Female leaders more than tripled

50/50: This is USN's senior management consisting of rectors, deans and directors. Picture of senior management
50/50: This is USN's senior management consisting of rectors, deans and directors.

At USN, the number of women in both senior management and other management positions has increased significantly over the past five years.


In 2017, there were only 2 women out of the 11 senior managers at the University of South-Eastern Norway (USN). Today, USN has 14 managers at the two highest levels and as many as 7 of them are women. That is, the number of women in senior management at USN has more than tripled in five years.

In 2017, Director of Personnel and Organisation Elisabeth Borhaug was one of two women in senior management positions. Now she has 6 female colleagues.  

Elisabeth Borhaug - photo"It's a very gratifying development. We can allow ourselves to be somewhat proud of this," says Borhaug.

Borhaug says that in 2017 USN adopted an action plan for gender equality and inclusion. One of the aims of the plan was to strive for gender balance in management positions at levels one and two.

"We intended to achieve this by actively looking for qualified female applicants and motivating them to apply for vacant positions, among other things. Furthermore, in performance assessment interviews with our staff, we have encouraged them to follow a possible management career."

SEE OVERVIEW: Senior management at USN

Most female managers

If we look at everyone with management positions at USN, 64% of all employees in this category are now women, according to an updated overview from the Department of Personnel and Organisation.

Reidun Mangrud - photoCommunications and Marketing Director Reidun Mangrud is one of the women who were appointed to senior management positions after 2017. She tells of a good working environment in a gender-balanced senior management. As a member of the Equal Opportunity Committee, she also refers to a new plan for gender equality, diversity and inclusion at USN. Here, it is still the aim of USN to work on measures to increase the proportion of women in scientific senior positions.

There has also been an increase in the proportion of female professors and senior lecturers since 2017, but there is still some way to go to achieve true gender equality in such positions. In 2017, 30% of our professors were women, now the proportion has increased to 35.8%. For senior lecturers, the proportion of women has increased from 33% to 44%.  

 "We are pleased that there is a good gender balance between managers at USN. In other parts of the organisation, there is still some way to go. Moreover, the concept of diversity includes more than just gender, and we must be more aware of this in the future”, Reidun Mangrud points out.