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3 years ago

Christian Poulsen

Christian Poulsen

Christian Poulsen Swedish Questionnaire on working conditions ______________________________________________________________________________ Feel overloaded with: All (N) Std dev Women (N) Teaching 2,59 (261) 0,95 2,8 (38) Research 2,91 (261) 1,2 2,9 (38) Administrative work 3,76 (259) 1,19 3,9 (37) Serving on committees 3,17 (259) 1,15 3,7 (37) The results could be transformed into a ranking over the least desirable of academic duties and it would be headed by administrative work followed by serving on committees and then teaching and as most desirable teaching. In an international comparison it might be very surprising that teaching is the feature the Swedish respondents are least overburden with and not research as it probably would be in other countries. It could come down to the fact that Swedish full professors have no legal obligation to teach. The ranking for women is equal to the one of all respondents. Nevertheless the level of emotional overload with serving on committees is significantly higher for women. That could be explained by the explicit will of most committees to have at least one woman on their board. If the board is made up of seven or less persons their will be relatively more women on the board if one woman accepts than among the total population of full professors (which is 14,1 % among my respondents and 12 % among all Sweden’s professors 6 ). This of course means that, ceteris paribus, there is a higher pressure for women to accept being on the boards than on men, thus their feeling of being overloaded with serving on committees. Some respondents also expressed their general overload with work or with raising funds or advising PhD students. In ranking how often the responding professors had experienced symptoms of overwork the average rated less (2,61 with a std dev of 1,22) than the middle value (3) on the scale where 1 was “very seldom” and 5 was “very often”. Women had a significantly higher average (3,1 N=38), which means that they experience anxiety, exhaustion or feeling burned out more often than men. The subsequent question was on the professors overall satisfaction with their career progress. On average the respondents were very satisfied (3,99 std dev 0,83). Women respondents were even more satisfied with their career (4,3 N=38) and as many as 20 of 38 pinned out the value 5 (highly satisfied). As a matter of fact a 6 This latest figure includes promoted professors. 18

Christian Poulsen Swedish Questionnaire on working conditions ______________________________________________________________________________ whole 229 of 254 (90,16 %) would choose an academic career again. This percentage is virtually the same for women (35/37 or 94,6 %). Questions on family A very large group of the responding full professors, 223 of 263 (or 84,8 %), were married or living together with a person and as little as 4,9 % (13/263) were never married compared to 8,4% (22) divorced. If we isolate the women in the material however we find that only 66 % 25/38 were married or living together. There could be a basis for further exploring this difference from the thesis that, women have comparably less time for a personal life if they will succeed in academia. Astonishingly as much as 23,7% (9/38) are divorced (and not remarried) or widowed as compared to 8,5 % (18/213) of men! This is a significantly big difference that could indicate that once divorced or widowed the women devote themselves entirely to their career. In general only 16,5 % (37/224) have a partner who is also a faculty member at the university, but in the case of women it occurs in 40 % (10/25) of the cases. Of course in this question the age of the person might influence if they have a partner of similar characteristics to their own. By large the responding professors thought that their partners had just a little less workload than themselves (average 2,56 std. Dev 1,15 on a 5 point scale with 1 being lower and 5 higher). On average the partners had a bit less prestige (2,15 std dev 1,13), income (2,12 std dev 1,28) and responsibility (2,73 std dev 1,14). Women had a very similar score on prestige (2,4 N=25). Only 10,7 % (20/224) of the partners were negative or very negative to the job as a professor. 66/231 of the partners of the respondents were or are active in voluntary work. 6/32 women had the same situation. So the women have somewhat more. 2,3 children are the average of the respondents which is higher than an average Swede of today (1,5 per woman) 7 . Women had about the same average. 7 Please see: Pressmeddelande från SCB, 2000-03-03 Nr 2000:052. 19

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