#MeToo, Akademiuppropet and SSE
Today, November 24th, the Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet published #Akademiuppropet where 2400 academics give numerous examples of sexual harassment within higher education.
Following the #MeToo campaign, we are now hearing strong accounts of sexual harassment from one sector after another. At the moment, #Akademiuppropet is casting light on sexual harassment in the university world. Naturally, we are no exception to the rest of society.
Thanks to the fact that questions regarding gender and power at the Stockholm School of Economics, and at Universities in general, were raised by brave colleagues in 2016 in the book “179 Years of Solitude”, we have worked with these questions extensively. But I know we have not done enough. This is a long-term process, of which we must always remain observant.
To me, it is imperative that we create the conditions necessary for a safe environment in which people dare to talk about having experienced a situation that was unpleasant for them and to report it. Only then will we really be able to see the true situation, and only then can we intervene. Since 2015, we have an Equality and Diversity Manager who works full time with these issues. Since then, the number of reports of harassment has increased and we see that as a sign that people now dare to report such events. This is very positive because we can then act and take the measures necessary.
In parallel with this, it is equally important to implement targeted initiatives as part of a preemptive plan to prevent inappropriate structures from being able to persist. Among other things, we conduct training for all employees in how the norm-critical perspective can be used to create open and inclusive environments where everyone feels welcome.
Our students often enter the workplace in positions where they have the opportunity to influence other people. Accordingly, while students are enrolled with us, we bear a particularly great responsibility for setting limits for what is acceptable and what is not. We will do everything in our power to break the social pattern now emerging with clarity due to the #MeToo campaign.
I will never accept harassment being tolerated or silenced at the Stockholm School of Economics.
President, Stockholm School of Economics