We are an equal and diverse University community. Achieving equality and non-discrimination is a matter that concerns the whole University community. Therefore, everyone has an important role in nurturing and promoting them. Accessibility and the promotion of study and work well-being are at the heart of the work towards equality. We work towards strengthening equality and non-discrimination related to e.g. age, sex and ethnicity in our community. These is a policy of zero tolerance against racism at the University of Turku.
The University of Turku complies with the Equality Plan compiled for the strategy period 2021-2030 and approved by the University Board.
The Plan includes an assessment on the state of equality and non-discrimination at the University and a description of the measures that are used to monitor the situation. It also includes evaluation of the non-discrimination and equality work so far and defines the next measures. The Equality Committee monitors the progress of the Plan annually and makes the required updates to the measures. The Plan’s progress is monitored regularly and continuously.
See the plan in more detail
The goal of this Plan is to promote non-discrimination and equality and to prevent direct and indirect discrimination and harassment at the University.
Our University community consists of people of different age, cultural background, gender, sexual orientation and health. All of these people must have equal opportunity to participate and act as full members of the University community regardless of their characteristics and life situation.
At the University of Turku, equality and non-discrimination are matters that concern the whole University community, and everyone has an important role in nurturing and advancing them. Accessibility and the promotion of study and work well-being are in the heart of the work towards equality. We are for example strengthening equality and non-discrimination related to age, sex, and ethnicity in the University community. These is a policy of zero tolerance against racism at the University of Turku.
The central policies of the Strategy of the University of Turku and the University’s programmes include objectives and definitions for how non-discrimination and equality are advanced in our University community:
- The Strategy 2030 of the University of Turku states that we are an equal and diverse University community. As defined in the Strategy, the common values of the University are creativity, openness, ethical principles, critical thinking, and strong community. The underlining themes of the Strategy are internationality, multidisciplinarity, open science and impact, responsibility and sustainable development as well as collaboration and interaction, digitalisation, and well-being. Perspectives related to non-discrimination and equality are also included in all four strategic goals and the Policy Programmes, which define them.
- The Board of the University of Turku has approved the new Personnel Policy in March 2021. It describes how the objectives of the Strategy and Policy Programmes are implemented as HR activities carried out at the University. The annually compiled personnel and training plan includes decisions on e.g. flexible working hours, balancing work and family life, principles of employing people who are able to work partially, and questions related to employees’ ageing. The annually compiled Personnel Report also includes statistical information about non-discrimination and equality and thus fulfils the requirement to monitor the non-discrimination and equality situation on the personnel’s part.
- University of Turku has an Accessibility Policy, the goal of which is to promote the accessibility of the University and develop practises and modes of operation that support accessibility and are also required by legislation. Accessibility means the possibility for all types of actors to participate and act equally in the University community, regardless of their characteristics. Accessibility can be examined from the perspectives of the physical and mental environment, social interaction, values and attitudes, and the politics. At its core, accessibility is a matter of realising civil and human rights.
This Equality Plan follows the next strategy period of the University of Turku, meaning that it has been compiled for years 2021–2030. The draft compiled by the Equality Committee has been approved in a meeting of the Board of the University of Turku on October 8, 2021. The Equality Committee monitors the progress of the Plan annually and makes the required updates to it. The monitoring of the Plan’s realisation is a continuous process.
In the comparison of 156 countries conducted by World Economic Forum (Global Gender Gap Report 2021), Finland ranks second after Iceland in realisation of equality between women and men. Norway, New Zealand and Sweden also ranked in the top five. Moreover, gender equality is assessed annually among the member countries of the European Union (https://eige.europa.eu/genderequality-index/2020). The Nordic Countries ranked well in this ranking as well, with Finland ranking 4th. According to the assessment made in 2020, there is still much to be done in Europe to achieve equality between women and men. Gender equality is therefore fairly advanced in the Nordic Countries, although the work is not finished here either. In Finland, segregation between women and men in education and work is, for example, still a persisting issue.
Equality and non-discrimination have been included as legally binding sections in the Constitution of Finland, the Act on Equality between Women and Men, and the Non-discrimination Act. Section 6 of the Constitution states that “Everyone is equal before the law. No one shall, without an acceptable reason, be treated differently from other persons on the ground of sex, age, origin, language, religion, conviction, opinion, health, disability or other reason that concerns his or her person.” The Web Accessibility Directive and the Act on the Provision of Digital Services defining its practical application will, on their part, also impact and update the modes of operation.
