PRIO Gender Equality and Diversity Action Plan 2022–2025

The PRIO Gender Equality and Diversity Action Plan 2022-2025 (GEDAP) was adopted by the PRIO Board 7 April 2022. PRIO values gender balance and diversity among staff. We believe in equal opportunities for all and that a broad representation of perspectives and backgrounds fosters innovation and improves the quality and relevance of our research. It is our strategic vision to be a diverse, inclusive and gender balanced collegium, passionately pursuing knowledge and understanding in the service of peace. The GEDAP 2022-2025 will serve as a key instrument in pursuing this strategic vision.


PRIO is an international, independent and inter-disciplinary research institute, with English as its working language. Its mission is to conduct research for a more peaceful world. As a project driven and project funded organization, PRIO's success relies on our staff's creativity and commitment to produce innovative research of high quality and relevance. Such creativity and innovation will not thrive unless we manage to create a safe, inclusive and collegial work environment for all. The PRIO Strategy 2022-2025, adopted by the PRIO Board in September 2021, states that it is our goal that PRIO in 2025 "will be a diverse, inclusive and gender balanced collegium, passionately pursuing knowledge and understanding in the service of peace".

PRIO values gender balance and diversity among its staff. We believe in equal opportunities for all and that a broad representation of perspectives and backgrounds fosters innovation and improves the quality and the relevance of our research.

In recent years a number of initiatives and measures have been introduced to strengthen gender balance and diversity at PRIO. These measures will now be more systematically institutionalized in the organization. In PRIO's new strategy we make a commitment to "renew our attentiveness to issues of diversity, inclusion and equity in the workplace". The adoption and implementation of the PRIO Action Plan on Gender Equality and Diversity 2022-2025 (GEDAP) is a key deliverable on this strategic commitment.

In July 2011, PRIO became the first research institute in Norway to sign the EU Charter and Code where we commit to the recommendations from the European Commission on improving employment and working conditions for researchers (recruitment, working conditions, career planning and mobility). The PRIO GEDAP forms part also of this commitment. Further, PRIO is required by Norwegian law to report annually not only on the status of gender equality and diversity, but also work actively, targeted and systematically with gender equality and diversity measures in the organization. PRIO's new action plan will serve as an important tool to guide us in this work. With the adoption of this action plan PRIO will also meet the research funding eligibility requirements by the Research Council of Norway (RCN) and the European Commission taking effect as of January 2022.

The PRIO GEDAP is a living document which will be reviewed (and revised if necessary) annually, during the four-year plan period. These reviews will be made in connection with the reviews of the PRIO Strategy implementation plan.

Gender Balance and Diversity at PRIO – Status and Gaps

Gender Balance

Our goal at PRIO is to ensure that our staff do not face barriers to their career trajectory and job satisfaction based on their gender, gender identity, or gender expression. We believe that a healthy gender balance at all levels of the organization is crucial for meeting this goal.

Over the last ten years PRIO has made strides in increasing the number of women in academic staff categories such as Senior Researchers and Research Directors (see Table 1). However, we are still a long way from achieving gender balance in the most senior level position, the Research Professor. Further, we also experience a considerable gender gap among junior staff, where women far outnumber men. When it comes to part-time work, women made up 57% of those employed in part-time positions in 2021 (Table 2). The average number of weeks on paid parental leave (for those entitled to it) was 39 for women and 28 for men (Table 3), whereas reported sick-leave was more or less gender balanced (Table 4).

In terms of the PRIO leadership, the PRIO Board is currently gender balanced. However, in the PRIO Leader Team (LT), women outnumber men (7 out of 10), both in research and support positions (Table 5).

