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Three of the new professors Anna Öhrvall-Rönnbäck, Åsa Wallström and Ulrika Rova Photo: Katarina Karlsson

Record number of new professors are women

Published: 8 November 2014

At year academic celebration at Luleå University of Technology, seven professors that are installed, are women. It is the highest number historically. Last year, only two of a of twelve new professors were women. Three of the women who are installed this year as professors - are from Boden.

- There is a record number of women that are installed as professors at Luleå University this year. It's great to see that the investments we have made ​​in so many years are beginning to show results, says John Sterte, Vice- Chancellor at Luleå University of Technology.

In 2009, the proportion of women in the total number of persons that were installed as professors in Academic ceremony at Luleå University of tEchnology were as follows, two of four. In 2010, the proportion of women were one of 15, in 2011, five of 18, in 2012 two out of ten, and in 2013 two of the twelve.

In 2014, seven out of 17 new professors are women. Three of these Ulrika Rova, Åsa Wallström and Anna Öhrvall Rönnbäck, all of them originally from Boden.

- I hope that what we see when it comes to the number of new professors who are women, this year, is a trend reversal. For we have many women at Luleå University of Technology today that are assistant professors and associate professors, and therefore should bring many more women that are installed as professors in the future, says Ylva Fältholm, professor and chairman of the Technical Faculty at Luleå University. of Technology

The seven women installed as professors these year are Jurate Kumpiene, professor of Waste Science and Technology, Anna Nordenstam, Professor of Swedish in Education, Ulrika Rova, Professor of Biochemical and Chemical Engineering, Anna Öhrwall Rönnbäck, professor of product innovation, Kristina Söderholm, professor of History of Technology, Maria Uden, professor of gender and technology and Åsa Wallström, professor of industrial marketing.

Twenty years ago there was not one professor at Luleå University who was a woman. In the country as a whole, the corresponding figure at the time, 1994, were at seven percent. In Sweden, the proportion of women who are full professors is 24 percent and at Luleå University of Technology 17 percent.

The recent strategic initiatives that have taken place at Luleå University has meant, given the time and conditions for successful women to conduct research and engage in research development programs, so as to allow a career as an associate professor, assistant professor and professor. There has also been ongoing projects to sensitize gender and equality in recruitment processes.

- Women who become professors in the year had been there anyway, but without these strategic initiatives it had certainly taken much longer, says Ylva Fältholm.