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Q&A Matilda Ernkrans: Women in science after #MeToo

Matilda Ernkrans

We asked the new Swedish Minister for Higher Education and Research about what can be done to encourage and support women in science.

Today is International Women’s Day and you are going to hold the opening speech at the Karolinska Institute seminar on the theme “Counteract sexual harassment and genus-based vulnerability in academia”. Overall, what do you believe is important in this work?

“I have chosen to give the opening speech because I believe this is an exciting initiative that the Royal Institute of Technology, the Karolinska Institute and Malmö University have made. In a structured way they continue to drive raising awareness about sexual harassment and other genus-based shortcomings within academia. My entire life I have been engaged in issues of equality and I will continue to speak about finding new ways after #MeToo. Many women testify about terrible assaults that no one should have to experience, but there are more women, an unrecorded number of women who have been prevented from taking their next steps in their academic careers. So this is a good initiative.”

What can be done to get more women in leading positions in academia?

“I am very committed to continue to work on strengthening employment security, for example. It is a fact that in an insecure employment it is easier to be exposed to harassments. The government has already made great progress here and we are now looking at what more can be done.”

The university managements from Karolinska Institutet, KTH and Malmö University have launched a new, joint research and external collaboration programme to counteract sexual harassment and gender-based vulnerability in academia.

Read the whole interview with Matilda Ernkrans in our upcoming 02 2019 issue!

Photo: Kristian Pohl/Regeringskansliet