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Diversity

TU Graz connects! We all share an interest in natural sciences and technology. This passion connects us, however different our characters, skills and experiences may be.

A wide array of topics

News: Gender and Diversity Grant

United in Diversity – winning film by Joachim Krysl in the student competition Picturing Diversity of TU Graz

Diversity needs a fertile soil to be able to blossom.

TU Graz actively supports a culture of diversity and appreciation, where equal opportunities are a reality. The university uses clear guidelines and decisive action to fight discrimination. This is the only way to make sure that each individual can develop their potential and contribute to innovation, teaching and research.

Visions and Important Information

The promotion of diversity and equal opportunities at TU Graz is based on  

  • the Mission Statement
    which describes the vision and mission of TU Graz - what does TU Graz stand for? What are its aims?
  • Main Principles
    provide a guideline to help managers with day-to-day personnel management
  • a Basic understanding of Diversity
  • a code of conduct (Compliance Directive)
    explains the general behaviour principles for law-abiding and ethical behaviour on the part of all employees
  • the Action Plan for the Advancement of Women, in German: Frauenförderungsplan
    establishes measures to increase the proportion of women in all categories and levels where they are underrepresented
  • the Affirmative Action Plan (as of autumn 2016)
    will contain measures to promote equal rights, balancing work and family life, and to counteract discrimination. 

TU Graz works to ensure that these principles are implemented, inspired in part by the university’s unconventional founder, Archduke Johann.

Source: TU Graz

What does Archduke Johann have to do with diversity?

Archduke Johann, who was born in Florence in 1782 and died in Graz in 1859, laid the foundation for TU Graz with his mineral collection. He was well known for his open and just approach and dedicated his whole life to modernisation. In society and politics as well as in economics and technology. No wonder that he is reflected in the fundamental concept of diversity at TU Graz.

Visions

With its focus on encouraging the development of competences, on family and women, and on diversity management, TU Graz aims to be an attractive employer and educational institution.

See also  

Basic Understanding of Diversity

TU Graz has extended its main principles to include a reference to diversity:

In the spirit of our founder, Archduke Johann, we see openness and difference as important values at TU Graz. Different experiences and diverse ways of thinking drive creativity and innovation. Our employees, students and graduates inspire us personally and as a whole, in terms of welfare, equal treatment and sustainability. They also represent these values all over the world.

Equal Opportunities for All

Equal opportunities do not mean that everyone is treated the same – each individual has different needs. TU Graz is constantly developing provisions that establish equal opportunities for all these different people and support them in living the life they want to lead. Particular safeguards are required to make equal opportunities a reality.

The Working Group for Equal Opportunity works to protect the following groups from discrimination:

  • Students at TU Graz
  • People applying for positions at TU Graz
  • Employees at TU Graz
Source: convelop cooperative knowledge design

Some differences matter more than others. Some differences are innate, some arise. Common to all is that they depend on the context.

Provisions and Contact

The Working Group for Equal Opportunity is there for anyone who wants to discuss or act against discrimination on the grounds of factors referred to in the core dimensions. Together, you decide which steps should be taken, if any. Interventions are only made if explicitly agreed upon with the affected person. You will be given confidential advice in person and free of charge - the advice is provided anonymously.

 

Further information on the tasks and provisions of the Working Group for Equal Opportunity.

If you have any questions about discrimination on the grounds of disability or physical and physiological capabilities, please contact the TU Graz Representative for People with Disabilities directly.

Core Dimensions of Diversity

To make diversity easier to understand, it is divided into dimensions. Some dimensions cannot be changed or are difficult to change. According to the principle of equal treatment (in German: Gleichbehandlungsgebot), no one may be discriminated against on the basis of these core dimensions:

  • Age
  • Disability or physical and physiological capabilities
  • Ethnic origin
  • Gender
  • Religion and belief
  • Sexual orientation

Student Competition "Diversity in Pictures"

In 2015, TU Graz organised the diversity in pictures competition: 72 contributions – drawings, collages, comics, graphics, photos and short films – were submitted on the subject of diversity in general and on the 6 core dimensions. The winning contributions can be seen on this page in the following sections.

Equality between Men and Women

As an educational institution and employer, TU Graz wants to attract both men and women. The university uses targeted junior researchers’ promotion and HR development to increase the proportion of women at the university. Further important principles are equal pay and opportunities for career development as well as the consideration of individual living situations.

TU Graz organises

Source: TU Graz - Jo-Hanna Mayer, Christoph Erkinger

Jo-Hannah Mayer, Christoph Erkinger 1st place at the students' competition: Picturing Diversity, category Gender

Gender Roles

(Subconscious) gender roles affect not only degree choice but also recognition of talents. Complex personal plans, e.g. combining work with family life, make it difficult to develop a career in academia. Stays abroad can become a structural barrier to people with care responsibilities.

