” When I started a year back, it was on my number one to-do list to increase aggressively the number of female researchers and be very active in recruitments to make sure that this happened,” says the Head of department Richard Torkar.
The fact that CSE has received the most female professor assistants is due, in addition to Head of Department Torkar's investment, also to the support of Chalmers management.
“We were lucky we had many good female candidates for these positions. Then we also recruited a number of female candidates with the support of the president, and with the support of Genie, and in the end, it made it possible for us to hire these candidates.”
Gender-balanced research teams generate better research
According to Richard Torkar, it is important to have both a multicultural environment and even gender distribution in the department. He refers to studies that show many benefits of diversity and equality in the workplace.
“If you have a multicultural environment and mixed research teams with both men and women, you are more likely to succeed as a team as well. So, if our research teams are successful and if our researchers are successful, then our department will also be successful.”
"Computer science and related fields are mostly male-dominated"
One of the new recruits who will start her post as professor assistant at CSE shortly is Rocío Mercado, who is currently finishing her postdoctoral position at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology also known as MIT.
“One thing that really drove me to CSE is that they really, through various initiatives, try to diversify the department, especially in terms of gender balance, this is very important to me” says Rocío and adds.
“When it comes to computer science and related fields, there really isn't a good gender balance, it's mostly male-dominated. It's essential that we think about these things and build more diverse teams, especially when it comes to this STEM research because it's also scientifically proven that diverse teams are better at problem-solving and more creative.”
Promising future for future researchers
Head of department Richard Torkar believes that the gender focus and the changes made at the department in 2022 will affect everyone in a positive way. He is convinced that if you come to CSE as a young researcher, a promising future awaits.
“The professor assistants we recruit are the future professors. They are the strong voices of the future at the department”, Richard concludes.
By Camilla Jara