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Human Rights Centre recognized the University of Tartu with the quality label “Respecting differences”

On 15 September, the Estonian Human Rights Centre presented the diverse workplace quality label “Respecting differences” to the University of Tartu.

The diverse workplace label is awarded to an employer who values equal treatment and an inclusive organizational culture, and whose work in diversity management sets an example to others. It demonstrates the organization's commitment to supporting diversity and thereby creating a better working environment and society. The label is issued by the Estonian Human Rights Centre, and it has been introduced by the Ministry of Social Affairs. The label is valid for two years.

Legal Adviser Helin Jaakma of the Human Resources Office explains that the University of Tartu signed the Diversity Charter in spring 2022 and applying for the diverse workplace label was the next logical step. The university already had the Guidelines for equal treatment and had adopted the Gender Equality Plan at the end of 2021. 

The university aims to make their ongoing efforts to create a supportive learning and working environment even more visible. In autumn there will be two training sessions on the basics of equal treatment; this training will be included in the managers’ development programme. In upcoming years, there are plans to create an online environment for equal treatment materials and finalizing setting up a network of equal treatment support persons. The university will also continue to support the adaptation of international staff and their spouses by offering them Estonian language courses and organizing events to discuss and address various issues. Furthermore, there are plans to start monitoring the situation of equal treatment by means of the annual job satisfaction survey and take a closer look at the gender pay gap. The first steps have already been taken: the statistics dashboard now also shows pay gap in addition to general gender equality indicators. To increase the number of female professors, the university also wants to support women researchers and help them move up the career ladder by offering leadership training, mentoring programmes and peer group counselling.

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