Table 1: Gender Balance – Staff Categories

Staff categoryFull-time equivalentsAverage no. of employees
Total Female Male Total Female Male
Research Professor16.65.710.9291118
Senior Researcher29.416.413462620
Doctoral Researchers11.25.95.31596
Research Assistant12.59.13.417125
Administrative personnel21.212.38.922139

Table 2: Gender balance – Part-time work

Full- and part-time employees Full-time equivalents Average no. of employees
Total Female Men Total Female Male

Table 3: Gender balance – Parental leave

Parental LeaveFemaleMale
Average number of weeks on paid parental leave3928

Table 4: Gender balance – Sick leave

Reported sick leaveFemaleMale
Reported sick leave in per cent of total capacity4.2%4.8%

Table 5: Gender balance – PRIO Leader Team and Board

PRIO Leader Team and BoardTotalFemaleMale
Leader Team Members1073
Board Members734

Achieving gender balance in the different staff categories is a leadership responsibility requiring targeted and systematic measures. In 2014, the RCN funded a three-year project called "Positioning Women for Research Professorship: Early Intervention at PRIO" (also known as the POWER project), with the objective of increasing the number of female professors at PRIO. During the project period, the number of female professors more than doubled, and some of the interventions that were initiated or conceptualized during the project period have been further developed and integrated permanently into PRIO's professional development strategy. These include for example professional development brownbags, writing retreats, leadership training, mentor programs and professional development of the PRIO Leader Team. Building on the findings of the POWER project, the output of the BALANSE project 'Saying Yes and No: The Gender Dimensions of Everyday Choices' (2021-2022) will also provide important information for the regular review and implementation of the PRIO GEDAP.

The data we gather and present here is binary in nature, in keeping with the legal gender categories currently recognized in Norway and the demographic data about staff it is permissible in Norwegian legislation to collect. We are nevertheless cognizant that the social reality of gender identity is more complex than this: a growing number of people see gender as a spectrum and some may not identify as either male or female. PRIO respects its employees' privacy where their identities are concerned, and does not require people to systematically answer questions about their identities. Thus, while we believe monitoring gender balance in a binary fashion remains a useful tool for certain purposes, our emphasis for the current period will rather be on creating an inclusive environment where people at PRIO feel valued, recognized, and respected irrespective of their identities.


In the public discourse 'diversity' is often understood to encompass categories of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, and/or disability. Also, PRIO as an institution is required by the Equality and Anti-Discrimination Act (which entered into force 1 January 2018) to address and report on all of these factors underlying discrimination. The purpose of the Act is to promote equality and prevent discrimination on the basis of gender, pregnancy, leave in connection with childbirth or adoption, care responsibilities, ethnicity, religion, belief, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age or other significant characteristics of a person ( The particular objective of the act is to improve the position of women and minorities.

In recent years, PRIO has focused mainly on gender balance – introducing a number of measures aimed at strengthening gender equality and promoting women's careers in research. While promoting gender balance will continue to be important, our ambition with this GEDAP is to also explore what diversity means to PRIO and to introduce measures aimed at making the PRIO community diverse and inclusive.

One aspect of our work on improving diversity is to focus on inclusivity, and the removal of barriers, not only for those who fall into the categories mentioned above, but also, for example, those who come from more "invisible" categories, such as those from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds or those who represent the first person in their families to seek higher education.

In addition to aiming for inclusivity in general, we aim to actively promote two specific dimensions of diversity that we see as essential for the quality of our work as a peace research institute: international background and epistemological diversity. Given that peace and conflict are inherently international topics, it is important that our staff represent different global perspectives and backgrounds. PRIO has more than 100 full-time positions, of which more than 40% of our staff is international and counting more than 25 nationalities. Recruiting and retaining an international staff is crucial in this respect. Likewise, the complexity of peace and conflict as a topic of research requires a variety of different disciplinary, methodological, and thematic perspectives. Both "international" and "interdisciplinary" are included in our mandate, and diversity in these respects is essential for the health of our institute.

Commitments and Activities for the GEDAP Period 2022-2025

PRIO is committed to promoting and mainstreaming gender equality and diversity throughout the organization. Over the years, considerable time and resources have been invested in initiatives and measures to raise awareness and discuss both formal and informal institutional structures and processes that could lead to unequal and discriminatory practices and outcomes at PRIO. With the adoption of the PRIO GEDAP 2022-2025 we take this commitment a step further by institutionalizing and further refining a number of these measures and actions, as well as introducing some new measures.

The overall goal of the PRIO GEDAP 2022-2025 is to make sure that we maintain what has been achieved in terms of gender balance and professional development in recent years, but also that we recognize and pay attention to areas where challenges remain. In the years to come there is a particular need for PRIO to explore issues of diversity that go beyond gender. While we recognize the importance of setting concrete goals, we emphasize that institutional work on gender balance and diversity is, and will always be, a continuous effort. The plan below thus focuses more on regular activities rather than targets to be met.

