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Genie | Gender Initiative for Excellence

Through concrete changes of the academic culture, system and procedures together with strategic recruitments, we aim towards equal gender balance within the faculty. We invest SEK 300 million over ten years on gender equality work to make Chalmers more successful.

Background and motive

Like other technical universities, Chalmers has a very low proportion of women in its faculty. However, research shows that a more even gender balance leads to greater scientific success and a better working environment, for both men and women. As a strategy to become more excellent, Chalmers aims to increase the proportion of women among its faculty.

Overall goals 

The overall goals of the project: 

  • Increase the proportion of female faculty. 
  • Remove the structural and cultural obstacles that hamper women’s careers.  
  • Create a working environment that is diverse and inclusive and supportive of excellence in research and teaching.

Scope 

The initiative is funded by the Chalmers University of Technology Foundation and has a budget of SEK 300 million over the course of ten years. It was launched on 1 January 2019 and run through 2028. As far as Chalmers knows, this is by far the largest individual investment in gender equality made by any university.

Content 

Genie mainly consists of two parts: concrete and tailored action plans, to achieve long-term cultural and structural change in the departments, and direct support to increase the fraction of females in the faculty.

Gender equality work 

The work includes analysing culture, systems and processes in each department. Statistics divided into men and women will be used to identify and address imbalances. Genie’s management will provide each department’s leadership group with tailor-made activities that aim to increase gender equality.

Increase the proportion of women 

A substantial part of Genie’s budget will be used for direct recruitment of top female researchers. The top female researchers will not only strengthen Chalmers with their research, they will also be important role models. Heads of Departments can submit proposals for direct recruitments to Genie’s management.
All recruitments at Chalmers today are preceded by efforts to identify high-quality gender-balanced pools of applicants.

Work has started

The project is running from 1 January 2019. During the initial phase, Genie will investigate the current situation in each department and make concrete plans for the near future. Several activities, such as regularly occuring seminars, will be arranged to raise awareness and knowledge on gender equality issues throughout campus. Genie will make internal calls for funding of research/teaching projects that contribute to gender equality, and Genie will start a visiting researchers programme.

Contact person

Management group 

Pernilla Wittung-Stafshede, Professor, Biology and Biological Engineering 
Mary Sheeran, Professor, Computer Science and Engineering 
Anders Karlström, Professor and Head of Department, Electrical Engineering

Genie events

Genie funding for projects that combine gender equality with research or education

Chalmers' Gender Equality initiative Genie is announcing SEK 15 million for internal projects that combine gender equality with excellence in research or education. All permanently employed faculty, both externally and base funded, are welcome to apply for up to SEK 1 million.
– This is an important step in capturing needs and good ideas in the Chalmers faculty, says Pernilla Wittung-Stafshede, leader of Genie.​ Read more about the open call​


Articles about Genie on Chalmers websites and in other media
‘Largest’ investment by a university in gender equality (University World News, April 2019)
 Liisa Husu: "There's no quick fix for gender equality (Chalmers Insidan, March 2019)

Published: Fri 11 Jan 2019. Modified: Thu 13 Jun 2019