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Conference on Sexism in Organizations

Info about event


Saturday 26 November 2022,  at 09:30 - 17:00


Nobelsalen (building 1485, room 123) at Aarhus University

This conference aims to address organizational challenges with sexism and gender equality more broadly. The conference is designed for academics within this field as well as individuals or organizations who wish to work with the challenges of sexism and gender equality in their own organization. 

Organized in collaboration with the Department of Clinical Medicine and the Interacting Minds Centre, Aarhus University
We offer inspiration on: 
(a) how we can understand sexism and gender equality challenges, and 
(b) how we might address these challenges through concrete tools
We aim to assists the conference participants in developing a deeper understanding of these complex issues, while also offering concrete tools to deal with these types of challenges. 

  • Professor Anette Borchorst from Aalborg University
  • Assistant Professor Ea Høg Utoft from Radbourd University 
  • Head of the Gender Equality Team Eva Sophia Myers from University of Southern Denmark
  • Associate Professor Claudia Eger from Copenhagen Business School
  • Head of Diversity & Inclusion Theresa Ammann from Vestas
  • PhD Fellow Marie Maegaard Wengler from Copenhagen Business School (CBS) 

#MeToo and the Danish politics of sexual harassment
Anette Borchorst

Sexual harassment on Danish workplaces came onto the agenda in an unprecedented way after #MeToo and the approach to sexual harassment changed. The presentation addresses the Danish political and legal approach to sexual harassment before and after #MeToo.

Doing diversity work in postfeminist organizations
Ea Høg Utoft 

To understand the implications of universities’ diversity work, we must consider the context within which it takes place. Theorizing Denmark as a ‘postfeminist gender regime’ implies that we may see organizations as permeated by societally prevalent, inherently contradictory postfeminist discourses. The talk therefore explores how such postfeminist discourses require university diversity staff to, in their work, maneuver within a constant push-and-pull between interventions that – by others – are judged as either palatably or excessively feminist. 
Link: https://politica.dk/politicas-phd-serie/ea-hoeg-utoft

The dark side of power in Academia: sexism, harassment and the threat to creativity and excellence
Eva Sophia Myer

In my presentation I will explore ways to comprehensively counter sexism and other forms of harassment in micro- as well macropolitical interactions and structures – and what it requires of the organizational actors if measures are to work. 

I will draw on insights gained from being part of the Danish academic #metoo-initiative in the fall of 2020, sexismedu, (www.sexismedu.dk) and the many testimonies of sexism in Academia that came to light in our work with the website and the handbook and extant literature on effective initiatives. This is coupled with my practical experience and extensive engagement with university leaders, administrators, researchers and GE-experts during the last 12 years as head of faculty administration and of SDU’s strategic GE-initiative as well as coordinator and partner in EU-funded structural gender projects.

Difficult Conversations about Sexism: Using Vignettes as a Pedagogical Tool
Claudia Eger, Copenhagen Business School

Sexist behaviors, biases, and gendered expectations form part of our everyday work lives and often become normalized in the process of navigating workplace dynamics. The politics of naming sexism are highly complex, and the underlying experiences are often considered taboo, shameful or private, even though they may have a major impact on our wellbeing and working lives. This presentation will focus on how to create spaces of trust and respectful listening where individuals can reflect on such experiences and complex issues drawing on vignettes as a pedagogical tool (Einersen et al., 2021; Munar et al., 2017).

Einersen, A. F., Krøjer, J., MacLeod, S., Muhr, S. L., Munar, A. M., Myers, E. S., Plotnikof, M., and Skewes, L. (2021) Sexism in Danish Higher Education and Research: Understanding, Exploring, Acting. Copenhagen.
Munar, A. M., Caton, K., Eger, C., Jeffrey, H., Khoo-Lattimore, C., Lynch, P., Morgan, N. & Yang, E. (2017) The Beauty and The Abuse: A Handbook on Relationships & Emotions in Academia. Copenhagen: WAIT. 

Inclusive Leadership Training as the Foundation of Inclusive Working Cultures
Theresa Ammann

The importance to address and counterbalance sexism in organisations has increasingly come to the awareness of private companies. However, in order to establish inclusive working cultures where people can thrive and be their true self without any fears of repercussions and sexism is not tolerated requires a foundation of inclusive leadership. In this talk, I will focus on the focus that we have taken at Vestas on Inclusive Leadership training for people-managers as a fundamental first step to mature our organisation to be able to address and counterbalance sexism.

Performance management practices and structural discrimination
Marie Maegaard Wengler

In recent years, attention has shifted from barriers to organisational entry to advancement as the “the most important diversity challenge facing organisations” (Roberson et al. 2007: 618). Performance appraisals constitute a crucial part of these barriers. Situated within broader performance management practices, the aim of performance appraisals are to determine and provide feedback on the individual employee’s job performance, as well as managing and developing the talent pool in the organisation. 

However, although the performance appraisal process is intended to be meritocratic, decades of research has shown how it, in fact, preserves and exacerbates gender effects in organisations, which, in turn, may disproportionately negative influence women's career advancement.

Based on empirical reproach in a large case company in Scandinavia, this talk takes a closer look at how performance management practices contribute to and perpetuate structural discrimination.