PRIO Organisation and Leadership

Commitment Action Responsible Timeline Comments
Work actively, targeted and systematically with gender equality and diversity measures in the organization.Produce annual, systematic overviews of the status of gender balance and diversity.Administrative directorQ1 every yearTo be discussed by the PRIO Leader Team and PRIO Board.
Securing specialized competence on gender and diversity in the PRIO Leader Team.The Special Advisor on Project Development, Gender and Diversity will be member of the PRIO Leader Team.The DirectorRunning throughout the GEDAP period.The Special Advisor is leader of the BALANSE project 'Saying Yes and No: The Gender Dimensions of Everyday Choices' (2021-2022).
PRIO will strive to make the institutional leadership as gender balanced and diverse as possible.Consider gender and diversity when identifying and nominating candidates for leadership positions.Director and PRIO BoardRunning throughout the GEDAP period.
Building a gender and diversity aware PRIO leadership.The PRIO Leader Team getaways will include at least one gender- and/or diversity-related topic per year.Director's Office/Special Advisor on Professional Development, Gender and DiversityOnce per year throughout GEDAP period.The PRIO Leader Team normally has two getaways per year.
Investing in the next generation of research leaders.Consider gender balance and diversity when nominating PRIOites for participation in leadership training courses.Director's Office/PRIO Leader TeamRunning throughout GEDAP period.This applies both to the UiO Research Leadership Training Course and other types of courses; including the internal Project Leader Courses under planning.
Identifying gendered sources of stress.Every PRIOite will be offered the opportunity to attend 'Saying Yes and No' workshops.Special Advisor on Professional Development, Gender and DiversityQ4 2022.BALANSE project. A report will identify measures that might alleviate gendered sources of stress in the everyday work environment. The recommendations in the report will be fed into the quarterly reviews of the GEDAP.
Address gaps and challenges in gender balance and diversity.PRIO budget line for new and innovative ideas and initiatives.Director's office/Special Advisor on Professional Development, Gender and DiversityRunning throughout GEDAP periodThis will be a bottom-up driven measure. Any PRIO employee/ groups of employees can apply for funding from this budget line. It will not be limited to researchers.
Identify flexible solutions for those with "invisible" needs (e.g., age or ability related).Map key 'invisible needs' at PRIO and develop appropriate follow-up measures.Director's Office/Administrative Director/Special Advisor on Professional Development, Gender and Diversity

Recruitment and Retainment: Foster a diverse, inclusive and gender balanced collegium

Commitment Action Responsible Timeline Comments
Diverse, inclusive and gender balanced hiring processesReview routines and guidelines for hiring and promotion with a view to gender balance and diversity.

Aim for hiring and evaluation committees to be gender balanced and diverse.
Director's Office/Administrative Director

Director and Administrative Director
Q2 2022

This commitment is also relevant in relation to the recommendations in the EU Charter and Code.
Capacity building in a larger sense to generate for next-generation peace researchers in the Global SouthDevelop a series of open access training videos on transferable skills (e.g., academic publishing).

NORHED Research School on Peace Research.
Special Advisor on Professional Development, Gender and Diversity

Research School Director

Q1 2023

Running throughout GEDAP period

Increase knowledge about PRIO and peace research among diverse groups of students.Conduct or participate in a "meet the researchers" event either at PRIO or UiO.Director's Office/Communications DepartementYearly
Develop sensitivity to diversity for hiring committeesMake a PRIO training video on diversity sensitivity aimed at hiring committees.Director's Office/Special Advisor on Professional Development, Gender and DiversityQ1 2023 
Develop policy for project-level hiring practices.Develop guidelines and training video for project leaders to help hiring decisions.Director's Office/Special Advisor on Professional Development, Gender and DiversityQ1 2023The in-house training programme for project leaders that we are planning in the strategy implementation plan will include perspectives on diversity and inclusion.

