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We are now strengthening our work to prevent discrimination and achieve gender equality and equal opportunities

Foto av Jimmie Kristensson. Foto: Kennet Ruona.

During the spring a lot has been done regarding the University’s work on gender equality, equal opportunities, harassment, sexual harassment and victimisation.

“We have now started to create the conditions that are needed to carry out the work on these issues in a good and clear manner”, says Jimmie Kristensson who is pro vice-chancellor for communication, integrity and character.

The university-wide initiative for gender equality and equal opportunities project was completed early this year. The project was initiated by the then vice-chancellor Torbjörn von Schantz and the aim was to identify and develop effective and applicable working methods to strengthen university-wide work on gender equality, equal treatment and equal opportunities.

A better organisational structure

The project’s results showed that the University needed a clear organisational structure that helps university-wide work on gender equality and equal opportunities to be carried out effectively and successfully. The project also provided practical proposals for changes in order to create increased visibility, clarity and opportunities to work effectively on issues.

“It is important that the issues have a clear connection to the managers but can also involve experts here at the University, so that we can take knowledge-based decisions”, says Jimmie Kristensson.

Expanded and broadened remit for council and team

Based on the project’s proposals for measures, vice-chancellor Erik Renström decided that the council dealing with gender equality and equal treatment issues would have a changed remit and composition from 1 April, in order to create a mandate and better conditions for working on the issues on a strategic level. The council, which changed its name to the Council for Gender Equality and Equal Opportunities, was also tasked to appoint an expert group to create conditions for the management to take research-based decisions.

University director Susanne Kristensson decided at the same time that the team assigned to provide support to managers and HR officers, which was formed within the framework of the Tellus project, is to have an expanded and broadened remit in order to create networks, a systematic approach, consensus and opportunities for knowledge transfer. The team (Swedish abbreviation SFAD) is involved in systematic preventive work against discrimination and is part of the support structure for operational and preventive work in the area.

Make the work more widely known

The university-wide work against discrimination and for gender quality and equal opportunities is also to be made more widely known among staff, students and the general public. For that reason, HR and Student Affairs have been tasked to develop a communication strategy that also covers work against harassment, sexual harassment and victimisation.