The foundation of the new approach is a research report, Genusmedveten och hållbar kompetensförsörjning vid LTU, written by Ylva Fältholm and her research group at the Department of Human Work Science. In the report, a number of so-called stops are being presented, ie points in a recruitment or promotion process when you pause and pay attention, discuss and develop critical moments from a gender perspective. Simply put, it is about enabling more of the underrepresented gender to get employed in various positions.
– What is unique compared to many other equality measures that make women as individuals subject to various supportive measures, is that we are trying to change and improve processes and practices from a gender perspective, says Ylva Fältholm, professor of Industrial Work Environment.
At Luleå University of Technology, a gender perspective is now integrated in the recruitment process, in both policy documents and guidelines and checklists. In practice, it can involve everything from how advertisements are designed to how the representativeness appears in recruitment groups. For example, when experts are appointed, both sexes must be represented. If this is not the case, it should be motivated in writing and reported in the draft decision.
– We are trying to avoid getting into situations where we do things out of habit. And to integrate the working method is necessary for long-term approach, says Carina Mattsson, HR Strategist at Luleå University of Technology.
Challenges our perception of gender
Another aspect that is relevant is what expectations of gender that characterizes the people who shall recruit. Are women's and men's experiences and competencies valued in the same way?
– If we imagine a job interview, for example, and a man and a woman talk about their families, it is not certain that we value their answers likewise. And if their applications had typos, it's likely that we assume that the woman is careless while the man is creative and busy with more important things than to correct spelling mistakes, explains Carina Mattsson.
– A portion of this work is to sensitize our own percetption of gender. But also to highlight gender in our statistics, only then we can follow up and find out if our objectives have been met.
Luleå University of Technology's work with the stops, will further be developed in the EU project Genovate, whose purpose is precisely to develop and implement strategies for gender-aware management in research, innovation and decision-making organisations.
– We use recruitment processes with stops as a teaching example in the project, explains Paula Wennberg, project manager at the Centre for Distancespanning Technology and coordinator of Genovate in Sweden.
– The implementation made at Luleå University of Technology will give us a deeper understanding of how to work with more sustainable processes within recruitment.