Inclusivity and professional development at PRIO

Commitment Action Responsible Timeline Comments
Establish a venue for regular discussions of complex topics, such as gender and diversity, informally at the institutional level.A minimum of two Professional Development Brownbags will have gender and/or diversity related focus.Director's Office/Special Advisor on Professional Development, Gender and DiversityEvery year throughout the GEDAP period.The ProfDev brownbags encourage conversations across different corners of PRIO, draw connections between social groups, ethics, institutional practices, and research, and focus on building a healthy and robust institutional culture.
PRIO will stimulate and support PRIOites in finding dedicated writing time.One week-long writing retreat and two three-day writing retreats, in addition to weekly 'Shut up and write' (SUAW) sessions.

In the GEDAP period efforts will be made to organize such retreats for more diverse groups of PRIOites.
Special Advisor on Professional Development, Gender and DiversityEvery year throughout GEDAP period.Both research and experience from the POWER project indicate that women struggle more than men to find dedicated writing time. The retreats and SUAW sessions initiated during the POWER project have become permanently institutionalized. While they are open to everyone at PRIO, women tend to use them more regularly than men.
Ensure that every PRIOite has access to the PRIO Mentor Programme – to avoid reliance on informal networks that could reinforce inequalities.PRIO will offer mentor training and systematic follow up of both mentors and mentees.Director's Office/Special Advisor on Professional Development, Gender and DiversityEvery year throughout the GEDAP period.
Ensure diversity in social activities to attract a variety of interests.Facilitate the development of e.g., a book club, culture club, etc.Special Advisor on Professional Development, Gender and DiversityOngoing

Gender and Diversity in Research and Communication

Commitment Action Responsible Timeline Comments
Gender and inclusivity perspectives in peace and conflict research.Organisation of regular brown bags on the inclusion of gender and diversity in peace and conflict research.Gender Research Group/PRIO Centre on Gender, Peace and Security/ Special Advisor on Professional Development, Gender and DiversityRunning throughout the GEDAP period.
Attentiveness to gender and inclusivity perspectives in project developmentOne Professional Development Brownbag per year addressing this topic.Special Advisor on Professional Development, Gender and Diversity/Project Development TeamOnce every year throughout the GEDAP period.Possibly in collaboration with the Committee for Gender Balance and Diversity in Research (KIF Committee).
PRIO should (as a general rule) organize events and produce communications output which are attentive to gender balance and diversity.Annual assessments of PRIO's performance on gender balance and diversity in communication outputs (i.e. the PRIO blog and podcast series) and public events. Director's Office/ Communications DepartmentRunning throughout the GEDAP period.
Enable international researchers to better navigate the Norwegian scene.Develop two training videos:

Introduction to media in Norway
Introduction to the institutional landscape in Norway.
Communications Department/Special Advisor on Professional Development, Gender and DiversityQ2 2023
Be attentive to the diversity of the audiences for our external events.Think through where we should advertise events to better attract target audiences.Communication Department


The commitments and actions outlined in the PRIO GEDAP 2022-2025 will be implemented alongside with the PRIO Strategy 2022-2025. Responsibility for the day-to-day implementation of the plan rests with the Administrative Director and Special Advisor on Professional Development, Gender and Diversity. The overall responsibility for the implementation of the GEDAP lies with the PRIO Director.

Progress with implementation (monitoring of performance)

The PRIO GEDAP 2022-2025 will be a living document, making it possible for the PRIO leadership to adjust and make changes to commitments, actions and timelines along the way. Progress with implementation will be monitored by the Director's Office through quarterly meetings. These meetings will be organized alongside with similar quarterly meetings monitoring overall progress with PRIO's strategy implementation. Progress with implementation of both the PRIO Strategy and the GEDAP will be presented to and discussed by the PRIO Leader Team (LT) once a year.


The PRIO GEDAP 2022-2025 will be evaluated towards the end of the plan period. Findings from this evaluation will be feed into the process of developing a new plan for the following period. The new plan will also be developed and implemented in line with the priorities of the PRIO Strategy. The Director's Office will be responsible for initiating and overseeing the evaluation, which will be conducted by an internal committee comprising of members from across PRIO departments.

PRIO, 29 March 2022

Henrik Urdal (sign.)

Torunn L. Tryggestad (sign.)
Deputy Director

Lene Kristin Borg
Administrative Director

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