The Swedish Association of University Teachers (SULF) is a politically independent union organisation and a professional association for university teachers, researchers, doctoral candidates and comparable personnel. SULF pursues issues like gender equality, the increase in post-doctoral positions, and fully salaried fellowships. The academic career hast to be made equally attractive to young women and men.
SULF is a member of the Swedish Confederation of Professional Associations (Saco), whose members are professionals with university or college education.
SULF’s members are professors, lecturers, researchers, postgraduate students and doctoral candidates within Swedish universities and colleges. SULF also has members from the Swedish national research councils. SULF, like Saco, has no political affiliations.
SULF has a total of 20.000 members, almost fifty per cent are women. SULF has local bodies at all the universities and major colleges. At some of these, SULF also employs a local ombudsman. Some of the SULF-members are also affiliated to another Saco-union on favourable financial terms. Thus a professor of medicine may be a member both of SULF and the Swedish Medical Association, while a senior lecturer at a technical faculty may be a member of SULF as well as the Swedish Association of Graduate Engineers.
Swedish strategy to change and improve the academic work place
While describing the academic staff in Sweden and identifying problems it becomes clear that the “leaky pipeline” threatens the quality of research and teaching. More women than men have fixed term contract, women have a harder time to be granted research funds, networks are male dominated, political actions can’t compensate everything. SULF recommends two obvious goals for a Swedish strategy: to make the academic career equally attractive to young women and men and to fight the hidden prejudices/attitudes towards women in academia.