Studying at Chalmers University of Technology gives the student a broad perspective about sustainability. It is not only about environmental, ecological, and economical issue, but also a social issue. The issue of gender - as a part of social issue - also needs to be considered for a sustainable future. The issue of gender become very important. As we just celebrated International Women's Day, Chalmers also celebrated it with The Gender Day. We have a Q and A about Chalmers' Gender Group with Nike and Frida.
Q : Hi Nike and Frida, please introduce yourselves.
N&F : We are Nike and Frida and we are master students at the Master Program Design for Sustainable Development at Chalmers Architecture.
Q : What is The Gender Group at Chalmers and what was your motivation and drive to join the Gender Group? What are the events held by the Gender Group?
N&F : The gender group is a committee at Chalmers Architecture that is working actively with gender and equality issues. It derived from of a feeling that such a perspective is lacking and the aim is to make these questions a natural part of the education. The group has weekly meetings working both internaly within the group and externaly towards the school. There have been gender groups before at Chalmers Architecture but the current one was founded in 2012 and has since evolved from a small interest group to a part of the institution. This has lead to an increased influence and it will secure the future existence of the group. To raise awareness and communicate the work to the rest of the institution the gender group has some annual events. In relation to the international women's day, five years in row the gender group has arranged the gender day, with lectures, workshops and discussions regarding both the working life and the education. To highligh female architects the groups releases a fanzine in the spring, everyone is welcome to participate and the release event is very appreciated. The first year the fanzine were handed out to all first year students as a complement to the architecture history course.
Other issues addressed have been to create a database with female tutors, gender neutral toilets and anonymous project submissions. We are in constant dialog with both teachers and course coordinators and are working to improve the literature and content of the courses.
Q : Are there some important messages from you for everyone about the gender issue?
N&F : Even though we have come a long way it is important to remember that we have to continue to work with these issues and that nothing will change without the engagement and enthusiasm of hard working people.
Q : What value / experience did you get from the Gender Group?
N&F : We were both in it from the start and it has been really awarding to see how it has grown and evolved during the years. We have learned that communication and hard work is key to change and to be visible and engage people. We have also learned the importance of finding allies in teachers with influence within the institution.
Q : If anyone wants to join The Gender Group, how to do it?
N&F : Everybody within the program is welcome to join! just send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Isn't it interesting? So, if you are interested to take part in the gender group, you are most welcome!
Interview by Alberta Maria Titis Rum Kuntari with Nike Linderoth and Frida Svensson
Image by Nike Linderoth and Frida Svensson