GODESS in Society

GODESS Scholars in Society
  • 10th European Conference on Gender Equality in Higher Education

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Keynotes and organisers of the 10th European Conference on Gender Equality in Higher Education in Dublin, August 2018, together with the previous Irish President, Mary Robinson (fourth from left). Professor Anna Wahl, GODESS Board member (second from left), gave one of the keynotes, GODESS member professor Liisa Husu (third from right), was the international coordinator of the conference.
Photo: Sasko Lazarov

  • 4th International Conference on Men and Equal Opportunities

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Prof. Jeff Hearn gave the Keynote presentation ”What’s up with young men and masculinity?” at The 4th International Conference on Men and Equal Opportunities, held in Stockholm, 15-16 May 2018, and hosted by Lena Hallengren, the Swedish Minister for Children, the Elderly and Gender Equality, Ministry of Health and Social Affairs.

Link to Prof. Hearn's pre-conference interview.

Link to his Keynote slides.

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  • April 28th, 2017-Professional women’s networks on the go

Iltavuoro – or Evening shift – is an active network of women professionals across industries, businesses and public sector organizations in Finland. These women share a passion for developing their own competences as well as those of others. They enjoy challenging established ideas and perspectives. The network is characterized by considerable variety as its members include business executives, HR-, IT- and communications professionals, entrepreneurs, lawyers, medical doctors, and physicists. And a tattoo artist, for example.

Minna Väkevä, CEO of the innovative aerosol measurement solutions company Airmodus and an active member of the network says that it is the firm belief in peer support and the will to learn that draws people together to do their evening shift.

Iltavuoro hosts events where network members interact with experts of various kinds. Janne Tienari (Director of GODESS) provoked Iltavuoro members into a discussion about the future of women and management in Finland. Challenges and opportunities were debated while Janne did his sales pitch for viewing gender as something we “do” in our everyday practices. The event was hosted by Airmodus and the Finnish Meteorological Institute. As a return gift, then, Janne got a crash course on importance of physics and other natural sciences in our everyday lives.

Networks such as Iltavuoro are popular in Finland. Women professionals today are often members of multiple networks. Many appreciate the opportunities to engage in a women’s professional network.

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  • March 5th, 2017- More women into management! This is the message across industries

Janne Tienari, Director of GODESS, had the opportunity to take part in gender equality work in two different industries: construction and financial services. Construction is a traditionally male-dominated industry where some companies are now actively scrutinizing their ways of working to enable more women to join in and enter managerial positions. Gender awareness is a relatively new thing in this industry. In financial services, in contrast, the top echelons are dominated by men although clerical positions down the line are highly feminized. There is a long tradition of equality work in this industry, but vertical segregation persists.

Both construction and financial services wrestle with image-related issues, which may prevent women from finding their way into organizations in these industries. Both industries are associated with ultra-masculine conventions and practices that may put off not only women but also many men. This image is challenged from within, however, as companies seek to open up and reach out to different people.

Skanska Finland aims to support women’s career advancement in the construction industry. The newly established “Mythbusters” network comprises women and men from all parts of the organization. In trademark engineering style, the focus is on concrete issues that can be suggested to top management, approved, and implemented. Initiatives take issue with internal and external branding, communication, recruitment and career making, leadership, and work-life balance. They are in line with Skanska’s goal of becoming a more diverse and inclusive employer.


Skanska headquarters in Sweden encourages the organization’s journey from macho to inclusive. Global diversity manager Pia Höök is actively involved in a variety of initiatives in Skanska’s units across the world. She holds a PhD in gender and management from KTH Stockholm, which is one of the institutional partners of GODESS. (group.skanska.com/sustainability/diversity--inclusion/)


Dignity in Finance was an event organized at Nasdaq, Helsinki stock exchange, in the form of a panel discussion involving financial services professionals. As a panellist, Janne Tienari represented the academia. In front of an audience of young women and men from Finland and abroad, the panelists shared their experiences and views on how to attract more women and minorities into financial services. Janne emphasized the importance of valorizing organizational practices such as recruitment and talent management so that discussion on the gendered assumptions underpinning these practices can be initiated.


The event was organized by Global Dignity Boys and Girls Finland, and its founder Kamilla Sultanova. Global Dignity is a network of non-profit organizations built up by volunteers who work to give the youth of the world a strong understanding of dignity. The organization was established in 2006 by HRH Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, Professor Pekka Himanen, and founder of Operation HOPE, John Hope Bryant. (globaldignityfinland.com)

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  • 5-9 January, 2017-GODESS on expert committee on a debate on gender pay gap


The European Youth Parliament (EYP) is a unique educational program, which has since 1987 brought together young people from all over Europe to discuss current topics in a parliamentary setting. The mission of the EYP is to inspire and empower young Europeans to become open-minded, tolerant, and active citizens. EYP operates as a network of independent associations in 40 European countries, which organize a total of some 600 events every year. (http://eyp.org)


Tampere was the venue for an event organized by the Finnish association of EYP on 5-9 January, 2017. The work was organized around 10 committees that each debated a timely topic pertinent to the future of Europe, and drafted a motion for a resolution. Janne Tienari from GODESS participated as an expert in The Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, chaired by Valtteri Valtanen, on 7 January. The committee consisted of male and female high school student delegates, and the thematic focus was around the gender pay gap.


The committee worked on the causes of the gender pay gap, reflected on causes of causes, and sought to find solutions for reducing it. In particular, the task of the committee was to consider how the European Union could work for change. This question spurred debate about the various causes of gender inequality also more broadly, ranging from gendered stereotypes and normative assumptions in society to lack of transparency and gender segregation across sectors and industries.


For recent research on the gender pay gap, please check out the doctoral dissertation by Paula Koskinen Sandberg (https://helda.helsinki.fi/dhanken/handle/10138/167165).

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