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Conference: A gender equal Nordic region – measures and solutions for future education and working market

Demografic changes, technological innovation, digitalisation and the green tranisiton will influence the future challenges in the Nordic region. These developments may affect competence needs in the labour market, and who has access to participate in developments. What do these changes mean from a gender equality perspective, and how do we ensure that these changes contribute to a gender equal and sustainable Nordic region?

About the conference




Digital and Oslo, Clarion hotel, Dronning Eufemias gate 15


The conference will be streamed on regjeringen.no.

You can stream the conference even if you're not signed up.


The conference is conducted in a mix of Nordic languages and English. Interpretation between Scandinavian and Finnish and Icelandic will be available online and at the venue.

The conference will also be interpreted into written English.

The conference highlights some of the gender equality challenges that apply to future education and working life and will explore solutions to achieve a more gender equal labour market. How do we ensure a Nordic region where education and working life promote equality and counteract discrimination? Can we achieve a Nordic region where narrow gender norms, prejudices and stereotypes do not limit the individual's opportunities and mobility in education and working life? A Nordic region that facilitates social development, welfare, and services to a diverse population with different needs?

The conference is part of Norway's presidency in the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2022. The conference is organized through the Council of Ministers for Gender Equality and LGBTI, in cooperation with the Council of Ministers for Working Life and the Council of Ministers for Education and Research.


(There may be minor changes)

09:15 Registration, mingling, and simple serving

10:00 Opening

  • Musical element: Daniela Reyes
  • Opening speech by Marte Mjøs Persen, Minister of Labour and Social Inclusion (NO)

10:15 Part 1: Equality as a target for a sustainable educationsystem and worklife

  • Presentation: Equality in the future labour marked – without the duty to yield? Mari Teigen, ISF (NO)
  • Presentation: The competence supply of the future – changing perspective. With Sara Sundstöm and Gunilla Evers, Värmland (SE)
  • Panel: Trends in the future labour market – is equality strengthened or weakened? With Marte Mjøs Persen (NO), Tomas Berglund, University of Gothenburg (SE), Nina Melsom, Director of Labour Relations, NHO (NO) and Kristin Sæther, LO (NO). Moderator: Cathrine Egeland, Research Professor at OsloMet (NO)

11:20 Break

11:35 Part 2: Solutions for a less gender divided education system and work marked

  • Introduction by Hege Nilssen, Director for The Norwegian Directorate of Children, Youth and Family Affairs (Bufdir) (NO)
  • Panel: Young and untraditional? Panel conversation about making untraditional educational choices. With Daniel Tørresvol Stabu, Vice chair, NSF Student (NO), Anna Axelsen, Ambassador, Boss Ladies (DK), and Kimya Mo, Rolemodel, Jenter og teknologi (NO). Moderator: Ole Rolfsrud
  • Presentation: Are the vocational training educations prepared to welcome youth that make untraditional choices? Barriers and initiatives to strengthen gender equality in choice of education and career in Norden, Fredrik Bondestam, Nordic Information on Gender (NIKK)
  • Panel: How can educational authorities and industries work together to better facilitate youth making untraditional career choices – and welcome them in both education and work? With Halvard Hølleland, State Secretary, Ministry of Education (NO), Christina Øager, Project Manager Boss Ladies (DK), Eirik Gjelsvik, CEO Backegruppen (NO), Margrét Halldóra, electrician and teacher (IS). Moderator: NIKK (SE)

12:40–13:30 Lunch

What will it take for women to participate in the technological development?

  • Presentation: Women are coveted in studies of technology and technological businesses. Is this reflected in how women are met by industry, employers, and society as a whole? By Hilde G. Corneliussen, Research Professor, Western Norway Research Institute (NO)
  • Conversation between Anne Cathrine Berger, Director of Social Policy, NITO (NO), Piia Simpanen, co-founder of Women in Tech Network in Finland (FI), and Nils-Ola Widne, Director of Business Policy, Abelia (NO). Moderator: Maria Amelie (NO)

What are the good initiatives to increase the share of men in the health and care sector?

  • Presentation: Recruiting males into nursing, the why and the how of it based on Nordic data. By Gísli Kort Kristofersson, Associate Professor, University of Akureyri (IS)
  • Panel with Mohamed Amaleti, health care worker and Politician for the Norwegian Labour Party (NO), Petra Lindberg, Coordinator Män i hälsa (SE), Gunhild Thunem, Assistant Professor, The Ole-project – Men in Nursing. Moderator: Are Saastad, Reform (NO).

14:55 Break

15:10 Part 3: Moving forwards – are there common Nordic solutions?

