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Amelie on inappropriate behaviour and sexual harassment

Published Feb 28, 2024

Head of School Amelie Eriksson Karlström writes about gender-based exposure to inappropriate behaviour and sexual harassment.

A report has recently been produced on gender-based exposure to inappropriate behaviour and sexual harassment at KTH. The report is written by two KTH researchers in gender research, Anna Wahl and Åsa-Karin Engstrand, and is based on a survey conducted in 2021 at KTH and a number of other Swedish higher education institutions.

The report is mainly about the survey responses from students, doctoral students and employees at KTH. I have read the report and see that there are several issues that we need to work on in the future at KTH. For example, the survey shows that women at KTH are more exposed to incivility than women in the sector as a whole. Such incivility can consist of your boss or teacher interrupting, talking over your head, or questioning your competence or expertise.

Another issue where KTH stands out in a negative way is that more doctoral students at KTH than in the sector as a whole have been asked about their private lives in an uncomfortable or unpleasant way. This may, for example, involve questions about pregnancy and family formation.

In addition to statistics based on the survey responses, the report contains examples of situations that doctoral students at KTH have told us about. For example, from discussions with KTH's doctoral students, it has been identified that there is a particularly high risk of unwelcome behaviour at conferences and evening activities, where there is often a more informal atmosphere.

Overall, I think the report shows that we need to make efforts to have a more inclusive culture and to reduce the incidence of victimisation and incivil behaviour at KTH. We plan to organise activities on this theme at the CBH school in 2024.


Here you can read more about active measures against discrimination at KTH. Scroll down for the report.