Skip to content

Listen, learn and lead change

Integrating gender equality  has involved intensive and ongoing work at all Swedish universities for quite some time, including at KTH. The work we are doing is based on a plan for integrating gender equality that we wrote in 2017, which involves a large number of our different areas of operation.

As a university, it is perhaps especially important that we base our approach on knowledge and research, not least in getting people to buy into such change work. I often hear our employees say, in the initiatives we are working with, that they particularly appreciate taking part in studies, theories and developing methods.

There are no absolute truths when it comes to gender equality as this is an area that goes hand in hand with values. Having said that, there is plenty of research that argues that gender inequality exists, and theories that offer interpretations of how we can understand why this is.

That the goal of greater gender equality concerns values links to issues such as: What kind of society do we want and on what human perspective should such a society be based? One incredibly fundamental question we need to ask ourselves is accordingly, do we value all humans the same regardless of gender? In which case, what consequences does this have for education and research?

Knowledge is needed if we are to be able to discuss these issues. Knowledge, dialogue and reflection are high on the agenda in our change work at KTH. Naturally, we must comply with laws, regulations and directives. However, in addition to a structure of policies, procedures and guidelines, change change management needs arenas in which to engage in dialogue.

To make a change possible we must be able to participate in dialogues where you are allowed to ask questions (without feeling stupid), and to reflect on the manifestations of gender inequality that exist within your own organisation and in your own everyday contexts, together with others. By sharing experiences and learning to actively listen to each other, we can learn a great deal. There are tried and tested methods for this, and we are using them in our work for change.