  • Reflections by Ole Rolfsrud
  • Interview with Anette Trettebergstuen, Minister of Culture and Equality (NO)
  • Conversation: How can Nordic cooperation on equality be useful for future education and work? With Nordic ministers of Equality

16:00 End

At the conference you will be hearing from:

Since her debut-album ‘Engangsdager’ was released in 2021, the Spellemannsprisen winner Daniela Reyes has played her amazing songs throughout the whole of Norway. This young, talented woman manages to create a rare concert experience, and those that have seen her play, do not easily forget.

Mari Teigen is Research Professor and Director of CORE (Centre for Research on Gender Equality) at the Institute for Social Research. Her research engages with change and stability in gender relations, through analysis of gender equality policy, social elites, gender segregation in the labor market and in academia

Gunnilla Evers is a strategist, working on gender equality and sustainable regional development in Region Värmland. She has many years of experience from different businesses, including regional associations, state authorities, and the private sector.

Sara Sundström is project manager for Attraktionskraft Värmland in Region Värmland. Before joining Region Värmland, she worked on issues of equality and equity in schools, unions, and the private sector.

Marte Mjøs Persen is the Minister of Labour and Social Inclusion and head of Vestland Labour Party.

Tomas Berglund is Professor in Sociology at the University of Gothenburg. His research focuses on the changing structure of work over the last decades: What drives the changes (i.e. technological development, demography, and policy development), as well as what the changing structure of work means for different groups opportunities in the labour market (women and men, immigrants, education).

Nina Melsom is Director of Labour Relations at the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprises (NHO). She is responsible for policy development, worklife, salary and tariff, pension and insurance, as well as NHOs legal services. Melsolm started her career as a lawyer in NHOs labour law department in 2000. In 2016 she became a part of NHOs management group.

Kristin Sæther is an elected member of the political leadership of the Norwegian Labour Association (LO). She was the head of on the largest unions in Norway (Fagforbundet Trondheim) before joining the political leadership in 2017. Sæther is a trained auxiliary nurse with a further education in leadership and administration. She has an extensive work experience and has amongst other things worked in a housing facility for people with disabilities, with substance abuse care, and as a teacher at Peder Morset Folkehøgskole.

Sæther is responsible for LO policy on the following issues: social, housing, senior, youth, equality, inclusion, and diversity. Her responsibilities mirror her personal engagement for people, community, equality, and sustainability.

Cathrine Egeland is Research Professor at the Work Research Institute at OsloMet. Egelands work focuses on gender, division of labour and work and working hours, as well as the boundaries between work life and family life – and the effect of digitalization.

Hege Nilssen is the Director for The Norwegian Directorate of Children, Youth and Family Affairs (Bufdir).

Daniel Tørresvol Sabu was educated as healthcare worker in 2015. In 2020 he started studying to be a nurse at Lovisenberg Diaconal University College in Oslo. Daniel is active in the Norwegian Association of Nurses for Students (NSF Student) and was elected vice chair of NSF Student in June 2022.

Anna Axelsen is an ambassador for Boss Ladies.

Kimya Mo is a construction engineer and role model for ‘Jenter og teknologi’ (girls and technology).

Fredrik Bondestam is Associate Professor in Sociology at Uppsala University and Director of the National Secretariat for Gender Research at the University of Gothenburg, where NIKK is located. His research encompasses organizational change in higher education and research, feminist pedagogy, gender-based violence and sexual harassment, risks and masculinities as well as gender mainstreaming in theory and practice. He developed groundbreaking gender perspectives on management, governance, and organization of higher education. Fredrik has also been responsible for government assignments on gender mainstreaming in Sweden from 2013-2017 and is currently participating in several EU-funded Horizon 2020 projects (UniSAFE, GENDERACTION Plus)

State Secretary, Ministry of Education

Christina Øager is project manager for Boss Ladies. She has specialized in research and analysis, and has extensive knowledge of the field, which she contributed to evaluate and quality assure in her previous position at Statistics Denmark. In Divérs, Christina works in depth on factors that influence the educational choices of youth. Christina also has experience in implementing diversity strategies and building up best practices to professionalize vocational training and businesses’ approaches to gender and diversity. She also has strong didactic skills from her work at Denmarks Radio and the communications bureau MUST, as well as experience with developing educational material for youths and adults.

Eirik Gjelsvik is CEO at Backe, a company with 850 employees in the construction sector, where 420 are vocational trained, and 42 are under training. He has 27 years experience in the construction sector, and five years experience in heavy industry. Gjelsvik is a board member in the Federation of Norwegian Construction Industries (BNL) and was chairman of the board in the Contractors Association from 2020-2022. Both associations focus their work on recruiting to the sector in Norway, both in general, but also to increase diversity in a sector dominated by men (90 % men).

