We, the group behind the initiative, emphasize that sexism needs to be addressed at all levels in parallel if sexism is to be effectively countered.

This includes individuals acting. All individuals – those who experience sexism, those who witness it. Those in power positions – all types of power, formal and informal. And especially leaders, because they carry extra responsibility for the working environment and for their employees and their careers, possibilities and openings, their well-being and potential for growing and contributing.

The handbook provides many tools and insights that point to how such action can take form and place.

But it also – crucially – requires that institutions act in ways that can effectively address and counter sexism. In ways, that may make it easier for individuals to speak up. And that can ensure that we all have a good and sound knowledge base on which to act.

Institutional action includes establishing and nurturing systems, processes and designated bodies at the institutional as well as the national levels – in short, an effective infrastructure for both handling and preventing sexism and for clearly making the eradication of sexism a priority.

Based on current research and good practices throughout international academia, we propose a detailed and implementable plan for what such an effective organization must include. This covers two crucial aspects: a) thorough and continuously updated data and detailed knowledge base, and b) national bodies and procedures. At the national level our recommendation is to establish three bodies that together may address complementary aspects and needs arising from a sexist culture in Academia:

  • An academic ombudsfunction
  • A national committee on academic integrity and ethical conduct
  • A national sexism support unit for all higher education institutions.

At the institutional level our recommendation includes:

  • An expanded whistleblower scheme, which is equipped to handle or refer cases of sexism
  • Case handling: Internal administrative processes, systems of reporting and follow-up;
  • An institutional committee for academic integrity and ethical conduct;
  • A MeToo coordinator / sexism support unit at university level;
  • Gender equality unit / Diversity, Equality, Inclusion team;
  • Systematic embedding and integration of GE/DEI perspectives into organizational and administrative core practices, such as HR systems and procedures and communication and marketing;
  • Capacity building, training and systematic awareness raising – including bystander training.

Such an infrastructure will have tangible and positive effects for Academia: It would comply with the increased focus on measures to prevent gender-based violence for instance in the European Commission and the EU funding programmes, thus increasing the eligibility for receiving funding. And it will improve working environment and psychological safety, with the foreseen effect that the leaky pipeline and problems of drop-out, especially for people in precarious positions, may be alleviated.


The following is a collection of relevant resources concerning sexism in Academia – both international and Danish – they are listed here for your convenience and as a place to gather more knowledge and access resources. They are collected in the winter of 2021 and will not be updated. Please note that not all resources are publicly available.

Articles, books and reports

Taylor & Francis Online – Attitudes to Sexism and the #MeToo Movement at a Danish University – July 10, 2020

Karolinska Institutet Samverkan – Forskningsprogram om utsatthet i akademin (in Swedish)

ERAC Standing Working Group on Gender in Research and Innovation: Sexual Harassment in the Research and Higher Education Sector: National Policies and Measures in EU Member States and Associated Countries

Bondestam, F.& Lundquist, M. (2020) ‘Sexual harassment in higher education – a systematic review’, in European Journal of Higher Education

Copenhagen Business School – Let’s talk about sexual harassment January, 2019

KVINFO – Sexchikane og kønskrænkelser plager it faget – March 5. 2020 (in Danish)

Analyse og Tal F.M.B.A – Undersøgelse af uønsket seksuel adfærd rettet mod studerende på de danske universiteter – November, 2018 (in Danish)

Women and Gender research – Making Ripples and Waves through Feminist Knowledge Production and Activism – 2021

Kvinder, Køn og Forskning – Køn og Akademia – July 30, 2019 (in Danish)

Ålborg Universitet – Seksuel chikane på arbejdspladsen – 2017 (in Danish)

Harvard Business Review – Why sexual harassment programs backfire, and what to do about it – May, 2020


Policies, conventions and recommendations

Council of Europe – Istanbul convention

Council of Europe – New Council of Europe action against sexism – September 16, 2019

Council of Europe – Gender Equality – Combating and Preventing sexism – March 27, 2019

Council of Europe – OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of – On the implementation of the principle of equal opportunities and equal treatment of men and women in matters of employment and occupation – July 5, 2006.

Council of Europe – EIGE – Gender Equality Index – Compare countries – 2019

Council of Europe – European Commission – Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025 – Achievements and key areas for action – 2020

Council of Europe – Violence and harassment Convention – 2019

Rialtas na hEireann – Higher Education Authority National Policy and framework: Safe, Respectful, Supportive and Positive


Handbooks and other practical resources

Arbejdsmiljøweb.dk – BrancheFællesskabet for Arbejdsmiljø for Velfærd og Offentlig administration (BFA)

EIGE – Sexism at work handbook

EIGE – Sexism at work: How can we stop it? – Handbook for the EU institutions and agencies – November 13, 2020

Copenhagen Business School – A handbook on relationship and emotions in academia – The Beauty and The Abuse – December 5, 2017

KVINFO – Bekæmp sexisme og seksuel chikane på arbejdspladser (in Danish)

Council of Europe – Human Rights Channel – Stop Sexism


EIGE – Gender based violence

University of New Hampshire – Prevention Innovations research center – Evidence based initiatives – Bringing in the Bystander

Horizon Europe’s Guidance on Gender Equality Plans, 2021

Projects on sexism and sexual harassment in Academia

UniSAFE – Making universities and research organisations safe from gender based violence

ITSTOPSNOW – Ending Sexual Harassment and Violence in Third Level Education (ESHTE)

Det Nationale Forskningscenter for Arbejdsmiljø – Uønsket seksuel opmærksomhed fra ledere og kolleger – September 1, 2018 til August 30, 2021 (in Danish)

SDU – Uønsket seksuel opmærksomhed fra ledere og kollegaer – 2018 til 2021 (in Danish)


University practices and resources

Cambridge University – Policies procedures – Dignity Work Policy

Columbia University – Sexual Respect is a commitment

New Zealand – Restorative Justice following sexual violence

Ombuds Office – The Ombuds Office is scheduling appointments by phone or Zoom


(Other) Resources on gender equality and implicit bias in Academia

Equality Challenge Unit – Unconscious Bias in Higher Education – Unconscious bias and higher education – 2014

LERU – Implicit bias in academia: A challenge to the meritocratic principle and to women’s careers – And what to do about it – January, 2018

Copenhagen Business School – GENDER AND ACADEMIC LEADERSHIP PRACTICES AT CBS – September 20, 2016