Gender Equality

Increasing the number of women in senior scientific positions is a priority both for CBC and its host institution Simula, and we have initiated considerable actions on the issue of equal opportunities since the establishment of the Center. Most research institutions in information and communication technology have a low number of female employees, and Simula is no exception to this. Therefore, the following initiatives have been established:
  • Two thirds of CBC's female postdocs are currently given a specially designed oneweek course on research management. This is done in order to develop them further as future leaders in science and industry.
  • Together with Simula School of Research and Innovation (SSRI), CBC has had fruitful discussions with Eva Fabry, the Director of the European Centre for Women and Technology (ECWT) and Chair of the Global Women and Technology (GWT) Network, to explore how we can enhance the recruitment of female researchers on a general basis.
  • We have invited Senior Lecturer Lina von Sydow from Uppsala University to discuss how to include gender awareness in the courses given by CBC researchers, to render the courses more attractive for female students. We were pleased to discover that many of her most important suggestions had already been developed to some extent independently by CBC teachers and incorporated into several of our University courses during recent years.
  • During 2009, a committee investigated the situation regarding gender equality and diversity at CBC and our host institution. The committee studied various resources, sent questionnaires to our employees, collected ideas and facts through both formal and informal meetings, and participated in conferences and workshops that discussed the lack of gender diversity in ICT in both Norway and the EU.
  • We have arranged an internal, widely attended seminar on gender equality in order to raise gender awareness among our employees, and to find a strategy and action plan for further developing gender equality in our organization.
  • SSRI has in 2010 organized the project PREPARE, where female students at the bachelor level at the Univ. of Oslo visit high schools and give popular science presentations to increase the interest in mathematics, computing, and other science subjects. These students are offered a specially designed presentation course, including individual training, by Melissa Marshall from Penn State Univ.
Based on these efforts, we have suggested several actions that may increase gender diversity at CBC and Simula including both targeted recruitment and hiring, and making improvements to the working environment.
  • As a first step to avoid gender bias in our hiring procedure, we strive to find qualified female candidates for every position, and to have a female representative in the evaluation and interview process.
  • We are on a continuous lookout to hunt talented female researchers for employment at the Center. Although at this point we have few women in senior scientific positions, we continuously seek to recruit qualified female researchers in relevant scientific fields.
  • A forum for women has been established at CBC's host institution Simula.
  • It is also worth mentioning that Simula, and thereby CBC, has signed Code of Best Practices for Women in ICT. The Code provides for practices which aim not only to attract women in ICT, but also to keep them in the sector and help them reach their full career potential. The CBC is thus on the leading edge of gender diversity management within the ICT sector and looks forward to further adopting best practices which encourage this diversity at all levels.

Since these measures were put into place, half of the PhD and postdoctoral candidates employed in 2009-2010 have been women.

Our host institution, Simula Research Laboratory, have developed a Gender action plan 2010-2015, that CBC adheres to.