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Open letter to Chancellor Torbjörn von Schantz regarding the unequal representation on the LU Business council

Last week, a new council for business (Näringslivsråd) was announced by Lund University, the main focus of which is to “be a natural forum for cooperation, where questions such as regional development, research, education, innovation and infrastructure are to be discussed”. The proposed council consists of 18 men and 3 women, a line-up that has been the subject of extensive internal as well as external criticism. Subsequently, the University management has promised increased effort to ensure a more equal gender distribution within the council.

In light of these events, the STEM faculty body WINGS (Women IN Great Sciences), would like to contribute some pointers as to how this mishap can be avoided in the future. We base these suggestions on the following national goals of equality agreed upon by all political parties in the Swedish parliament in 2006, as well as Lund University policies:

-Equal distribution of power and and influence across genders
-Systematic work towards equality and diversity in recruitment
-Special action taken to ensure equality especially in leadership positions
-Ensure equality training for persons responsible for recruitment

The above mentioned figures of gender distribution within the business council indicate that the implementation of these policies require review. While we find it disappointing that the council in its current configuration will meet on November 17th, the following steps should, in our opinion, be undertaken as soon as possible in order for Lund University (LU) to fulfill the above mentioned commitments for the next meeting:

-Openly review the recruitment process of the council representatives and disclose the implementation of equality policies.
-Consider the use of either open calls or specific recruitment services such as Rättviseförmedlingen for immediate re-recruitment of representatives for the aforementioned council, ensuring equality and diversity
-Employ an external equality consultant to monitor the recruitment processes at LU to ensure that future unequal gender distribution within bodies of leadership is avoided

All faculties at Lund University have policies regarding gender equality, and although work is being undertaken to improve the current situation regarding unequal representation, there is much room for improvement. WINGS would like to encourage the central administration at Lund University to lead by example, and prove that the issue of gender equality is one of high priority.

Respectfully,

Linnéa Taylor,
WINGS coordinator, on behalf of the WINGS steering committee

- WINGS has started a petition regarding this issue - find it here 
 

 

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