Armed Forces studying own culture

Armed Forces studying own culture

April 8, 2010

Women in the Norwegian Armed Forces are thriving, but there are too few of them. The Armed Forces now want to find out why their target of a higher proportion of women has not been met.

Norut Tromsø submitted a preliminary study about the organisational culture in the Norwegian Armed Forces to the Ministry of Defence in 2008. That report has now been released.

The report shows that there are complex reasons while the proportion of women in the Armed Forces is low. The reasons may be attributed to the fact that Norway has an extremely gendered labour market, conditions linked to recruitment and selection, and in structural and cultural conditions connected with the Armed Forces as a work place.

Here in the full report: Monolitt eller mosaikk (in Norwegian language only)

Read more about the preliminary study: Charting Norway’s defence culture

Gender is hidden

The female informants are clear that they are happy with the Armed Forces as a work place. However, the researchers also find what they refer to as the gender equality paradox.

“Women and men are viewed as being completely equal and consequently the real gender differences are under-communicated,” says Research Scientist May-Britt Ellingsen at Norut Tromsø. “Gender is hidden even though it is present at all times.”

Fresh studies

The Armed Forces now want to follow up Norut’s preliminary study. The Armed Forces want more knowledge about the culture and attitudes in the Armed Forces. The report Monolitt eller mosaikk (Monolith or Mosaic) contains proposals of a research programme and design for a study of the culture in the Armed Forces.

NRK Web-TV (in Norwegian language only): - Forsvaret gjør kvinner lik menn

Contact person: Research Scientist May-Britt Ellingsen, Norut Tromsø