Responsible unit: Human Resources Office

Contact: Parasto Rosencrantz

(The document has been reviewed in 2022.)


Gender equality means that women and men must have the same power to shape society and their own lives. The area includes issues such as power, influence, economy, health, education, work and physical integrity. EU's framework program for research and innovation, Horizon Europe, requires that there is a so-called Gender Equality Plan (GEP) at universities seeking research funding. This document summarizes Stockholm University's plan for gender equality work and constitutes the university's GEP. Within the university administration, there shall be functions that work with gender equality and that are responsible for the overall follow-up.

National Legislation

A basis for Stockholm University's work for gender equality is the national regulations that set requirements for the university's activities.

  • The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union stipulates that the Union, in all its activities, shall promote the elimination of inequalities between women and men and the promotion of equality between them.
  • The Discrimination Act (2008:567) focuses in particular on measures aimed at promoting equality between women and men. Furthermore, gender is one of seven grounds of discrimination in the legislation.
  • The Parental Leave Act (1995:584) is an employment law that regulates the right to parental leave. The law also regulates a ban on disadvantageous treatment of, inter alia, employees on parental leave.
  • The Swedish Higher Education Act (1992:1434) and The Higher Education Ordinance (1993:100) state that the activities of higher education institutions shall observe and promote equality between women and men.
  • The Social Insurance Code (2010:110) consolidates regulations on social security through various social insurance and benefits such as pregnancy benefit, parental benefit etc.
  • When employing, authorities must, among other things, take gender equality into account in accordance with the Employment Ordinance (1994:373).
  • In 2016, all higher education institutions received the first obligation in the appropriation directions to integrate gender equality into their activities. The appropriation directions for the financial year 2021 regarding higher education states that all higher education institutions shall continue the work with gender mainstreaming in order for the activities to contribute to achieving the gender equality policy goals (ref. 2016/17: 10).

Areas for Gender Equality Work

At Stockholm University, the work of achieving equality between women and men must permeate all activities. According to the university's strategies for 2019–2022, Stockholm University will work for equality, gender equality and equal treatment. The work can be summarized in the following six areas.

Gender Mainstreaming

At Stockholm University, the operational gender equality work takes place within the framework of gender equality integration, which is a political strategy where the goal is for women and men to have the same power and opportunity to influence society and their own lives. In short, this means that a gender perspective must be included when all decisions are made, at all levels and at all stages. Since 2016, all higher education institutions have been given a special assignment by the government to integrate gender equality, in order for the higher education institutions' activities to contribute to achieving the gender equality policy goals. There is a adopted Plan for gender mainstreaming and follow-up of the work must take place regularly.

Gender Equality in Recruitment, Career Progression, Decision-making and Leadership

At Stockholm University, active measures must be taken in recruitment processes if a gender is underrepresented. The opportunities to make a career within the academy must be designed in a way that provides conditions for the underrepresented gender to take their place. Women and men must be able to work on equal terms and with the same opportunities for academic careers. The long-term goal is for half of the newly recruited professors to be women.

The work of investigating and remedying unreasonable wage differences must take place on an ongoing basis and be an integral part of the university's wage formation work.

Central governing documents and preparation and decision-making processes must be transparent and clear, and thereby lead to equal recruitment and equal study and career paths, as well as legal certainty for staff and students.

Managers and leaders must actively prevent and counteract inequality and discrimination, for example when recruiting staff and doctoral students, and create good working conditions in the daily work in education, research and operational support.

Integration of the Gender Dimension into Research and Teaching Content

At Stockholm University, the work with gender equality in education must be relevant and appropriate. The university must work systematically to promote gender equality in research conditions and implementation. Active gender equality work must be conducted with a focus on the differences in gender distribution among students and employees, between and within disciplines and educations, as well as on the differences in the academic career paths. Statistics on the gender of students and employees must be compiled regularly and analyzed in order to explain differences between the sexes. The statistics can be used as a basis for adequate measures and to investigate the effect of measures. Stockholm University will focus on leadership from a gender equality perspective by developing training for research leaders.

Work-life Balance and Organizational Culture

It is fundamental that employees and students with children should be able to balance their free time with work and studies. Stockholm University's activities must be characterized by a work and study culture that enables people to balance work and studies with parenthood. Measures must be taken on an ongoing basis to make it easier for employees and students to combine work and study with their parenting. The Regulations for education and examination at first-cycle and second-cycle level set out local rules under which students should be able to combine studies with parenthood. Regarding employees there are central and local collectively agreed provisions on e.g. flexible working hours, parental pay and supplements to temporary parental benefit in addition to the provisions of the Social Insurance Code and the Parental Leave Act.

Measures Against Gender-based Violence Including Sexual Harassment

According to the Discrimination Act, employers and education providers have an obligation to prevent and deter sexual harassment. Stockholm University shall continuously take measures with the aim of counteracting sexual harassment among employees and students. Stockholm University will work preventively by training students and staff in the handling of cases concerning sexual harassment. Special training initiatives must be made that are aimed at managers. Stockholm University regularly conducts employee surveys to follow up on the organizational and social work environment.

Systematic Work Environment and Equal Terms of Work

Stockholm University must be characterized by a safe, stimulating and sustainable work and study environment. All employees and students must be treated equally and in a respectful manner. To make this possible, a functioning systematic work environment, study environment and equal terms work is required. Our employees, managers and students must have the conditions to ensure that there is a good work and study environment. Every manager, employee and student is expected to take personal responsibility for the common work and study environment and contribute to a positive work climate. The university's overall work on these issues takes place in the President's Council for Work Environment and Equal Terms (RALV). Furthermore, each department/equivalent has a local council for issues concerning the work environment and equal terms. Through the RALV organization, the university works systematically with work environment and equal terms issues, and is an important part of collaboration between employer, employees and students.