The Diversity report: Varying images that require further analysis


“The Disciplinary domain's Diversity report points at great opportunities at the Faculty of Pharmacy, but to take full advantage of them require further analysis,” says Hooshang Bazrafshan, equal opportunities specialist at Uppsala University.

The Diversity report for the Disciplinary domain of medicine and pharmacy is complete

The Diversity report for the Disciplinary domain of medicine and pharmacy is complete. The outcome is partly expected, but also contains figures that should raise a few eyebrows. At the Faculty of Pharmacy, for example, every fourth student is born in Sweden to two native-born parents - compared with 55 per cent of all the faculty's employees or 88 per cent of the professors. If we look at legal gender, 77 percent of the faculty's students are women, compared with 17 percent of the faculty's professors.

“Examining the diversity in one's own organisation provides prerequisites for adapting and planning activities based on changes in society, but also for understanding whether there is a risk of discrimination against a certain group based on gender or birth background. The content of the Diversity report points at great potential at the Faculty of Pharmacy, but also at differences whose causes need to be analyzed and possibly remedied,” says Hooshang Bazrafshan, equal opportunities specialist at Uppsala University.

At Uppsala University, more than 50,000 students and staff meet every day, and everyone shall be able to work on equal terms. The university website states that equal opportunities are an issue of rights for the individual and of quality for the university. This is a perspective that must be integrated into the entire organisation and the environment must be characterised by respect and understanding.

Hooshang Bazrafshan, Equal opportunities specialist
Hooshang Bazrafshan, Equal opportunities specialist

“In Sweden, there is a polarised view of the added value of diversity. Where some want to close doors, others tend to explain rather much with lack of diversity. At Uppsala University, I experience a strong and genuine desire for progress. The work is prioritised and in 2010 and 2016 Diversity Rreports were carried out at university level. The fact that they are now also carried out within the Disciplinary domains with the possibility of description at faculty and department levels is extremely important. In the next phase, however, an analysis is required that answers why the statistics look the way they do,” Hooshang Bazrafshan states.

The question Why is inevitable and recurring when reading the report. Why, for example, are domestic-born with foreign-born parents overrepresented among the Faculty of Pharmacy's bachelor programs but so strongly underrepresented among employees? Why do so many students but hardly any teachers have a background in the Middle East? And why do so few men work in the administration?

“We invest large resources in investigating everything from career development to salary levels. But the knowledge that, for example, female doctoral students are at increased risk of getting stuck in long-term sick leave is not sufficient. In order to create effective interventions, we must also understand the underlying mechanisms. The same applies to diversity work. The structures can hide invisible factors, for example, a never-so-good ambition to achieve diversity in a recruitment can easily stumble upon unconscious choices of words and where the ad is published,” says Hooshang Bazrafshan.

How, then, should the Faculty of Pharmacy proceed to take full advantage of the opportunities our new globalised world offers. There is definitely no shortage of opportunities: in his analysis, Hooshang Bazrafshan identifies a number of areas with potential for development based on the diversity of the faculty's students and staff. The challenge is rather to choose the right focus and level of ambition.

“The diversity report contains a number of interesting aspects well worth going into depth with. But my recommendation is nevertheless to define what is most important at the moment, and to formulate a strategy and a clear goal that is possible to achieve with high quality based on existing resources.”

More information

Download  Diversity report 2018 (In Swedish)


  • The diversity report was commissioned by the Disciplinary domains Committee on Equal Opportunities
  • The data on which the Diversity report was based are anonymized tables ordered from Statistics Sweden (SCB).
  •  The documentation includes employees at the Disciplinary domain 20 December 2018.
  • The documentation includes students enrolled in one ore more of the Disciplinary domain's programs in the autumn term 2018.


Hooshang BazrafshanHooshang Bazrafshan, Equal opportunities specialist
Uppsala University, Human Resources Division

text: Magnus Alsne, photo: Mikael Wallerstedt, Matton

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Last modified: 2024-04-04