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The influence of gender in academia: a case study of a university college in Sweden

Sylvia Määttä (Centre of Gender Equality in Health Care, Institute of Health and Care Sciences, The Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden)
Elisabeth Dahlborg Lyckhage (Institute of Care Sciences and Health, University West, Trollhättan, Sweden)

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

ISSN: 2040-7149

Article publication date: 28 June 2011




The aim of this paper is to describe senior lecturers' experiences of and reflections on the influence of gender on their work and career possibilities.


Eight informants, four female and four male university teachers, representing different schools at a Swedish university college were interviewed. A qualitative content method was used for analysis.


The findings revealed that the lecturers at the university college had an experience of academic gender neutrality. The findings also pointed to experiences of gendered practice that had been internalized and made normal. It also revealed that the lecturers did not consider or reflect on the gap between experiences of and reflections on gender neutrality and gendered practice.

Research limitations/implications

Even if the number of informants is small, the findings have something important to tell about the gap between gender‐neutral academia and practice in academia.


The findings imply that although the Swedish model of equality work has been successful in many ways, a confrontation on the micro‐political level is required to achieve a gender equality workplace environment and to increase women's career possibilities.



Määttä, S. and Dahlborg Lyckhage, E. (2011), "The influence of gender in academia: a case study of a university college in Sweden", Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Vol. 30 No. 5, pp. 379-393.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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