TU Graz/ TU Graz/ University/ Key Objectives and Focus Areas/

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:

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 (in German: Gleichstellungsplan) contains 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
Illustration diversity, 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 of all genders

As an educational institution and employer, TU Graz wants to address all people equally and irrespective of their gender. To achieve this, structural inequalities in terms of gender must be specifically reduced, the proportion of women increased and more than two genders addressed. Measures will be taken in the area of junior researchers' promotion, HR development and in the provision of infrastructure. Equal pay and opportunities for career development as well as the consideration of individual living situations are further important principles.

TU Graz organises

  • provisions for young women and girls to encourage them to study at TU Graz, see Advisory Services for Prospective Students
  • for women students and scientists at TU Graz to support them in planning their careers, see Advancement of Women in Academia
  • for students and employees at TU Graz to make it easier to combine studying or a career with family life, e.g. by providing childcare, see Services for Employees and Services for Students
  • for expectant fathers to take advantage of the "Papamonat" and parental leave.
  • for transgender, intergender and non-binary TU Graz employees, students and guests: There are ten publicly accessible, barrier-free all-gender toilets, some equipped with changing tables.
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.

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.

Leaky Pipeline

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).

Positive effects of equal rights

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.

Gender-neutral Language and Images

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.

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.

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 - 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.

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.

Further Information

 

 

Diversity as a Factor for Innovation in research and teaching

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

TU Graz

  • supports researchers by increasing the innovative potential of their research: Aspects of diversity are identified and integrated into research projects.
  • gives lecturers the opportunity to design their courses in diversity-aware ways, so that more students can successfully complete their studies at TU Graz.
  • offers students financial incentives to write their thesis in diversity-aware ways.
Source: TU Graz - Clara Hamann

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

TU Graz Offers

  • Handbook for diversity awareness in research for TU Graz researchers
  • Platform for gender and diversity aware research: TU Graz and Med Uni Graz have provided practical examples for researchers at both universities. Go to platform
  • Individual advice for researchers at TU Graz on identifying and integrating diversity aspects in research projects
  • Checklist Teaching and Diversity
  • Diversity Award for TU Graz researchers, teaching staff and students

Handbook for Diversity-aware Research

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:

  • There are free note fields and a poster as a working document to visualise ideas and to illustrate your own project.
  • 18 concrete examples from the fields of technology and science are also available online (English and German)
  • References to literature, explanations and explanations of terms round off the offer.

 

Checklist Teaching and Diversity

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.

Gender and Diversity Sensitivity Training for Scientists

In cooperation with the Gender Workshop Graz, TU Graz has developed the course “Gender and Diversity Skills for Scientists at TU Graz”. A pilot course was held for the first time in the 2019/2020 academic year and will be offered every second academic year from the winter semester 2021 and on.

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:

  • Identifying possible gender and diversity aspects in one's own field of research and considering gender and diversity aspects in research proposals.
  • Teaching with student-centred, gender- and diversity-sensitive methods
  • Gender- and diversity-sensitive personnel selection, team leadership and teamwork
  • Ethical aspects of technology design

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.

Course Information

  • Duration: 6 modules, each 2 days in length, 2-hour Kick-Off Event and 2-hour Final Event, as well as accompanied and unaccompanied peer group meetings between the modules
  • Period: The next course will begin in September 2021.
  • Target Group: TU Graz scientists and researchers (doctoral level and above) who are interested in participating  
  • Application and Deadline: Nominations are made by the deans of all faculties or, if you are interested, you can also get in touch with the contact person listed below directly. Scientific staff from TU Graz affiliated companies can also be nominated by the respective management.
  • Costs: The course is free for TU Graz researchers and those from TU Graz affiliated companies.
  • Certificate: A certificate of “Gender and Diversity Competences for Scientists in Technology and the Natural Sciences” will be granted at the end of the course.

Course Video (in German)

Pilot Course 2019/20

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.

Contact

Armanda PILINGER
Office for Gender Equality and Equal Opportunity
Mandellstraße 5/I
8010 Graz
Phone: +43 316 873 6090
a.pilingernoSpam@tugraz.at

 

Differences matter.

Mind_the Gap

Diversity Award for including human factors in engineering and science

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.

Source: TU Graz

Dates and deadlines

  • Entry period begins: 8 March 2021
  • Entry period ends: 28 September 2021
  • For work done in the period: September 2020 to September 2021

Contact

Armanda PILINGER
Office for Gender Equality and Equal Opportunity
Mandellstraße 5/I
8010 Graz
Phone: +43 316 873 6090
a.pilingernoSpam@tugraz.at

Alexandra FRANTHALL
Office of the Working Group for Equal Opportunity
Mandellstraße 5/I
8010 Graz
Phone: +43 316 873 6094
alexandra.franthallnoSpam@tugraz.at