Leaky Pipeline

Men and women are still not equally represented in technology and the natural sciences. At TU Graz, 22.6 % of students are women and 7,9 % of professors are women (source: Performance Agreement of TU Graz 2015). This phenomenon, whereby the proportion of women decreases higher up the career ladder, is known as the leaky pipeline. In order to counteract this trend, TU Graz offers highly qualified scientists the option to habilitate by means of a qualification agreement, see Advancement of Women in Academia.

Positive effects of equal rights

There are many positive effects of equal rights for men and women as well as of equal development opportunities. Both men and women contribute ideas of high scientific quality. When men and women work together, the potential for innovation increases. Different educational backgrounds and experiences are essential for obtaining new insights.

Gender-neutral Language and Images

The Rectorate at TU Graz wants to address women and men equally in its publications and notifications. This is therefore made visible using language and images. Employees and students are encouraged to follow the university’s example. To help with this, there is a chapter dedicated to gender-sensitive writing in the corporate wording.

Further information

An Accessible University

People with a disability are rather disabled by environmental factors then by their bodies. For this reason, TU Graz works hard to create a university that is as accessible as possible. This applies to study and working conditions, construction, IT and websites. Equally, it is important to remove the barriers in people’s minds.

TU Graz

  • promotes the inclusion of people with disabilities, different physical and psychological capabilities as well as chronic diseases on an individual basis – if you need advice please get in touch.
  • supports students and employees in acquiring the necessary help.
  • provides information on possible subsidies.
  • provides accessible parking spaces if necessary.
  • places importance on “responsive” web design.
Source: TU Graz - Michael Holzmann

Michael Holzmann 1st place at the students' competition: Picturing Diversity, category Disability or physical/psychological skills

Services

  • Service Point for Accessible Learning
    The service point provides advice for students with disabilities and/or chronic diseases, and their relatives, before, during and after their degree. Lectures can also contact this service point for support in meeting their students’ needs.
  • The Representative for People with Disabilities represents the interests of employees with disabilities and/or chronic diseases. He/she also advises job applicants and young people applying for summer internships.
    Further information: Specific Services for Employees
  • Accessible entrances can be found on all maps on TUGRAZonline.

Important Information

In the summer and winter semester, the Faculty of Architecture offers courses on barrier-free building in the catalogue of electives.

Cosmopolitanism

TU Graz creates conditions where international students, teachers, exchange students and guest professors at TU Graz feel at home and are able to participate in university life.

Source: TU Graz - Lena Gappmaier

Lena Gappmaier 1st place at the students' competition: Picturing Diversity, category Ethnic affiliation

Services

TU Graz

  • has created a Welcome Center as a central advice and service point for international employees, guests and degree seeking students.
  • supports dual career couples with career design at the Dual Career Service.
  • promotes the mobility of students and staff.
  • offers students and employees numerous courses on languages, developing intercultural competences and academic writing in English.
  • develops English language degree programmes – there are already numerous Master' Degree Programmes taught in English.
  • provides teachers with support in teaching in English: Courses on Teaching in English, coaching and advice, proofreading service for course materials.

Diversity as a Factor for Innovation

Different experiences and diverse ways of thinking drive creativity and innovation at TU Graz, see also Basic Understanding of Diversity.

TU Graz

  • supports researchers in increasing the innovation potential of their research: Diversity and gender aspects are defined and integrated into research projects.
  • gives students from 3 faculties (Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science) the opportunity to take courses focussing on insights from gender research in winter semester 2016/17. This takes place for the first time and is made possible by a 3 month guest professorship.
  • gives teaching staff the opportunity to show sensitivity to diversity and gender in their course design.
Source: TU Graz - Clara Hamann

Clara Hamann, participant at the students' competition: Picturing Diversity, in the category Diversity: specifically and in general

Services TU Graz

  • Continuing education for researchers at TU Graz: How to Integrate Diversity and Gender into Research
  • Checklist for diversity and gender sensitivity in research for TU Graz researchers
  • Platform for sex, gender and diversity sensitive research: here, TU Graz and Med Uni Graz have provided practical examples for researchers at both universities.
  • Seminar Gender-sensitive didactics in university teaching in the framework of a cooperation between the 4 Graz universities, see Potentiale
  • Gender and diversity grant for TU Graz researchers, teaching staff and students
  • Individual advice for researchers at TU Graz
    on integrating diversity and gender aspects in research projects

Checklist for Diversity-aware Research

People or living organisms are often the subject of investigation in science and technology research. The resulting research results can be relevant to many different users. For this reason, some funding bodies, such as HORIZON 2020, require a systematic integration of diversity and gender aspects in research projects. To be able to make use of this to reach outstanding results, TU Graz provides a German and English checklist for all phases of a research project. Employees can download the PDF Checklist Diversity & Gender in Research from the TU4U intranet.

Gender and Diversity Grant

Researchers, teaching staff and students can receive a grant for developing their knowledge of gender and diversity, for course content focussing on gender and diversity, or for academic papers and publications with relevance to gender and diversity.

5 grants are awarded, each worth € 1000.

Submission deadline: 1 September 2017

Further information: Gender and Diversity Grant 2017 (in German)

You can obtain further information at the Office of the Working Group for Equal Opportunity.