Author:
Mari Armei

University signed the Diversity Charter

20 April, the University of Tartu signed the Estonian Diversity Charter to promote equal treatment and diversity. The Diversity Charter was created in 2012 and is coordinated by the Estonian Human Rights Centre.

The Estonian Diversity Charter is a voluntary agreement, and by signing the charter, an organisation affirms that it respects diversity and values the principle of equal treatment among its employees, customers and partners. The university’s representative at the festive charter signing event tomorrow in the Terrace Hall of the Creative Hub (Kultuurikatel) is Academic Secretary Tõnis Karki.

“The university’s decision to join the Diversity Charter was an easy one because the principles of the charter are important for us – we are one of Estonia’s largest organisations and with most diverse membership, and we work every day to ensure a good learning and working environment for our members. Joining the Diversity Charter will help make our efforts even more visible,” said Karki.

The objectives and themes of the Diversity Charter have had an important place in the university's policies for a long time already. This year, the issues of diversity and equality are even more in the spotlight, and the plan is to implement many exciting ideas.

The university’s guidelines for equal treatment  deal with issues related to equal treatment and workplace harassment and give employees and students clear instructions on how to report cases of discrimination and bullying. The guidelines were first adopted in 2016 and amended in 2021. At the end of 2021, also the gender equality plan was approved for more systematic promotion of gender equality among the university’s employees.

Together with the University of Tartu, six private-sector companies and five public-sector organisations will sign the Estonian Diversity Charter. More than 170 enterprises, public-sector organisations and non-governmental organisations have already previously joined the charter. Similar diversity networks operate in 26 European countries.

Considering the diversity of Estonian society and recognising the importance of valuing diversity, during the signing event it is agreed that within the organisation,

  • people will value mutual respect, diversity and the principle of equal treatment;
  • an emphasis is laid on consideration for diversity in management;
  • a human resources policy of equal treatment is promoted.

Other clauses of the charter can be found on the Estonian Human Rights Centre’s website.

The enterprises and organisations who have joined the charter form a community through which the members can share their best practices and have a say in society on the topics of diversity and equal treatment. The charter also offers its members the opportunity to participate for free in training courses, seminars and workshops, and communicate with the best experts of the field.

At the initiative of the Human Rights Centre, the Diversity Month will be celebrated in May. The university joins this campaign for the first time, and organises short lectures on the topic of diversity. Additional information on the lectures will be published at the end of April.

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