United in Diversity – winning film by Joachim Krysl in the student competition
Picturing Diversity of TU Graz
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.
The promotion of diversity and equal opportunities at TU Graz is based on
TU Graz works to ensure that these principles are implemented, inspired in part by the university’s unconventional founder, Archduke Johann.
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.
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.
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.
The Working Group for Equal Opportunity works to protect the following groups from discrimination:
Some differences matter more than others. Some differences are innate, some arise. Common to all is that they depend on the context.
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.
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:
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.
TU Graz organises
Jo-Hannah Mayer, Christoph Erkinger 1st place at the students' competition: Picturing Diversity, category
(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.
Due to prevailing gender roles, women are still underrepresented in many areas of technology and science and need to be targeted with measures to compensate for disadvantages.
Men and women are still not equally represented in technology and the natural sciences. At TU Graz, 26 % of students are women and 8.6 % of professors are women (source: Performance Agreement of TU Graz 2019). 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. This measure has already increased the proportion of women in Tenure Track-professorships to 30% (source: Intellectual Capital Report 2019).
There are many positive effects of equal rights for all genders as well as of equal development opportunities. All 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.
The Rectorate at TU Graz wants to address all genders – including transgender, intergender and non-binary people – 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.
Michael Holzmann 1st place at the students' competition: Picturing Diversity, category
Disability or physical/psychological skills
In the summer and winter semester, the Faculty of Architecture offers courses on barrier-free building in the catalogue of electives.
Lena Gappmaier 1st place at the students' competition: Picturing Diversity, category
Teaching in English, coaching and advice, proofreading service for course materials.
Clara Hamann, participant at the students' competition: Picturing Diversity, in the category
Diversity: specifically and in general
In order to provide impulses for the development of new, outstanding, diversity-conscious results in technology and the natural sciences, TU Graz has published the handbook
Taking diversity in research projects into account. How to make it work. for all phases of a research project.
The handbook offers suggestions for all those whose research relates to people or living matter or is used by target groups that differ in many aspects (such as education, age, origin, gender, etc.) In six chapters, guiding questions are used to identify and integrate possible aspects of diversity and thus achieve more innovative research results – for example, by defining new variables or developing methods and incorporating them into publications.
The handbook is available as
The printed version of the handbook is bilingual (German/English) and invites you to use it:
Students have diverse talents, but also different backgrounds, language skills and educational experiences. The checklist with key questions on diversity in the classroom (in German: Checkliste zur Diversität in der Lehre) offers teachers an opportunity for reflection and shows how student diversity can enrich the learning environment. In addition to concrete suggestions for varied didactic instruction, the checklist also includes the names of TU Graz contact persons – if you have specific questions – and an overview of additional materials.
Employees of TU Graz can find further information in the Handbook for Academic Affairs (in German: Handbuch Lehre) on the Intranet TU4U. In addition, the checklist has been prepared and supplemented with examples of the experiences of teachers at TU Graz and is freely accessible in the TeachCenter of TU Graz (currently only in German).
The Checklist is currently being prepared as a handbook (like the Handbook on Diversity in Research) and will be published in January 2021 in German and English as a printed version, also by
Verlag der TU Graz.
In the course, participants can acquire relevant knowledge about how to express themselves in gender- and diversity-sensitive ways in technology and science. The practical application of this knowledge takes place as part of short final project.
The course comprehensively covers the theoretical basics on the topic of “Gender & Diversity” and deals specifically with the following fields of application, which are relevant in the technical university context:
All of the documents (such as the manuals) that have been produced at TU Graz on this topic so far will be introduced, applied and discussed in the course. Individual measures will also be presented in more detail by guests from TU Graz.
The pilot course took place from September 2019 to September 2020. During the #DiversityMatters2020 event, the graduates were presented with their certificates. Some of them demonstrated the results of their practical work in exciting short presentations.
Office for Gender Equality and Equal Opportunity
Phone: +43 316 873 6090
TU Graz promotes studies of topics related to human factors in technology and natural sciences and helps to raise their visibility. To do this and to mark International Women’s Day, five prizes of 750 to 1500 euros (for teams) each are awarded for relevant work every year.
Students and employees of TU Graz can enter the competition for the prizes alone or in a team. There are no limits as to the topics of the work submitted. The entries are evaluated in terms of the quality with which they discuss, consider and/or integrate gender and diversity aspects (such as gender, age, culture, language, experience, physical abilities, etc.). The prizes are awarded for theses and publications, conference contributions, teaching content and/or methods and non-scientific projects to promote diversity in research and teaching.
Students and employees of TU Graz can find further details on the prize and the call for entries in the Intranet TU4U.
Office for Gender Equality and Equal Opportunity
Phone: +43 316 873 6090
Office of the Working Group for Equal Opportunity
Phone: +43 316 873 6094