A number of circumstances are analyzed, assumed to contribute to the fact that change in the gender structure of higher positions does not occur at all or that the process of change is very slow. The materials used are (1) a bibliography over Nordic studies covering 1995 – 2002 (Kyndel, Lindberg & Riis 2003) and (2) analyses of available national statistics on Swedish Higher Education. Crossing rates studied (from undergraduate studies to doctoral studies, and from doctoral studies to employment within Higher Education) change over time but also over national research areas. Further, the research focus lies more on horizontal states and changes than on vertical ones. The results show:
1. The gender balance varies much due to research area studied. The horizontal analysis uncovers the distorted picture which can be produced when only vertical statistics are used for the description of states.
2. There is a change towards gender balance during the 1990s. However, research areas such as Mathematics and Engineering Sciences remain almost unchanged over the decade.
3. The possibilities for doctoral studies differ between research areas. The three largest areas within undergraduate studies are Social Sciences, Teacher Education and Engineering Sciences. Female students heavily dominate the first two. The best possibilities for doctoral studies are in Medicine, Engineering Sciences and Natural Sciences. There are relatively few undergraduate students in Medicine and Natural Sciences. Entrants to these doctoral studies are however gender balanced. In Engineering Sciences, on the contrary, there is not gender balance. Teacher Education is a large undergraduate area consisting mostly of female students. The possibilities for doctoral studies are small and crossing rates are extremely low. Over all the crossing rates are substantially lower for women than for men. Women and men spend almost the same time in doctoral programs. There are differences between research areas but not between sexes.