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Action Plan for Equal Opportunity and Diversity at the Faculty of Humanities 2020-2023

The Faculty Board approved the Action Plan on October 25th 2019, following hearings, staff meetings and contributions from across the organization. Read about the purpose of the plan, and the actions it lays out.

Illustration: Various figures i mulitcolour
Photo: Colourbox

Background

The Deans wanted a new and bold action plan for diversity with a broad mandate. The plan should contribute towards the Faculty reflecting the city and the society of which we are a part.

The new action plan for 2020-2023 is a short policy document describing the Faculty visions for the future in diversity, and clarifies goals and actions for the period.

Diversity gets a broad definition, and covers actual equality, equal opportunities and equal rights. The plan will protect agains discrimination on all grounds.

The goal of the action plan is for the Factulty to provide and inclusive environment for all, and to serve as a conscious reminder for everyone in the origanisation. It expresses the values that the Faculty wish to promote, and comprises five main themes:

  • Greater diversity among students
  • Greater diversity among employees
  • Gender equality initiatives for curriculum and learning requirements
  • Increased efforts to prevent harassment with a main focus on sexual harassment
  • Management Responsibilities for efforts in diversity

Vision

Diversity is a resource and a strength for the Faculty of Humanities (HF). Obtaining staff and students from a variety of backgrounds is appropriate and important for the quality of work done at the Faculty.

  • HF sees the whole person and is serious about human dignity. The Faculty recognizes that in some contexts there is a need for an additional focus on certain groups.
  • HF shall be a place where there is freedom of expression.
  • HF shall have a good and inclusive social environment for all.
  • Work with equal opportunity and diversity shall be firmly grounded at all levels of the organization.

HF wants to promote equal opportunities and prevent discrimination based on gender, ethnicity, religion, life stance, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, social background, age, pregnancy, maternity/paternity leave, leave in connection with adoption and care duties, cf. the Equality and Anti-Discrimination Act.

The same applies to other significant circumstances relating to a person and combinations of the basic factors mentioned above. Ethnicity means, among other things, national origin, descent, skin colour and language cf. the same Act.

The Faculty wishes to attract a greater diversity so that employees and students more closely reflect society. To achieve equal opportunity and diversity, it is important to ensure that employees and students are not subjected to harassment or other improper behaviour.

All managers shall work actively, purposefully and systematically to promote equal opportunity and work for increased diversity at the Faculty. All employees and students shall be acquainted with the Faculty's ambition and practice these attitudes internally and externally.

Definitions

Equal opportunity means equal status, equal opportunities and equal rights. Equal opportunity implies accessibility and adaptation, and that no one is subjected to discrimination.

We define diversity as representativeness.

The Equality and Anti-Discrimination Act defines harassment as acts, omissions or statements that have the purpose or effect of being offensive, frightening, hostile, degrading or humiliating. Sexual harassment means any form of unwanted sexual attention, the purpose or effect of which is to be offensive, frightening, hostile, demeaning, humiliating, or troublesome. The legislation prohibits harassment in the workplace and in educational institutions.

Action plan with initiatives in the period 2020-2023

HF shall be a place where everyone can feel at home, and where all students and staff get the same opportunities to obtain an education or promote their careers. It is the sum of students and staff that is the Faculty. The responsibility for being inclusive therefore rests with everyone. It doesn't stop at the formal level, but is something everyone takes with them into the academic social community. HF shall be a broadminded place where there is room for expression and academic discussion.

The Faculty has selected some initiatives for the period 2020-2023:

1) Greater diversity among students

HF’s student community shall mirror the society and the city of which we are a part. HF wants to achieve greater diversity among those who start at the Faculty and to ensure that everyone feels that they have a place here.

The Faculty shall recruit more strategically to reach out to more, and shall work consciously to help students from minority groups and underrepresented social backgrounds complete their studies.

The Faculty has a responsibility for ensuring that working life obtains employees with different backgrounds. Diversity among HF’s candidates is also important for schools, which are the future workplace of many of the students. 

Initiatives

  • All employees who meet students shall demonstrate inclusive and unbiased attitudes.
  • The relevance of the study programmes shall be made clearer to attract applicants who otherwise would not consider the humanities.
  • Use of images and text on the web pages shall mirror the diversity that the Faculty wants to achieve.
  • School visitors and buddies shall have a more varied background so as to be more representative of the inhabitants of society around us.
  • Resources for accessibility and adaptation shall be made better known, especially among the lecturers.
  • The teaching shall be universally designed.
  • The Faculty shall cooperate with, and acquire competence from, Diversity in Focus in Academia (MiFA).
  • The Departments shall work towards more HF students making use of Norwegian academic writing courses.
  • The Faculty shall strengthen the courses for writing  academic English.
  • At least two Departments shall pilot academic mentor groups for students who wish to take part in them.
  • The Faculty shall strengthen the diversity training of student- and programme advisers.