In their sustainable development policies from November 2020, universities and universities of applied science have committed themselves to promoting accessibility, equality, and non-discrimination in higher education. This is in line with the Government Programme, which strongly emphasises promoting equality in society – also on different levels of education. The Government’s Action Plan for Gender Equality brings together the goals of making Finland a global leader in gender equality. The accessibility plan for higher education and universities compiled by the Ministry of Education and Culture (link to the Finnish plan) investigates the realisation of social, regional, and linguistic equality in higher education and the possible barriers for members of minority groups in gravitating towards higher education.
Strategy 2030 of the University of Turku: Building a strong and sustainable future
he new strategy term of the University of Turku for 2021–2030 has just started. According to the central message of the Strategy, the University of Turku builds a strong and sustainable future. The Strategy defines creativity, openness, ethical principles, critical thinking, strong community as the University’s shared values. Our Strategy clearly states that our University community is equal and diverse.
In addition, many the unifying themes (internationality, open and effective science, responsibility, co-operation, and interaction) of the Strategy directly or indirectly promote non-discrimination and equality. Equality is also included in all four strategic goals and it is especially highlighted in the fourth goal, community well-being.
The University of Turku inspires unique learning experiences and outstanding learning outcomes. We educate future experts who will solve complex scientific questions and social issues and build a sustainable world. The education we provide encourages students towards independent critical thinking and achieving comprehensive learning goals. We support students with different backgrounds. All students have the right to receive guidance that supports learning, which on its part helps to produce the best learning experience in Finland and outstanding learning outcomes. We advance equality in society by offering attractive and broad-ranging opportunities for continuous learning and development of expertise at different stages of life.
Our high-quality research environments are engaging. The University is committed to promoting a straightforward researcher career path and international mobility. This also includes international recruitments where the equal treatment of applicants is central and the processes are open and just. In recruiting researchers, the University is also committed to advancing the principles presented in the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers. At our University, early career researchers reach their potential and receive the support they need to succeed in their career. The University of Turku is an attractive work environment also for international top researchers.
One of the objectives of the University is to be a proactive and dynamic partner. We carry global responsibility and are a proactive partner in development. We train experts with a capacity for change, who build a sustainable future in different sectors of society. As an entrepreneurial university, we collaborate with business life and offer global educational services in a responsible manner. Through these partnerships, we can promote non-discrimination and equality also in the society surrounding the University.
The active expert community is important for the University of Turku. Well-being is our mutual concern and everyone’s role in a supportive and active community is important. The experiences of non-discrimination and equality contribute to well-being. At the University of Turku, we can all maintain our skills and develop as experts. Work at the University is meaningful, and we offer interesting career paths. The development of the digital working environment and culture emphasises user-orientation. We regard leadership as a service: high-quality management encourages the community and individuals to give their best performance.
Description of the organisation for equality matters at the University of Turku
The University of Turku has an Equality Committee, which promotes and monitors the realisation and development of non-discrimination and equality at the University. The Rector appoints the Equality Committee that consist of representatives of different personnel groups, personnel organisations and students. The University’s Advisor on Equality Issues and the Accessibility Planning Officer as well as the representative of the Student Union have the right to participate in the Committee meetings. The term of the current Equality Committee is five years, 2020–2024.
The University of Turku has an Advisor on Equality Issues who offers instructions and guidance to both students and personnel on matters concerning non-discrimination and equality. The Advisor on Equality Issues interacts with the Equality Committee and collaborates with the Student Union.
In addition, the University of Turku also has an Accessibility Planning Officer whose tasks include promoting accessibility at the University and the availability of services. Accessibility is related, among other things, to the University’s physical and psychological operational environment, attitude and atmosphere, and strategic work. An accessibility action plan is drawn up each year and its implementation is assessed in the annual report.
The Student Union has a representative in the University’s Equality Committee. Furthermore, one of the members of the Student Union’s Executive Board is responsible for equality and they monitor that the Equality Programme of the Student Union is being followed in practice and in the decision-making. In cases of harassment, the Student Union has three contact persons who offer guidance and support to students who have experienced harassment at the University. The contact persons have an obligation to observe secrecy and do not record the discussions.
