The gender balance remains skewed among researchers of the natural sciences

The gender balance remains skewed among researchers of the natural sciences


Women constitute a minority in the country’s natural sciences units. Only one in five professors are women.

Clearly, female researchers in the natural sciences units are in the minority. The image is illustrative and was taken in a different context.

Statistics Norway (SSB) It obtained data from 18 natural science units in the universities and colleges sector and 12 corresponding units in the institutes sector for the years 2013, 2017 and 2021.

In a recent analysis compiled on behalf of the Research Council of Norway, they saw the gender balance as skewed.

Some key findings:

In comparison, another review of SSB That women represent 52 percent of research staff in the university and college sector in 2022. Among professors in all disciplines, the proportion of women increased from 34 percent in 2021 to 36 percent in 2022.

The numbers are first mentioned by NTB.

gender balance

The reasons for the lack of professors surprised researchers

Most of the female professors are in Oslo

The numbers dived into by the SSB researchers show that there were 3,263 R&D (research and development) employees in the natural sciences in 2021 in the units they considered. It was approaching a 50-50 distribution between the universities and colleges sector and the institute sector.

The survey shows that the number of research and development personnel has increased by 637 people since 2013, with a growth in the universities and colleges sector of 31% and in the institutes sector of 18%.

The institute sector has the highest percentage of women. The percentage increased from 34 to 39 percent from 2013 to 2021.

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A deep dive into the numbers shows that the Department of Geosciences at the University of Oslo has the highest percentage of women among its professors. Here, 35 percent of the professors are women.

At the opposite end of the scale is the Institute of Geophysics in Bergen with only 6 per cent of female professors.

Get old

The age structure remained stable. Professors were on average 55 years old, associate professors 45 years old, researchers/postdocs 36 years old and fellows 29 years old.

The average age of employees is the highest in the university and college sector. The percentage of professors aged 62 and over increased from 26 percent in 2013 to 28 percent in 2021 for units here.

European Union report

Four out of ten faculty members are women, only one in four professors

Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

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