Maktsalongen’s (makt=power, salong= parlor) goal is an equal society in which power and influence are distributed fairly. We want more young women* to see themselves as leaders and challenge norms that set tight frames about how power looks and what a leader can be.
Maktsalongen was founded in November 2011. The founders, Sara Haraldsson and Sofia Brändström, had both just finished their previous leadership roles in the young civil society and both felt that the young civil society was far from equal. Their outrage over the fact that the same problem reoccured again and again in the young civil society gave birth to an idea: what if women who were leaders of the young civil society could gather, get access to a network of women who were in the same position as themselves and a mentor who also had the experience of being the leader in the young civil society? Maktsalongen was built on that idea.
Today Maktsalongen still work with mentoring programmes and networks, but we also do much more.
Maktsalongen works with gender issues on three levels: the structure, organization and the individual.
Creating equality requires major structural changes. This requires a discussion and debate about the structures that create inequality. Maktsalongen aims to create such discussions and debates. This has mainly been done through seminars and by releasing reports that discuss and illustrates conditions in the young civil society.
We believe that in work has to be done by organizations to create gender equality, but many organizations don’t know what to do or how to do it. Our belief is that it doesn’t need be so difficult to work with equality and we are trying to show organizations that.
We give lectures on gender equality, leadership and stress. We have developed a MethodKit for Equality (which is available in both Swedish and English) , a tool to help organizations and companies to work more equally. Inga ursäkter (No Excuses) is a site where we have gathered common problems and excuses on why not to work with gender equality and offer specific solutions to each problem.
A change in the structure and work of organizations is required in order to achieve the goal of gender equality in civil society. But until we have reached that, there are many people who are effected by the gender inequality that still exists in the organizations. Therefore, Maktsalongen has networking and mentoring programs for women who are leaders on a local, regional and national level in their organizations. By bringing women together they can support and encourage each other, share experiences and inspiration.
Maktsalongen is a non-profit organization run by a board elected by the annual meeting. The annual meeting also decides what the organization will work with the upcoming year. The staff of Maktsalongen is responsible for taking the decisions of the annual meeting and the board and making those decisions into actions.
*by women, we mean people who self-identify as women