The University of Helsinki is committed to promoting equality and preventing discrimination in all its operations. Equality is one of the guiding values of the University of Helsinki. The University intends to be a forerunner in the promotion of equality and the creation of an atmosphere of respect for diversity. It recognises and eliminates practices and structures that create and sustain inequality. Equality and, as a related factor, accessibility contribute to the quality of a multicultural and multilingual University community.

The University of Helsinki strives to promote a sense of community. This means that the University seeks to promote a sense of trust and mutual appreciation in all interactions. Recognition of the fact that all people are different but equal facilitates the generation of trust.

EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY PLAN

Below are some excerpts from the University of Helsinki’s Equality and Diversity Plan 1 January 2013 - 30 June 2017.

THE ACT ON EQUALITY BETWEEN WOMEN AND MEN

The Act on Equality between Women and Men obliges the University to promote gender equality as an employer and an educational institution. The purpose of the Act on Equality between Women and Men is to prevent direct and indirect gender discrimination, to promote equality between women and men, and to improve the status of women, particularly in the workplace. Section 7 of the Act prohibits direct or indirect gender discrimination.

NON-DISCRIMINATION ACT

The Non-Discrimination Act states that no person may be discriminated against based on age, ethnic or national origin, nationality, language, religion, belief, opinion, health, disability, sexual orientation or other personal characteristics. The Non-Discrimination Act requires an educational authority to take reasonable steps to help a person with a disability to gain access to work or training, to cope at work and to advance in their career.

DISCRIMINATION

The Act on Equality between Women and Men forbids discrimination based on gender and gender minority status. The Non-Discrimination Act bans discrimination on the basis of age, ethnic or national origin, nationality, language, religion, belief, opinion, state of health, disability, sexual orientation or other personal characteristics. The types of discrimination banned by the Act include direct discrimination, indirect discrimination and harassment as well as instructions or orders to discriminate.

INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR OR HARASSMENT

The University must be a professional and academic community which treats all of its members with respect. The University does not condone inappropriate behaviour, discrimination or harassment of its staff or students. Supervisors are aware of their right and responsibility to intervene in instances of discrimination and harassment and to become actively involved in all cases as early as possible.

EQUALITY COMMITTEE

The University’s Equality Committee is a body under the vice-rector, featuring the whole spectrum of the University community. The members of the Committee are appointed to include representatives of different genders, all staff groups of the University, students, and members of the University community of different ages as well as groups with particular insight or experience regarding equality issues.

The duties of the Equality Committee are to:

  • promote the goals of the Act on Equality between Women and Men and the Non-Discrimination Act at the University;
  • strengthen pro-equality attitudes, opinions and structures at the University;
  • prepare an Equality Plan as specified in the Act on Equality between Women and Men and the Non-Discrimination Act;
  • monitor the development of equality at the University and to report on it;
  • issue statements on basic issues pertaining to equality and discrimination.

During this term, the chair of the Equality Committee is Vice-Rector Pertti Panula and the secretary is Equality Adviser Timo Valtonen. All equality questions may be addressed to tasa-arvovastaava@helsinki.fi.

Read more

•    The University of Helsinki Equality and Diversity Plan 1 January 2013 - 30 June 2017
•    Prevention of inappropriate treatment and harassment at the University of Helsinki
•    Strategic Plan of the University of Helsinki 2017-2020
•    European discussion list: EQ-UNI
•    European Network

Note: the acts have changed after formation of The Equality and Diversity Plan. You can check the partially reformed acts in Finnish from here: Non-discrimination act: http://www.finlex.fi/fi/laki/alkup/2014/20141325 and Equality act between women and men: https://www.finlex.fi/fi/laki/alkup/2014/20141329#Pidp3881568. (Partly reformed acts will be taken into account in the next Equality and diversity plan.)