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UiA researcher on committee for gender equality and diversity in academia

The Ministry of Education and Research has appointed Associate Professor Ronald Mayora Synnes as a new member of the Committee for Gender Balance and Diversity in Research.

Photo of Ronald Mayora Synnes in front of Global Lounge at UiA.
The Ministry of Education and Research has appointed Associate Professor Ronald Mayora Synnes at the University of Agder as one of twelve new members of the Committee for Gender Balance and Diversity in Research (KIF). Photo: Erland Grøtberg.

“The appointment is important to me, and the topic interests me”, Ronald Mayora Synnes says.

He is an associate professor at the Department of Sociology and Social Work. He is currently working on a research project about the inclusion of young people who are not in employment, education or training.

Now he will also contribute with his expertise to the Committee for Gender Balance and Diversity in Research (KIF). The work will start in March 2022 and last until 2025.

The committee will take a closer look at how gender and social and ethnic backgrounds affect the research careers of staff at universities and university colleges. Synnes and the rest of the committee will support and give recommendations on measures that contribute to mainstreaming of gender equality and diversity at universities, university colleges and research institutes.

A press release from the Ministry of Education and Research states that the work will help raise awareness of diversity, inclusion and harassment in higher education and research institutions. The committee will look at Norwegian conditions in an international context.

The committee also aims to be a driving force in the international work on gender balance and diversity.

Experience in the field

As a researcher, he has been working actively on this topic in recent years. He has been concerned with the extent to which people from ethnic minorities hold leadership positions and permanent academic positions, and whether they are involved in the process before important decisions are made in the university sector.

“I think it is important to give direct recommendations to the Norwegian government and the education sector on this matter. I have been involved and given advice on this through various positions, but now I get the chance to contribute at a higher level”, Synnes says.

Better integration and gender balance

Ragnhild Hennum is a professor and dean at the Faculty of Law at the University of Oslo and will chair the committee. Since the committee was first established in 2004, the mandate has been expanded from dealing with women in science to gender balance and diversity. More emphasis has been placed on how gender and social and ethnic background affect crucial steps in the research career pathway.

“It is about the progression from research fellow on to a position as a researcher or associate professor and on to professor and various leadership positions”, Synnes says.

Synnes is looking forward to working systematically on the representation of ethnic minorities in the entire sector.

“I believe that we have to keep a watchful eye on both ethnic background and gender in order to achieve equality in the sector”, he says.


The Committee for Gender Balance and Diversity in Research 2022-2025:

  • Dean Ragnhild Hennum, University of Oslo, chair
  • Research Director Ole Jacob Sending, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, deputy chair
  • Head of Department Torjer Olsen, UiT The Arctic University of Norway
  • Associate Professor Yan Zhao, Nord University
  • Associate Professor Ronald Mayora Synnes, University of Agder
  • Senior Research Fellow Julia Orupabo, Intitute for Social Research
  • Division Director Camilla Røsjø, Nofima
  • Senior Researcher Tove Håpnes, SINTEF
  • Senior Lecturer Feroz M. Shah, The Young Academy of Norway
  • Doctoral Research Fellow Anna Piterskaya, Association of Doctoral Organizations in Norway
  • Student Rolf Martin Aspenes, National Union of Students in Norway
  • Department Director Johannes Waage Løvhaug, Research Council of Norway