2) Greater diversity among employees

Everyone employed at HF belongs here and must be met with respect. For employees to fulfil their potential they must feel safe, be listened to, taken seriously and be included.

A diverse group of employees, both in terms of background and disciplines, is a condition for the Faculty to deliver research at a high international level and to help solve the major social challenges.

There shall be more diversity in all job categories. This must be reflected in job announcements and throughout the appointments process for both academic and administrative positions.

HF shall work towards achieving a share of at least 40% of the underrepresented gender in all job categories and new appointments.

The Faculty shall have a particular focus on this when professors and managers are appointed, with appointments to administrative positions, and with appointments in larger academic environments with a particularly uneven gender balance.

Initiatives for more diverse recruitment

  • HF shall appear as more diverse on the Faculty's web pages, in contact with society, on representation assignments, etc.
  • All announcement texts for administrative positions shall be reviewed, especially with regard to the use of language and images, with the aim of broader recruitment.
  • Positions that may be announced as either associate professor or professor shall be announced as associate professor to obtain more female applicants.
  • There must be greater awareness regarding who is recruited to various committees.
  • Bottlenecks for different groups in employment and promotion processes shall be identified.

Initiatives to include and retain employees with diverse backgrounds

  • Management training shall have a heightened focus on diversity management.
  • The Faculty shall conduct theme meetings for new employees.
  • Social events shall be arranged to the fullest extent possible so that everyone feels cared for and included.
  • An academic mentor scheme for anyone who wants it will be established at all units.
  • The units shall ensure that all new employees have a buddy or are included in a buddy scheme. A buddy or buddy scheme shall provide practical adaptation and ensure that new employees are included in the collegiate community. The scheme should include practical language training/language support when relevant.
  • Employees shall be conscious of diversity in work processes that require cooperation, especially where (both formal and informal) working groups are being established.
  • Language competence is a key to inclusion. The Departments shall ensure that international employees learn Norwegian and an individual plan should be set up between the Department and the employee.  A working group has been established at the Faculty to deliver proposals for initiatives in spring 2020 on language policy and inclusion.
  • Important information shall be available in English.

3) Gender equality initiatives for curriculum and learning requirements

The curriculum used in HF’s study programmes shall as far as possible reflect the Faculty's objective of gender equality and diversity.

Initiatives

  • The teaching staff on each programme shall conduct a critical review of the existing curriculum to see whether it safeguards, in a proper academic manner, important relevant academic aspects in a diversity perspective.
  • Such a critical review shall be conducted every time a course is revised.

4) Increased efforts to prevent harassment with a main focus on sexual harassment

The work- and student environment at HF shall be safe and inclusive. Everyone has a responsibility to contribute to a culture that encourages freedom of expression. Harassment shall not occur.

Employees and students shall be aware of social situations where the balance of power between the actors is uneven, both formally and informally, so that power is not exploited.

Touching, behaviour and intimate language that may be perceived as sexually offensive shall not occur. Special attention shall be paid to situations where there is a greater risk of harassment, such as events where alcohol is served, on trips, in the buddy scheme, etc.

HF shall have an open feedback culture in terms of language and behaviour.

Initiatives

  • The Faculty shall revise the supervisor’s role and responsibilities in respect of students and research fellows.
  • The Faculty shall make the systems for reporting censurable conditions at UiO better known to employees and students, and build a culture that makes it safe to report such conditions.
  • Management at all levels shall ensure that UiO’s guidelines against harassment are known to all employees and students. 
  • Managers are obligated to follow up immediately on all such cases they become aware of and seek assistance from the Faculty as needed.

5) Management Responsibilities for efforts in diversity

  • The work with equal opportunity and diversity is specifically a managerial responsibility. Managers shall report on the unit’s efforts to promote equal opportunity and diversity to the Dean in the annual management dialogue. Reports shall also be submitted on the use of equal opportunity and diversity funds.
  • Equal opportunity and diversity are issues that must be discussed regularly in various fora and in management training. How to secure the diversity perspective in hiring processes must be included in management training.
  • The Faculty shall conduct a management team seminar in which the units shall conduct a risk analysis and create initiatives in relation to harassment, including sexual harassment. The initiatives and schedules shall be reported to the local Working Environment Committee, and the topic shall also be followed up at the Head of Department meetings every six months.

The vision and initiatives of this action plan shall be reflected in the Faculty’s and Departments’ annual plans and strategy documents.


Read the action plan as pdf

Other links (Norwegian and English)

UIO:

Eksterne lenker:

By The Deans of the Faculty of Humanities
Published Dec. 12, 2019 10:32 AM - Last modified Nov. 5, 2021 1:39 PM