Margrét Halldóra is an electrician and work as an electrician while also teaching at Tækniskolinn. There she teaches practical skills and train students to work as electricians. She is also now studying to be a master electrician and a mason. She has been very active in Iceland, working to bring female role models visible in the industry. Margrét and others started an organization called “Fagkonur”. She has made great progress with changes that need to happen in male dominated trades. She is passionate about trying to bring more gender balance to the trades so that women who make up half of the workforce start to see industry as a viable option.

Runa Brandal Myklebust er forsker II ved Institutt for samfunnsforskning (ISF). I sin doktorgradsavhandling skrev hun om kjønnsutypiske utdanningsvalg og studerte og sammenligner mannlig og kvinnelig minoritetsposisjon i to kjønnsdelte utdanninger. Myklebust forsker på kjønnsmessig og etnisk ulikhet i utdanning og arbeidsliv.

Hilde G. Corneliussen holds a PhD in humanistic informatics (2003) grounded in the interdisciplinary field of studies in science and technology. She has a long experience as a researcher, lecturer, and speaker from the University of Bergen and from Western Norway Research Institute, focusing on ICT and gender, diversity and inclusion in education, work life, family, and leisure. Her latest research projects include themes such as recruitment to IT, women’s careers in tech, e-health innovation, and the use of AI by the public sector.

Anne Cathrine Berger is Director of Social Policy the in The Norwegian Society of Engineers and Technologists (NITO). NITO is Norway’s largest union for engineers and technologists. Berger is a political scientist and has a background from organizational life, national politics, and local politics. NITO is working towards a decent work life, where an equal work life and education plays an important role. Norway needs engineers, yet the degree of women that apply to and graduate as engineers and technologists is still very low. We take a broad approach to increase equality, from recruiting girls to study STEM, to increasing the interest for STEM in school, and we actively work to ensure our members an equal work life.

Piia Simpanen works as management development and support for change in Telia Finland. She has a strong belief in diversity and inclusion and is part of Telia’s diversity work group. Piia is one of the founders of Women in Tech Finland and has previously been the chair

Nils-Ola Widne has worked with European Law, competition policy and public administration, as a lawyer, bureaucrat, and politician. He has a background from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries, NHO, the law firm DLA Piper, and the EFTA-court in Luxembourg. He was the political advisor to the former Minister of Labour and Administration, Victor Norman.

Abelia is the business association of Norwegian knowledge technology based enterprises in NHO. It organizes companies within IT, telecommunication, reseach and devlopment, education, and consultancies.

Maria Amelie is co-founder and CEO of Factiverse. Factiverse develops tools for media and finans to uncover fake information online. The company is based on research from the University of Stavanger and Validé. Marias co-founder, Vinay Setty, researches machine learning at the University of Stavanger, and received the SR-bank innovation prize in 2021. Prior to 2021, Maria worked as a journalist and a writer. She also founded the company Startup Migrants, where she now is chairwoman of the board. Startup Migrants find young multicultural entrepreneur-talents and connect them to business.

Gísli holds a PhD in Nursing and has worked as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Adult Psychiatry and practiced as a PMHCNS both in a hospital and in private practice. Both his research and clinical interests lie in the field of integrative mental health.

Gísli belongs to various research groups and committees related to different aspects of male recruitment to the nursing profession.

Besides his faculty position at the University of Akureyri, Gísli currently holds adjunct faculty positions at the University of Minnesota School of Nursing, and University of Minnesota Center for Spirituality and Healing as well as in the faculty of nursing at the University of Iceland.

Mohamed Amaleti Abdi is a local politician for the Labour Party (AP). He sits on the city council in Fredrikstad. Abdi also works as a health care worker in Fredrikstad municipality and Kalnes hospital.

Petra Lindberg works as a coordinator for the project "Män i hälsa". During the last two years, Petra and her colleagues in Sjuhärad samordninsförbund have worked closely with Norwegian "Men in health" to translate the Norwegian concept of success into Swedish conditions. Since February 2022, Män i hälsa's first class of men studying to become nursing assistants has been underway, and it is with exciting steps that they are developing it further together with the Swedish authorities and actors in the health and social sector.

Gunhild Thunem is Associate Professor at the Department of Health Sciences at NTNU Ålesud. She is a trained nurse with clicinal experience from the health sector, and has worked with research and development on equality and diversity, multicultural competencies and understanding since 2007. Thunem has been the project manager for ‘Ole’, a research and education project focusing on recruiting and keeping men studying to become nurses.

Are Saastad is the Director of Reform. Saastad has been director of Reform since 2012. He has a background from psychiatry and health care and has experience as a union representative, author, and debater.

Minister of Culture and Equality

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