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Educational Affairs at the University of Gothenburg is the first unit among universities to achieve LGBTQ certification

This September, Educational Affairs at the University of Gothenburg achieved LGBTQ certification. This means that the University of Gothenburg is the first university in Sweden to have part of its organisation certified. More units within Central University Administration are under way to get training within the field.

A stimulating, dynamic working environment with absolute respect for the equal value of all is something that the University of Gothenburg emphasises in its own vision. The shared core values for all state employees are based on, among other things, the principal that public power shall be exercised with respect for the equal value of all and for the freedom and dignity of the individual. This principal is enshrined in the constitution and the law, and represents a professional platform for anyone employed by the state.

LGBTQ certification provides a tool that makes it possible to work systematically with these issues. Education involves issues such as health and safety, equal opportunity, treatment and human rights. It touches on all grounds for discrimination and investigates how several different norms interact.

“It is important to reflect on how we treat one another. If a person feels welcome from the beginning, the foundations are laid for continued, positive contact,” says Stina Sundling, Head of the Division of Academic Support in Central University Administration.

Educational Affairs is part of the Division of Academic Support. The management team of the Division has prioritised some issues for joint work, across unit boundaries. One of these is greater knowledge of LGBTQ-related issues. Educational Affairs is now the first unit to achieve certification and will continue its work on the action plan that is part of the process.

“We take diversity seriously and we can talk about it. Every day our employees meet both colleagues and students, as well as people who are interested in studying or working with us. We want to create a climate where people are able be themselves,” says Karin Åström, Head of the unit Educational Affairs.

The list of organisations that have been certified in the same way includes hospitals, fotball clubs, youth counselling centres, prison and probation services, libraries and homes designed for elderly. On the list there is also a University College: the Student Healthcare Centre at Halmstad University College. The University of Gothenburg is the first university in Sweden to have parts of its own organization certified.

The Division of Academic Support includes six units and an office. The division’s action plan for equality and equal treatment includes the objective that all of its employees shall have undergone some form of LGBTQ training by 2018 at the latest. The action plan also includes the scheduling of inspirational lectures about equality and equal treatment for all employees. The lecture this autumn focuses on the broader recruitment of employees.


Further information

 

Facts

*LGBTQ is an umbrella term describing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer/questioning people.

What does LGBTQ certification mean?
The certification process is led by a trainer from RFSL (the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Rights) and takes place over around five months. All employees in the organisation undergo the training programme and are involved in development work. During certification, the organisation forms an LGBTQ group, which drives the work by drawing up an action plan. When certification is complete:

  • Employees in the organisation shall have acquired greater knowledge of LGBTQ, norms and consequence of norms for the health and living conditions of LGBTQ people.
  • The organisation shall have started a process of change to create an open, inclusive working environment, as well as a welcoming attitude towards visitors from an LGBTQ perspective.
  • Find out more at the RFSL website


 

 

Jessica Glanzelius och Catarina Östlund

Originally published on: medarbetarportalen.gu.se

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Page Manager: Student Portal|Last update: 10/17/2017
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Print date: 2019-09-21

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