Establishing an equality and work well-being group at the department (University of Helsinki)

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Issues and Targets
The action was developed to establish a body that advances equality, diversity and work well being at the department and act as a confidential contact point in case of harassment and conflict.

Description of Offer/ Action
The group meets every 1-2 months, discusses and brainstorms development plans, current issues, and conducts surveys concerning equality and well-being.

Implementation Approach
The head of the department has nominated an equality and work well being group that has a representative in the board of the department. The group represents mainly researchers (rather than administrative staff), has members from all staff levels from professors to PhD students, and has a balance between genders and native/foreign staff.

Formal Requirements
The members of the group must understand that cases reported to the group, or individual group members must be kept confidential unless explicitly agreed with the person reporting the case. The group activities, including meetings, require on average 2-4 hours of working time per month from the members.

Results and Modes of Action
Equality surveys are conducted with regular intervals at the department and the visibility of these issues has significantly risen. Misconduct and conflict cases have been reported and have been dealt with. The group has organized equality and work-well being events, which have received good feedback. The information flow at the department has been improved through initiatives of the group after the surveys revealed that information flow is one of the key obstacles in equality.

Success Criteria and Possible Obstacles
The group should have high profile members (professors) of both genders to be heard in the departmental decision-making.

This Offer is Part of the Category
Gender-sensitive organization culture