Each member of the University community must take non-discrimination and equality issues into consideration and promote non-discrimination and equality in their work and activities.
The University of Turku has a policy of zero tolerance towards harassment, discrimination and racism. The University has guidelines for handling harassment and other types of inappropriate behaviour, which describe practices for preventing and solving conflicts and disputes and methods for handling inappropriate treatment: https://intranet.utu.fi/index/early-support-for-employees-and-work-communities/Pages/Bullying-and-Harassment.aspx. Separate guidelines have been compiled for addressing threats and hate speech: https://intranet.utu.fi/index/early-support-for-employees-and-work-communities/Pages/Handling-threats-and-hate-speech.aspx.
Equality is a basic right. According to Section 6 of the Constitution of Finland (731/1999), everyone is equal before the law. The Section forbids arbitrary treatment and requires that everyone is treated equally in similar situations (the principle of equality). In addition to formal equality, Section 6 expresses the idea of actual equality. In addition, the Constitution states that no one shall, without an acceptable reason, be treated differently from other persons on the ground of sex, age, origin, language, religion, conviction, opinion, health, disability or other reason that concerns his or her person. The list of grounds for discrimination is not exhaustive. Furthermore, the Constitution states that gender equality is promoted in societal activity and working life, especially in the determination of pay and the other terms of employment, as provided in more detail by an Act. It is the duty of the public authorities to ensure the realisation of basic and human rights.
The Non-discrimination Act (21/2004) protects and promotes equality between people. The Non-discrimination Act enforces the Equal Treatment Directive (2000/43/EY) and the Equal Treatment in Employment and Occupation directive (2000/78/ EY) of the European Communities. The purpose of the Directives is to implement the principle of equal treatment in the member states of the European Union. The Act on Equality between Women and Men (609/1986) promotes gender equality and enforces several EU directives.
The Employment Contracts Act (55/2001) contains a discrimination prohibition for employers as well as provisions on the equal treatment of employees. According to Chapter 2, Section 2 of the Employment Contracts Act, the employer must treat employees equally unless different treatment is justified based on the employees’ tasks and position. The employer cannot without proper and justified reason apply more disadvantageous terms and conditions of employment to fixed-term and part-time employment relationships than to other employment relationships based on barely the duration of the employment contract or the amount of working hours. Provisions on prohibition of discrimination based on gender are laid down in the Act on Equality between Women and Men. In the Employment Contracts Act, the concept of discrimination, prohibition of victimisation, so-called allocation/reversal of the burden of proof in the proceedings of a matter concerning discrimination and compensation are determined by the provisions of the Non-discrimination Act. The Act also includes provisions on justifications for different treatment.
Furthermore, the Occupational Safety and Health Act (738/2002) obliges the employer to take action if harassment or other inappropriate treatment of an employee occurs at work. The employees are also obliged by a provision to avoid the harassment or other inappropriate treatment of other employees. Sanctions on discrimination and work discrimination are laid down in the Criminal Code of Finland (39/1889).
The EU Web Accessibility Directive (2016/2102/EU) adds a new perspective into non-discrimination. Its objective is that everyone could use web services regardless of their personal characteristics or situation. The Directive promotes everyone’s opportunities to use public services, sets minimum requirements for accessibility, and improves the quality of digital services. In Finland, the Web Accessibility Directive is enforced by the Act on the Provision of Digital Services. The University of Turku has an Accessibility Policy, the goal of which is to promote the accessibility of the University and develop practises and modes of operation that support accessibility and are also required by legislation.
The purpose of the Non-discrimination Act (1325/2014) is to promote equality and prevent discrimination as well as to enhance the protection provided by law to those who have been discriminated against. The Non-discrimination Act applies to the University as an authority, education provider and employer. The University has to evaluate the realisation of equality and take necessary measures to promote its realisation.
According to the prohibition of discrimination in the Non-discrimination Act, no one may be discriminated against on the basis of age, origin, nationality, language, religion, belief, opinion, political activity, trade union activity, family relationships, state of health, disability, sexual orientation or other personal characteristics.
