OUR DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION PLAN RESTS ON THE FOLLOWING PRINCIPLES:
As an institute of higher education, Karlshochschule has a feminist orientation.
This means that an integral part of the Karlshochschule mission is to deepen our constituencies’ understanding of topics related to gender, diversity, and inclusion. We pay particular attention that everyone regardless of their gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnic background and nationality, faith and religion, age, mental and physical health or abilities, or any other characteristic and their intersections, feel included and can contribute to and at the university. At Karlshochschule, we educate and debate on a range of theoretical and practical concepts related to equality, social justice, and care, and constantly train how to turn these into practices at the university and in our community, personal, study, and working spheres. We work to increase the diversity of our student body and staff, and to ensure that everyone here is not only having a home at Karls, but also the sense of getting their voices heard.
As an institute of higher education, Karlshochschule is committed to anti-racism. This means that we work to become increasingly aware of our individual and institutional racist structures and ways of thinking and acting, increase our understanding of how colonialization and colonial histories until today extend to our experiences of identities and social relations and reflect in local and global cultures and knowledges, science and learning, and in all the practices and institutions related to these.
As an institute of higher education, Karlshochschule is committed to ethics of care. This means we regard giving and receiving careat the individual, group and institutional level as a matter of social, moral, and political importance. We encourage each other to see ourselves as part of networks of need and dependence, interdependent from one another, to cultivate plurality, communication, trust and respect in our actions and interactions, recognize each others’ vulnerability, and emphasize the spirit of competence and responsibility in our activities. On the most general level, we “view caring as a species of activity that includes everything that we do to maintain, continue, and repair our ‘world' so that we can live in it as well as possible.” (Joan Tronto 1990: 40).
OUR D&I PLAN INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING COMPONENTS:
Global Sustainability Goals
Our research and education relates to at least 10 out of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals: poverty reduction, health and well-being, quality education, gender equality, work and economic development, industry and innovation, reduced inequality, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, and peace, justice and strong institutions. In these activities, we make sense on how the feminist, decolonizing and ethics of care approaches help to reach these goals.
Teaching and Research
In our teaching, research and classroom interaction, the study of power as productive of inequalities is attended through constructivist, critical and a non-essentialist methodology. While using and further developing the latest theoretical models and concepts and empirical findings, we also recognize the historicity and specific contextual character of the theories in question.
Therefore, along with intersectional, postcolonial and non-binary approaches to the study of diversity and difference, we investigate the earlier theorizing, such as radical and liberal feminism. Students are invited to conduct feminist, postcolonial and D&I (Diversity and Inclusion) research projects in a critical and innovative manner, and invited to question any destructive and unsustainable power relations. We encourage students to use similar approaches to research projects in any other areas, too.
Diversity and Equal Opportunities Representative
Student Initiative: Voices@Karls
Participation, Voice and Empowerment
We work to enable and encourage students to develop their unique voice, and confidently use it to express themselves, decide on their life and career goals, and to question society’s power structures and the resulting positions of privilege and marginalization within those structures, including those at the university.
We encourage students to become role models in their communities, in that they integrate inclusivity in all behavior, starting from hearing out and respecting the voice of others in the classrooms and meetings, and choosing how they speak of and depict other people.
We encourage our constituencies to question and reflect on their views and behavior on an ongoing basis, lead by example, and challenge any discriminative structures that limit or prevent participation of different groups and individuals. As an institution, we continue to dismantle those barriers in paying particular attention to the learning and working environment, by creating and updating our policies and support systems that help to combat abuse and violence, discrimination, and suppression at Karls, and create a safe and inclusive study and working environment to all.
OUR D&I PLAN CONTAINS, BUT IS NOT RESTRICTED, TO THE FOLLOWING ACTIONS:
- Ongoing trainings of the Karls staff and students to have the latest tools and knowledge on the above topics.
- Zero tolerance to discrimination, harassment and hate speech. Increased sensitivity to (what consists of) sexist, racist, homophobic, anti-semitic etc. acts and use of language. Process and structures for repairing any misconduct.
- Inclusion of LGTBQI+, such as training on gender and sexual identities, implementation of the relevant support structures, the gender-neutral use of language, and access to unisex toilets.
- The BARK, Building an Antiracist Karls, project to bring forth our imperative of an anti-racist university with a decolonized curriculum.
- Working towards Barrier Free University, increasing our understanding and structures to enable inclusion of all, as well as self-care, care for others, care for the community and caregiving actives in the lives of our staff and students.
- Media, events, and student initiatives for disseminating knowledges and experiences of, and developing structures and practices of inclusion, including but not limited to topics of LGTBQI+, anti-racism, gender, mental wellbeing, neurodiversity, and physical disabilities.
- Counselling and mentoring to individuals on all topics related to personal and study challenges, mental health and wellbeing, gender, diversity and inclusion, and experiences of discrimination, marginalization, harassment and abuse.
- Flexible working conditions and flexible scheduling to members of Karls with caregiving responsibilities or challenging life situations. We do our best to ensure that no one is disadvantaged because of their (family) circumstances.
- Developing and putting in place measures for non-biased, forward-thinking and targeted staff and student body development, paying particular attention to gender balance and increasing the proportion of underrepresented groups and people from the Global South. Creating awareness to biases in the recruitment and evaluation processes, and working to eradicate these and any barriers for becoming member of Karls.
- The staff at Karls is committed to further education and constant self-reflection on the topics related to gender, diversity and inclusion. New theories and knowledges are integrated into the teaching and research. Institutional policies and decisions are made through the lens of gender mainstreaming, anti-racism, awareness to privilege and marginalization, care ethics and inclusivity of all.
- Networking with the local, national and international academic and business community, media and interest groups. Establishing ourselves as the experts and innovators in these subject matters.
- Our lecturers and students engage in educating communities worldwide on the stated topics in form of voluntary engagements, publications, workshops and public speeches.
Responsibilities of the Diversity and Inclusion Lead, Prof. Dr. Ella Roininen:
- Yearly reporting of these and any further activities, and recommendations for any future ones. The report is reviewed and approved by the University Council and Senate yearly in May.
- Ensuring together with the Presiding Committee sufficient expert, time and material resources to the above and any further activities related to D&I at Karls.
- Following the various indicators designed to follow the plan, such as measuring of the diversity of student and staff recruitment, and climate surveys, alongside the disaggregated data on the sex and/or gender of personnel and students at Karlshochschule.
- Involvement in D&I-related HR, organizational, marketing and social procedures, taking part in all appointment and employment procedures, University Senate meetings and thematic working groups. Furthermore, the Lead can set particular areas of focus in their work and can create their own initiatives.
- Taking the necessary measures when harassment, discrimination, marginalization or abuse is reported or our aforementioned commitments are not met.