Hej Guys

I’m back in Stockholm after a lovely Easter break in the UK. We have no more classes this semester…..but today we had the PP1 kick off as a group….. and tomorrow we are off to work on our placements until June.

I’m looking forward to getting stuck into my work at SwedenBio and to jump back into life in Stockholm. Today this included a workshop on Gender Equality in Business organised by a lovely Bioentrepreneurship alumnus.

I thought it might be nice to tell you about our workshop and the reasons why Karolinska Institutet is the best place to study- regardless of your gender (age, ethnicity, religion or anything else)!!

Our Workshop

The idea was to create an open discussion about gender equality in the business world, share experiences and how to handle difficult situations. We used Sheryl Sandberg’s best seller “lean in” for examples.

We discussed unconscious gender bias and shared our own experiences of being in the workplace. Our group contained a mix of men and women, so it was interesting to include both perspectives!


Sweden and KI for women

Gender equality is a fundamental part of Swedish society. In fact, in 2016 Sweden was named as the fourth most gender equal society in the world.  It’s a badge of pride worn by Swedish citizens that they aim to ensure everyone enjoys the same opportunities, rights and obligations in all areas of life.

This is reflected in public policy; there is an agency tasked exclusively with achieving a gender equal society. Childcare is based on income so is affordable and it is very financially beneficial to take paternity leave or pappamånad (daddy month). Which is why you see equal numbers of new fathers and mothers walking around Stockholm with their children.

Karolinska Institutet has a strong history of pioneering women ‘firsts.’ The Widerströmska building (where MBE and many other Master’s programmes have classes) is named after Karolina Widerström- Sweden’s first female doctor.

In 1884 she became the first woman to obtain a licentiate degree in medicine at the Karolinska Institutet. Read more about her story here.

KI is committed to a gender equal faculty. We are proud to say: In 2016, 2,267 individuals were active doctoral students and 58 percent were women.  The administration has a strategy for recruitment and equal gender distribution among students and employees. This includes ensuring that “admission and recruitment procedures are transparent, an even gender distribution in all decision-making bodies and commitment to increase the proportion of employees and students of the under- represented gender in all appointments, tasks and training courses.”

KI Inclusion and Diversity

According to KI: “Applicants and students at all levels at KI are covered by the provisions of the Discrimination Act that concern the non-discrimination of students. Consequently, KI seeks to protect the ability of every student to fulfil his/her studies regardless of sex, cross-gender identity or expression, age, ethnicity, religion or other belief, sexual orientation or disability.”

This commitment to equal treatment is another reason that makes KI (and Sweden) an awesome place to study. You can read more about KI’s equality policies in Adina’s post.

As always feel free to get in touch if you have any questions x

Email: rosa.willock@stud.kie.se

Facebook: Rosa Willock

Linkdin: Rosa Willock

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