Chapter 3: Becoming a professor requires saying ‘No’: merging equality and quality agendas in a Norwegian gender balance project
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The Norwegian Research Council is funding transformational work to increase the number of female professors and research leaders in Norwegian universities. The ambition is for Norway to become an international leader in terms of gender equality within science and research, and to provide an innovative toolbox for overcoming gender inequality in universities. This has been named the Balance Programme and it consists of a practical change in work dimension as well as a research and evaluation dimension. The University of Agder (UiA), a regional university in the southern Norwegian town of Kristiansand, is engaged in this programme and has defined its project agenda in an attempt to address locally identified challenges. This chapter draws on institutional ethnography to explore how these efforts are shaped in organizational, regional and national socio-historical processes, dominant understandings of the ‘ideal academic’, and gendered cultures.

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