Prohibited discrimination is:
when someone is treated more unfavourably than others have been or would be treated in a comparable situation (direct discrimination);
an apparently neutral provision, criterion or practice puts a person at a particular disadvantage compared with other persons, unless the said provision, criterion or practice has an acceptable aim and the means used are appropriate and necessary for achieving this aim (indirect discrimination);
the deliberate or de facto infringement of the dignity of a person (harassment), if the infringing behaviour relates to a reason referred to in Section 8 of the Act, and as a result of the reason, a degrading or humiliating, intimidating, hostile or offensive environment towards the person is created by the behaviour;
when the employer, after having been informed that an employee was subjected to harassment, neglects to take action to remove the harassment;
refusing reasonable accommodation. An authority, education provider, employer or provider of goods and services has to make due and appropriate adjustments necessary in each situation for a person with disabilities to be able, equally with others, to deal with the authorities and gain access to education, work and generally available goods and services, as well as to manage their work tasks and to advance their career. In assessing the reasonableness of the adjustments, attention shall also be devoted, in addition to the needs of the person with disabilities, to the size, financial position, nature and extent of the operations of an authority/education provider/employer as well as the estimated costs of the adjustments and the support available for the adjustments.
an instruction or order to discriminate.
A person must not be treated unfavourably or in such a way that they suffer adverse consequences as a result of pleading the rights or obligations provided for in the Act, participating in the clarification of a matter concerning discrimination, or taking other action to safeguard equality (prohibition of victimisation).
However, not all different treatment constitutes as prohibited discrimination. Justifications for different treatment are laid down in Sections 11 and 12 of the Non-discrimination Act.
According to the Burden of Proof provision in the Non-discrimination Act, the person who considers themselves to have been a victim of discrimination as referred to in the Act must present an account of facts from which it may be presumed that the prohibition of discrimination has been infringed. If it can be assumed on the basis of the clarification provided that the prohibition of discrimination or victimisation has been violated, the defendant must prove that there has been no violation of the prohibition.
As a sanction for discrimination, the authority, employer or education provider or supplier of goods or services can be ordered to pay compensation to the person who has been discriminated against or victimised. The consequence can also be that the court amends or does not take into account the offending contractual term. In addition, sanctions on discrimination and work discrimination are laid down in the Criminal Code.
Legislation on gender equality
The Court of Justice of the European Union and several international agreements on human rights highlight especially the significance of gender equality in professional life. There are several EU directives and other regulations on the matter.
According to Section 6, Paragraph 4 of the Constitution of Finland, gender equality is promoted in societal activity and working life, especially in the determination of pay and other terms of employment. The provision includes an order to public authorities to promote gender equality in society and working life The provision also entails active obligations for public authorities to promote non-discrimination in society.
Gender equality is enacted by the Act on Equality between Women and Men (609/1986). The objectives of the Act are to prevent discrimination based on gender, to promote equality between women and men, and to improve the status of women, particularly in professional life. Furthermore, it is the objective of the Act to prevent discrimination based on gender identity or gender expression.
The Act on Equality between Women and Men applies to the University as an authority, education provider and employer. The Act on Equality between Women and Men prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender. According to the prohibition of discrimination, both direct and indirect discrimination based on gender is prohibited.
Prohibited discrimination is e.g.:
treating women and men differently on the basis of gender (direct discrimination);
treating someone differently for reasons of pregnancy or childbirth (direct discrimination);
treating someone differently on the basis of gender identity or gender expression (direct discrimination);
treating someone differently by virtue of a provision, criterion or practice that appears to be gender-neutral in terms of gender, gender identity or gender expression, but where the effect of the action is such that the persons may actually find themselves in a less favourable position on the basis of gender (indirect discrimination);
treating someone differently on the basis of parenthood or family responsibilities (indirect discrimination);
sexual harassment and gender-based harassment;
any order or instruction to engage in discrimination based on gender;
However, for example special protection of women because of pregnancy or childbirth or temporary, special actions based on a plan, the purpose of which is promoting effective gender equality and implementing the objectives of the Act are not deemed to constitute discrimination based on gender.
The Act on Equality between Women and Men lays down detailed provisions on such issues as discrimination upon employing a person, during the employment relationship or when the employment relationship is terminated (Section 8), prohibition of countermeasures (Section 8a), discrimination in educational institutions (Section 8b) and harassment in the workplace (Section 8d).
According to the Burden of Proof provision in the Act, the person who considers themselves to have been a victim of gender discrimination must present an account of facts from which it may be presumed that the prohibition of gender discrimination has been infringed. If the facts give cause to believe that the matter is one of gender discrimination, the defendant must prove that there has been no violation of gender equality but that the action was for an acceptable reason and not due to gender. The sanction for infringing the prohibition of gender discrimination is compensation (Sections 11 and 12).
