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Page updated 21.8.2023
Pride parade in Turku, rainbow flag and Turku UAS logo in rainbow color

Turku UAS participates in Turku Pride and works for equality all year round

Turku UAS is proudly participating in Turku Pride week 21–27 August. We work for equality throughout the year.

Turku Pride Week is celebrated on 21–27 August

We are participating in the Turku Pride march on 26 August. Rainbow flags are flying on our campuses throughout the Turku Pride week.

– At Turku UAS, everyone gets to be their own kind, because each of us lives our own unique life, says Vesa Taatila, Rector and President of Turku UAS. 

Vesa Taatila in rainbow colored stairs

The Equality and Non-discrimination Plan guides systematic work

Work for equality and non-discrimination is carried out throughout the year as part of everyday life at Turku UAS. We collect information about the experience of staff and students on equality and diversity through different channels and utilize data in our equality and diversity planning.

The Finnish legislation requires Turku UAS to have gender equality and non-discrimination plans in place, both as an employer and as a provider of education. Our operations are guided by the Equal Turku UAS plan, which combines these aspects. In terms of research conducted at Turku UAS, guidance comes from the EU level, as organizations applying for Horizon Europe funding are required to have a gender equality plan that meets the criteria of the European Commission.  

– Compliance and demonstrating it is important. However, it is even more vital to use the plan as a tool which steers our operations and the policies of which become part of everyday work, says Recruitment and HR Advisor Mirva Virtanen

To correctly target equality and non-discrimination actions, it is essential to assess the actual state of equality and non-discrimination in the organization. At Turku UAS, information is collected from several sources, such as personnel and student surveys, equality surveys, self-evaluation events, safety incident reports and through the student feedback channel.  

We monitor the implementation of the actions recorded in the plan on a regular basis. 

Expressions, recruitment practices and research

We develop the social accessibility of studies as well as study and work environments so that everyone can come to our higher education community as themselves. We invest in creating a safe atmosphere. 

For example, choice of words is not insignificant; instead, words guide thinking and contribute to building a world view. 

– We pay attention to language: we prefer gender-neutral addressing styles and titles. In English, for example, we try to use 3rd person plural pronoun instead of singular gendered pronouns. We also encourage awareness when it comes to humour. We definitely don't want to eradicate workplace humour, but we urge to find a non-offensive level in humour and consider whether a joke is acceptable, says Virtanen.

Turku UAS has recently started to recruit anonymously in selected and applicable job openings. In anonymous recruitment, applications are processed without certain personal data such as name, picture, date of birth, gender, contact information or mother tongue. Therefore, anonymous recruitment promotes fair, competency-based processing of applications during the recruitment process.

Equality and diversity can also be promoted through research and development. For example, we are currently involved in projects that examine the role of the media as a breaker of inequality as well as investigate hate behaviour in higher education institutions and develop operating models for preventing hate speech and extremism.