Gender, Diversity and Technology

September 28, 2014

Why is it that we have gender studies departments in universities? Why do universities have gender and equity policy guidelines? At KTH Stockholm this is specifically called an ‘Equal Opportunities Policy’ (http://intra.kth.se/en/regelverk/policyer/personalpolicyer/jamstalldhetspolicy-1.29570). And because KTH is a technical university their policy specifically remarks upon what contributions women can make to developing technologies, and the need to address a still uneven gender distribution across the student and staff body. Women are specifically cited in the policy statement as they are presumably perceived to be a group that has been underrepresented. When you go in search of the salary grade scale online at KTH you can also see that men are still paid somewhat more than women. While it’s important to challenge assumptions around gender, and ask whether it is too simplistic to speak only of masculine and feminine gender performances, still, the basic facts appear to show that these two gender groups are treated differently, and that an ongoing effort is required in the determination of equal opportunities for  all.

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