The most central methods in monitoring non-discrimination and equality at the University of Turku are annual salary assessments, personnel and student statistics, workplace well-being surveys conducted every other year, and annually collected student feedback.
Personnel statistics and salary assessments
Since 2017, the statistical data related to the personnel’s non-discrimination and equality have been included as part of the Personnel Report approved by the Board and published on the University’s intranet pages: https://intranet.utu.fi/index/henkilostotilastot/Sivut/default.aspx (in Finnish).
Based on the statistics, the equality situation at the University of Turku has mainly remained on the same level as before. One positive development is that the share of women has increased in the third stage and fourth stage positions of the career model for researchers. In the personnel grouping of professors, the percentage of women has increased significantly in recent years: in 2012, their share was 29.8%, and at the end of 2020, 39.1%.
Every calendar year, Human Resources produces a salary assessment which can be utilised by the Equality Committee. When reviewed on the University level, the situation is good; there are no significant differences in the salaries between different genders. The positions of teaching personnel differ both ways, and in terms of research personnel and other personnel, the biggest differences are in women’s favour. As for university teachers, the Equality Committee has paid attention to the fact that the difference between men and women’s salaries is greater than on average. This difference in favour of men is partly explained by career stages and the fact that the age bonus system that was previously in use still impacts the salary of a part of the personnel. Evaluation groups that work as a part of the University’s salary system have an important role in ensuring that both genders are equally represented on different requirement levels.
Statistical data on non-discrimination and equality situation among students
Statistical data related to the students and applicants of the University of Turku is published on the University’s website (https://www.utu.fi/en/study-statistics). This information is used as a basis for an annual statistical compilation for the Equality Committee. The information from years 2016–2020 can be found in the appendices of this Plan (Appendix 1).
Based on the statistical data, one of the challenges related to non-discrimination and equality of students is the major differences in how different genders are represented in different fields of study. Moreover, the Equality Committee carefully follows how the change in student admission emphasising the matriculation examination certificate more will affect students’ gender ratio in the coming years. In the data from 2018, it could be observed that the number of foreign degree students has decreased from the level it was a couple of years ago: this possibility was already foreseen when the introduction of tuition fees was under preparation. The percentage of foreign students among those completing their doctoral degrees continues to grow steadily.
Workplace well-being surveys
Workplace well-being surveys have been conducted at the University of Turku every other year since autumn 2015. The surveys also assess matters related to equality and non-discrimination, such as whether the respondents have experienced themselves or witnessed discrimination, harassment, or other inappropriate behaviour.
Based on the answers of the workplace well-being surveys, these experiences are mostly related to the work community’s operations and functionality, and considerably less often to equality and non-discrimination matters defined in legislation. Openness about the criteria and processes of recruitments, functionality of the salary system, and transparency in decision-making were highlighted in the open answers repeatedly. The members of the University community also told about their observations related to internationality and the related non-discrimination as well as the standing of grant researchers. In the latest response data, non-discrimination matters worth consideration have also included observations related to racism.
More information about the workplace well-being surveys of the University of Turku can be found on the intranet pages: https://intranet.utu.fi/index/surveys-on-wellbeing-at-work/Pages/default.aspx
A survey carried out in the spring of the first year of studies concerns both the respondents’ own experiences as well as observations on bullying, discrimination, harassment, or other inappropriate treatment. The behaviour of teachers and other personnel as well as other students is asked about separately. These results are also handled in the meetings of the Equality Committee. Particular importance has been given to the University responding to the expectations to take up corrective measures when students tell about their experiences.
The responses of the survey conducted in spring 2017 brought forth themes which should be discussed in e.g. tutor training. These themes include e.g. working in a group setting and treating everyone fairly, behaviour in social media, and gender-related inappropriate behaviour.
According to the results of the survey conducted in spring 2018, it was deemed necessary to consider measures for eliminating racism (see also the results of the workplace well-being survey explained above). Moreover, it was deemed important to find measures that could be used by the Student Union and the University to impact the culture of nudity and activities that can be considered sexual harassment still present in e.g. initiation events and other student parties.
