Harriet Silius is one of the first professors and chairs in Women’s/Gender/Feminist studies in Finland. She has been Director of the Institute of Women’s Studies since 1994 at Åbo Akademi University. The Institute was the first of its kind in Finland. It paved the way for the establishment of Women’s Studies, in its own right, within Finnish academia. Since 1996, she has committed herself to the development and advancement of this field of study especially on a European level.
Harriet Silius’ research interests include the gendering of everyday life, questions regarding the welfare state and care, and women in working life. What combines these themes is the question of equality, which for her is of paramount importance. She has published and disseminated widely in several languages, on an equally wide range of topics. For instance: women in the legal profession; theories of professionalisation; gender contracts; women’s employment; equal opportunities and, Women’s Studies in Europe.
Harriet Silius was appointed as Co-chair of ATGender, The European Association for Gender Research, Education and Documentation, from 2009 - 2011. She has also been responsible for co-ordinating several interdisciplinary research projects, where she led teams of between 5 – 10 researchers. Examples are: Women in Male-dominated Professions (1989); Motherhood and Reproduction (1995); and, Life and Life Stories of Women in Finland (1998).