University of Gothenburg

Participant short name: 


"Gothenburg University College" was established in 1891 with the help of private donations. The first classes were held by seven professors teaching seven subjects to twenty-one students, four of whom were women. In 1907 it became an independent university college with the same status as the two national universities of Uppsala and Lund. The University of Gothenburg was formally founded in 1954 through the amalgamation of this college with the Medical college, which had been established in 1949.

Today, the University of Gothenburg is one of the largest higher education institutions in Sweden with about 37 000 students, and almost 6000 employees (58 per cent women). There are 38 departments in all and most of the departments are now located in the city centre.

The University of Gothenburg is a partner in GenderTime since July 1st 2014 and has an advisory and management role, meaning that no gender equality action plan is implemented within the GenderTime project. However, the University actively strives to promote gender equality and equal treatment. The university-wide work to fulfil the requirements regarding equality of treatment is led by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor and direct support to staff in this area, assisting the Pro-Vice-Chancellor, are the university’s Equal Treatment Coordinators.

The University of Gothenburg also hosts The Swedish Secretariat for Gender Research, which is a national unit with a central aim to strengthen the impact of research and knowledge related to gender and gender equality in academia and the rest of society.

Since 2006 the University of Gothenburg has a woman Vice-Chancellor (Pam Freedman). Currently also the Pro-Vice-Chancellor is a woman (Helena Lindholm Schulz).

The University of Gothenburg is, together with partner BUW, responsible for Work Package 3 Monitoring in the GenderTime project.

Persons involved:

Helen Peterson, associate professor, Ph.D. in sociology, is a Senior University Lecturer at the Department of Sociology and Work Science and part of the Executive Committee of Gender Time. She is a Work Package Leader of WP3 Monitoring, together with Jennifer Dahmen (BUW), and actively works to monitor the implementation of action plans in the GT institutions. Her work includes developing new monitoring tools based on knowledge shared by gender equality experts at UGOT, and at institutions on a national and international arena. Helen was previously part of the Swedish team in the FP6 research project PROMETEA. She is currently the project leader of the project: “From Rector Magnificus to Strategic Manager: Changing management ideals in Swedish Higher Education”, funded by the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare. She is also a member and co-director of the feminist network WHEM – Women in Higher Education Management. 

Main publications:

Helen Peterson , (2015),"Unfair to women"? Equal Representation Policies in Swedish Academia. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, Vol. 34 Iss 1 pp. -

Peterson, Helen (2015) Exit the King, Enter the Maid: Changing Discourses on Gendered Management Ideals in Swedish Higher Education. Gender in Management: An International Journal. (forthcoming)

Peterson, Helen (2015) Is Managing Academics “Women’s Work”? Exploring the Existence of a Glass Cliff in Higher Education Management. Educational Management Administration and Leadership. (forthcoming)

Peterson, Helen (2014) An Academic “Glass Cliff”? Exploring the Increase of Women in Swedish Higher Education Management. Athens Journal of Education 1(1): 32-44.

Peterson, Helen (2014) “Someone needs to be first”. Women Pioneers as Change Agents in Higher Education Management. In: Texler Segal, Marica, Demos, Visilikie & White Berheide, Catherine (eds). Gender Transformations in the Academy: Advances in Gender Research, volume 19, pp. 395-413. Emerald Books.

Teresa Carvalho, Özlem Özkanli, Heidi Prozesky & Helen Peterson (2013) Careers of early and mid-career academics. In: Kate White & Barbara Bagilhole (eds). Gender and Generation in Academia. Palgrave Macmillan.

Peterson, H. (2011) The gender mix policy – addressing gender inequality in higher education management. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 33(6):619-628.

Peterson, H. (2010) The Gendered Construction of Technical Self-Confidence: Women's Negotiated Positions in Male-dominated, Technical Work Settings, International Journal of Gender, Science and Technology, 2(1):66-88.

Peterson, H. (2010) Women's Career Strategies in Engineering: Confronting Masculine Workplace Culture. Women in engineering and technology research. Godfroy-Genin, A.-S. (ed.). Berlin: LIT Verlag.