New Head of the Department of Economics: We need more female colleagues
It will be a familiar face that takes over the reins at the Department of Economics on 1 March 2023.
Henrik Hansen in brief
Henrik Hansen has been employed as professor at Department of Economics since 2013 and before that professor and head of the Department of Food and Resource Economics.
He has been Head of Studies for the BA and MSc programmes in Economics and for the MSc programme in Global Development, which he was also one of the driving forces behind the establishment of. He was also chairman of the working group that led to the establishment of the current Crown Princess Mary Center.
He holds a MSc in Economics from the Department of Economics, where he has also taken his PhD.
Professor Henrik Hansen has been with the department since 2013 and has, among other things, helped develop and manage the MSc in Global Development. Now he will be leading the entire department in the process towards a more equal distribution of male and female colleagues.
Dean Mikkel Vedby Rasmussen says about the appointment:
"Henrik Hansen is the right economist at the right time for the department. He has sound values, which will serve as a basis for creating a more inclusive and diverse study and work environment at the department. I know that Henrik is not afraid of change, he gets things done – and makes sure that he and those around him have fun at the same time. I too appreciate this approach, so I'm looking forward to working with Henrik. "
We have asked the new Head of Department four questions about the work that lies ahead of him.
1. What is the first thing you will set out do to?
"First and foremost, I need to sit down and have a chat with all the employees at the department. We have been working from home a lot these past years, and I have focused on the Global Development programme, so there are a lot of employees I haven't talked to (for a long time).
In my conversation with each employee, we will, among other things, talk about how we can ensure a more equal gender distribution among the academic staff. I would also like to hear their ideas about the organisation of the department. We have a very flat organisational structure, and this has worked well so far, but it is not necessarily the best solution for the department in the future. That’s why I would like to hear what the employees think about our structure.
At the same time, I will ensure that we have revised our recruitment procedures for all new academic staff, as we decided in Project Dignity."
I'm very much looking forward to the day I can tell Women in Economics that there are more female professors than professors who are called Henrik at the Department of Economics.
2. What do you see as the biggest challenge for economics – both as a subject and a department – over the next five years?
"The economic profession is male-dominated, and we know from a number of studies that we as a profession have fallen behind in relation to the other social sciences and STEM subjects. Therefore, we must ensure a more equal gender distribution, both as a profession and at the department. That’s what we have promised each other, and now we have to deliver! "
3. What are you looking forward to?
"I'm very much looking forward to the day I can tell Women in Econonomics that there are more female professors than professors named Henrik at the Department of Economics.
I'm also looking forward to the day we open a new Center of Excellence, which will be able to take over the baton from CEBI (Center for Economic Behavior and Inequality) and continue the department's strong research. "
It requires a healthy vestibular nerve to balance the need for change with the need for stability and a safe work environment. I will challenge those employees who want to maintain the existing hierarchies and frameworks. At the same time, I will disappoint the employees who expect major and rapid changes in the same hierarchies.
4. What do you think will be the biggest challenge?
"At the department, we are facing both known and (almost) unknown challenges. Among the known challenges, I think it requires a healthy vestibular nerve to balance the need for change with the need for stability and a safe work environment. I will challenge those employees who want to maintain the existing hierarchies and frameworks. At the same time, I will disappoint the employees who expect major and rapid changes in the same hierarchies. Naturally, I hope and believe that I can strike the right balance, so that we become an even better place to study and work. In short, I just mean to say that it is always a big challenge to set a direction that ensures well-being and job satisfaction among people with a strong passion for self-management.
Among the unknown challenges, the proposals put forward for reforming the university education are probably the biggest. We do not know exactly what the political demands will look like, but I expect that we will be reorganising several of the degree programmes that we are involved in. It will be a major challenge to transform the Department of Economics after a number of years with high growth to the coming years with potentially stagnating or even declining budgets. "
Henrik Hansen will take up the position as Head of Department on 1 March 2023.
Economics - A professional, internationally recognised and diverse department
The Department of Economics is deeply rooted in history: Teaching and research in economics started at the University of Copenhagen as early as 1848.
Today, the department has one of Europe's best economics programmes with about 2000 BA and MSc students.
There are 170 fulltime and part-time employees at Department of Economics, of which approximately one fifth are administrative staff. Among the staff you find both current and former ‘wisemen’ from the Danish Economic Council, and the department has a wide range of international collaborations. The department's research into major societal challenges such as climate and health has been used by decision-makers all over the world from Rome to the White House.
However, the gender balance is a challenge, as the department has more professors named Henrik than it has female professors. As part of a continuous focus on ensuring an inclusive, welcoming, diverse, professional and respectful culture at the Department of Economics, they have put together a Catalogue of ambitions.
Professor and head of department (to be), Department of Economics
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