Women Professors Still Minority in Finland

Less than one-quarter of university professors in Finland are women. However, more women than men have graduated from universities since the 1980s. Currently, over 500 female professors work in Finland. Furthermore, increasing the number of female professors has moved forward slowly. Some fear the trend could lead to a brain drain.

"Science loses out, and society loses out. We won't get the best minds if recruitment is based on gender, and women's skills aren't used," said Liisa Husu, a researcher at the University of Helsinki.

Some universities are working to bridge the gap by mentoring female researchers and promoting women for professorships. But in spite of the low number of female professors, the Finnish Union of University Professors does not support quotas for hiring women.

Women won the right to freely study in Finland just over 100 years ago. Finland's first female professor, Alma Söderhjelm, began work in 1927.