Gender and Globalization of Academic Labor Markets: Research and Teaching Staff at Nordic Universities

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2803

Article | Open Access

Gender and Globalization of Academic Labor Markets: Research and Teaching Staff at Nordic Universities


  • Maria Pietilä Human Resources Services, University of Eastern Finland, Finland
  • Ida Drange Work Research Institute, Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway
  • Charlotte Silander Faculty of Social Sciences, Linnaeus University, Sweden
  • Agnete Vabø Faculty of Social Sciences, Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway


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Abstract:  In this article, we investigate how the globalized academic labor market has changed the composition of teaching and research staff at Swedish, Norwegian, and Finnish universities. We use national statistical data on the gender and country‐origin of universities’ teaching and research staff between 2012 and 2018 to study how the globalized academic labor market has influenced the proportion of women across career stages, with a special focus on STEM fields. We pay special attention to how gender and country‐origin are interrelated in universities’ academic career hierarchies. The findings show that the proportion of foreign‐born teaching and research staff rose substantially at the lower career level (grade C positions) in the 2010s. The increase was more modest among the most prestigious grade A positions, such as professorships. The findings show significant national differences in how gender and country‐origin of staff intersect in Nordic universities. The study contributes to research on the gendered patterns of global academic labor markets and social stratification in Nordic universities.

Keywords:  academic staff; country origin; gender; internalization; mobility; Nordic universities; universities

Published:   21 July 2021


DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/si.v9i3.4131


© Maria Pietilä, Ida Drange, Charlotte Silander, Agnete Vabø. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.