nordic neighbors, and puts Denmark below the OECD average of 31 percent female leaders.

And Sofie Carsten Nielsen appealed to all women in leadership positions by asking them:

“Although we lag behind, Danish women have found their way to the table. But we need to shake it. It won’t be easy. No one will bring the gift of a gender-balanced labor market. We have to claim it. So if you have a seat at the table, shake it, and don’t keep the status quo,” she said.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Denmark achieved gender equality a long time ago… “Let’s be frank – it’s bullshit!”by

  • News

    CBS Associate Professor starts YouTube channel on compliance: “We must communicate research differently”

    For Associate Professor Kalle Johannes Rose, his YouTube channel about risk-based compliance serves many purposes. It is both a personal tool to help him structure and explain the material as well as an opportunity to reach out to people working with compliance and for them to ask questions before he finishes a new book. He believes that researchers should think differently about how they communicate their research, and that CBS could do a better job of helping them.

  • News

    Three emails revive old conflict between CBS and course company Aspiri

    Several students have received emails from the course company Aspiri asking for their Canvas password in return for free courses. The CBS legal department warns students against giving away their passwords – it compromises IT security and is illegal.

  • News

    Start-up founded in a CBS entrepreneurial class sells for millions

    What started as a business case in class - AI for solving GDPR issues - has turned into fulltime employment and a multi-million kroner deal for two former CBS students.

  • News

    Mental health issues? Where to get help

    If you have mental health issues or personal problems, CBS can help. If you have a chronic mental health problem, you can receive help through the SPS programme. For personal problems, you can team up with a mentor through the CBS mentor programme or talk to the campus pastor, who is happy to help regardless of religion.

  • Blog

    Winter blues and how I cope

  • News

    New alumni network on cybersecurity gives valuable insights

    A large number of unofficial alumni networks flourish at CBS. A new addition is the cybersecurity network that enables students and alumni to connect and talk about an industry where people otherwise keep their secrets closely guarded. The networks are a useful way for alumni to stay in touch with CBS while giving back as well as being updated on the newest research and post-graduate education.

  • Gif of the week
  • News

    CBS professor’s review of corona measures is happy news for democracy in Europe

    In the spring of 2020, political science associate professor Mads Dagnis Jensen, like many others, was celebrating the end of lockdown drinking a beer with some fellow political science researchers in Christianshavn. At a time when just about everyone was comparing different governments’ Covid-19 measures, you can bet that these comparative politics nerds also were. “Why don’t we write a book,” one of his colleagues suggested.

Follow CBS students studying abroad

CBS WIRE collaborates with Videnskab.dk

Stay connected

Close