EGU General Assembly 2020
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Gender equality in science can be achieved, but it requires ambitious effort from society, institutions and individual leaders.

Maja Sojtaric and Karin Andreassen
Maja Sojtaric and Karin Andreassen
  • CAGE Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Environment and Climate, UiT The Arctic University of Norway

Gender equality is rare in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, with men dominating the scientific positions. However, for CAGE Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrate Environment and Climate at UiT The Arctic University of Norway achieving gender equality has never been a problem. The Norwegian centre of excellence has had gender equality in all positions from its start in 2013. During this time, CAGE scientists have produced over 300 scientific papers and welcomed 18 CAGE-babies to the world. The leadership group consists of 75 percent women, while the Steering Board of CAGE is an even split between genders. How is it possible for a centre that has geosciences as primary fields of research, to achieve gender equality? CAGE is an excellent case study on how larger societal and structural incentives, as well as leadership ambitions, can make gender equality in STEM more than a pipe dream. There are several aspects that have helped us reach and maintain gender equality: good parental leave and heavily regulated working conditions in Norway that make work/life balance achievable, which in turn makes us attractive to qualified young female scientists; institutional incentives help us find good female candidates and nurture them to more prominent positions, and CAGE center structure allows us to maintain a good progression in our projects, even when the project managers are away on parental leave.

How to cite: Sojtaric, M. and Andreassen, K.: Gender equality in science can be achieved, but it requires ambitious effort from society, institutions and individual leaders. , EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-10900,, 2020

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Presentation version 1 – uploaded on 04 May 2020
  • CC1: Comment on EGU2020-10900, Scarlet Stadtler, 05 May 2020

    Thank you very much for the video presentation. The design looks great and this was certainly a lot of work.

    I wonder, you stated that in order to arrive to gender equality in CAGE you had decades of work with different efforts. If you would have to list these efforts with the very first one being the one with most impacts, which would it be? 

    If you had three list, one for the national, one for the institutional and one for the kind of leadership efforts, how would the three most-impact points look like?


    Thank you for being a role model.

    • AC1: Three items, Maja Sojtaric, 05 May 2020

      Hi and thanks for the question:


      1) National: Legislature that provides equity for female employees in general is very important. Pregnant women are not allowed to be discriminated against, family planning is not allowed to come up in the job interviews, fathers must take part in parental leave, etc. The legislature is sensitive to underlying systemic discrimination issues.

      2) Institutional: Good action plans to build up the competence amongst the female scientists, and also confidence - women underplay they own achievements.

      3) Leadership: Active gender perspective in the hiring process to ensure that the gender bias does not affect the recruitment.




      Maja Sojtaric

  • CC2: Comment on EGU2020-10900, Anniken R. Birkelund, 05 May 2020


    Lovely presentation!

    I was wondering if you have any special activities at CAGE or UiT directed towards early career scientists or students?

    Anniken Birkelund

    DEEP, University of Oslo