The results of the survey from spring 2019 as well as the results from previous survey rounds also impacted the curricula planning instructions given for the curriculum period 2020–2022, which emphasise non-discrimination and equality perspectives. The student feedback also brought forth the students’ wish for increased awareness among teachers on e.g. sexual and gender minorities and the appropriate terms for referring to them.
In the evaluation of the results from spring 2020, particular attention was paid to faculties with above average number of discrimination-related experiences and observations. These were investigated more closely by an appointed smaller group of members of the Equality Committee. Follow-up surveys were conducted as a follow-up measure, and their results have been reported to the units that were investigated.
When needed, the individual cases that arose in the responses have also been addressed by the faculty/unit.
Since early 2020, questions related to non-discrimination and equality have also been included in the so-called bachelor’s degree feedback (kandipalaute), which means that in future, follow-up data is available not only from freshmen, but also students who have studied at the University of Turku for 3–4 years.
The goal is to also include questions related to non-discrimination and equality to other student feedback surveys when possible and when the handling process and number of handlers allows genuine commitment to the promise of confidentiality.
More information about the student feedback collected at the University of Turku in intranet: https://intranet.utu.fi/index/student_feedback/Pages/default.aspx
The Equality Plan approved by the Board of the University of Turku on 17 March 2017 includes numerous proposals for actions. Based on them, the Equality Committee which started its three-year term in spring 2017 compiled an action programme which prioritised, scheduled, and allocated responsibilities for the action proposals. The Committee has also monitored the realisation of the Plan.
A central content-related initiative of the Equality Committee has been to include the consideration of diversity of gender, ethnicity, and identity in the curricula planning instructions. There are several reasons for this. According the Act on Equality between Women and Men, teaching and learning materials have to support the realisation of equality. According to the Equality Plan of the University of Turku, students must be able to participate as full members of the University community irrespective of their personal characteristics and life situations.
In recent years, the status of transgender and non-binary people in the University community has become a more highlighted matter, as well as racism manifested in the University community. According to the results of the occupational well-being and student surveys, students and staff members belonging to ethnic minorities often feel that they are not acknowledged in the University community. Transgender and non-binary people find it difficult to find their place in the University and society. The University wishes to show through its practices that everyone has the right to be themselves in the University community. Understanding and accepting diversity is part of current and future professional life skills.
When personnel statistics have been examined, a question has come up in the Equality Committee concerning the impacts of family leaves on the realisation of equality at the University of Turku. After learning more about the matter, the Equality Committee compiled a statement where it proposes that family leaves should be better taken into consideration in the length of the University-funded post doc positions and Collegium positions as well as in the tenure track system.
One important action for the promotion of non-discrimination and equality has been the introduction of a harassment report form. In accordance to the policy approved by the University Board, there is zero tolerance towards inappropriate behaviour at the University of Turku. If someone experiences harassment or bullying, it is important to bring it up. At the University, there are several ways to tackle the matter. As a new channel for reporting experienced harassment or other inappropriate behaviour, a harassment report form was introduced in 2018 both to the personnel and students. The form was introduced to make the threshold on reporting inappropriate treatment as low as possible. Still, the best and primary way to tackle bullying or harassment is to bring up the topic face-to-face. There are instruction available in intranet for addressing bullying and harassment (requires logging in).
The results of the workplace well-being survey have demonstrated that the University community is not yet extensively familiar with the Equality Plan of the University of Turku. Over the on-going Plan term, the Advisor on Equality Issues and the Equality Committee have striven to share information about the non-discrimination and equality work conducted at the University of Turku more actively than before. Primarily, this has been done through articles published in intranet. According to the results of the workplace well-being surveys, awareness of the existence of the Equality Plan has increased, but there is still plenty of work to do.
To your understanding, does the University of Turku have an equality and/or non-discrimination plan?
|survey year||yes||no||I don't know|
|2015||60,6 %||2,9 %||36,5 %|
|2017||65,9 %||1,9 %||32,2 %|
|2019||73,8 %||1,5 %||24,7 %|
The following subject areas mapping the non-discrimination and equality situation and, when needed, leading to changes and corrective measures are included in the work of the Equality Committee as regularly, mainly annually, recurring themes:
annual statistics describing non-discrimination and equality among the personnel (the data is included in the Personnel Report approved by the Board)
|March (meeting 1/202x)|
|annual review of non-discrimination, equality and accessibility work (included in the Personnel Report)||March (meeting 1/202x)|
|accessibility work at the University of Turku: annual report and action plan for the next year||handled as an announcement in the meeting 1/202x|
|annual statistics on equality among students||March (meeting 1/202x)|
|salary assessment||May–June (meeting 2/202x)|
|Accessibility Policy of the University of Turku 2020–2024: follow-up and assessment of its realisation||May–June (meeting 2/202x)|
|results of the student surveys from the perspective of non-discrimination and equality||September (meeting 3/202x)|
|updating the action plan included in the Equality Plan: overview of the follow-up of the actions and including new actions to the Plan||September (meeting 3/202x)|
|thematic seminars of non-discrimination||organised every 1 or 2 years|
|results of the workplace well-being survey in relation to non-discrimination and equality||the survey is conducted every other year|
In addition to the annual schedule of non-discrimination and equality work described above, each member of the Equality Committee can also present and introduce important themes for discussion. In addition to the themes described above, the non-discrimination and equality representatives of the University of Turku focus on a few, currently topical themes each year. The action plan included in the Equality Plan is updated annually in the Equality Committee’s first meeting of the semester. In this context, the Committee will evaluate the extent to which the actions have been realised and decide on new themes to be included in the action plan and define their schedule, responsible parties, and monitored objectives. The updates will be published on the University’s website. The monitoring of the Plan’s realisation is a continuous process.
The following matters were identified as central for promoting non-discrimination and equality, and as subject areas to be included in the action plans of the up-coming years:
- Strengthening and supporting the diversity of the University community (e.g. age, ethnicity, state of health, gender). The University of Turku shows through its practices that everyone has the right to be themselves in the University community.
- Promoting zero-tolerance for racism in all activities: Identifying structures and practices that have racist characteristics and increasing commitment of all members of the University community to consider cultural sensitivity in their activities. The work community mediation plan of the University of Turku (on the intranet, requires logging in) helps in conflict situations.
- Impact of digitalisation of teaching and working on non-discrimination: new modes of operation are planned and realised in a way that gives the different members of the University community as equal footing as possible.
- Promoting inclusion in the course selection: considering how feasible and accessible the studies are for e.g. adult students, working students, students with families e.g.
- Assessing how the change in student admission putting more emphasis on the matriculation examination certificate will affect both the student selection (e.g. gender ratio in different degree programmes, age when studies are started) and progress of studies (e.g. study success, dropping out from studies). Directing student marketing with the objective to decreasing differences in gender ratios between different degree programmes.
- Ensuring that applicants can apply to study at the University of Turku through multiple pathways, thus making sure that the applicant base is diverse. The International Programme of the University of Turku promotes this objective on its part.
- Promoting equality and non-discrimination of doctoral candidates and researchers (including grant researchers). Supporting researchers in combining work and family.
- Non-discrimination in recruitment processes: Recognising the impact of unconscious biases and prejudices on recruitment decisions and increasing awareness on this matter among people involved in recruitment processes. Executing a new recruitment system to enable the use of so-called anonymous recruitment method in some of the recruitments and stages of recruitment.
- In addition to the above-mentioned equality considerations included in the annual schedule, monitoring the gender ratio in Tenure Track positions.
- Monitoring the diversity of experts in the recruitments or professors and when granting docentures and also monitoring the transparency of the decision processes.
- Carrying out a survey for the employees who retire or leave for other reasons, and utilising the feedback in the development of the organisation.
- Increasing the personnel’s preparedness to encounter different gender identities and sexual orientations.
- Including equality and non-discrimination themes as well as information about addressing harassment and discrimination in management training.
- Communicating actively on activities related to non-discrimination and equality both in Finnish and in English.
The task of the Equality Committee is to promote and monitor the realisation and development of non-discrimination and equality at the University. The Rector appoints the Equality Committee that consist of the representatives of different personnel groups, personnel organisations and students and broadly represents the different units.
Advisor on Equality Issues and Accessibility Planning Officer
The Advisor on Equality Issues offers instructions and guidance to both students and staff on matters concerning non-discrimination and equality. The Advisor on Equality Issues interacts with the Equality Committee and collaborates with the Student Union. More information: email@example.com
The tasks of the Accessibility Planning Officer include promoting accessibility and the availability of services at the University. More information: firstname.lastname@example.org