The University of Eastern Finland handed out awards for valuable work in promoting gender equality and equal opportunities in connection to the UEF Equality Day on Monday 27 March 2023. At the same time, the university published its new gender equality and equal opportunities plan for 2023–2024.
The UEF Gender Equality Award 2022 was awarded to Isabel San Martin Molina, Ana Hernández de Sande and Tuuli Miinalainen for their work as the organisers of The International Day of Women and Girls in Science. They have organised, on their own initiative and independently, a seminar at the university on the theme day, which encourages women and girls to engage in science.
According to the jury, the seminars organised by San Martin Molina, Hernández and Miinalainen have been excellent reviews of the work of female researchers in science, and of how they have managed to combine family and leisure with research activities.
The Equal Opportunities Award 2022 was awarded to the peer counsellors of the Student2Student service, namely Janina Hautamäki, Aleksi Hintsala, Leni Kärkkäinen, Ronja Mäkinen, Najua Shweeke, Annika Kestalo and Suvi Heikkinen. Peer counsellors have provided confidential discussion support and advising to over three hundred university students. In addition, dozens of students have regularly participated in peer groups and study circles led by the peer counsellors, the aim of which is to support the study ability of the students.
According to the jury, peer counsellors have, through their work and active communication, strengthened the culture of taking care of each other and asking how others are doing at the university. They have performed their duties with determination, motivation and genuine wish to help their fellow students. The peer counsellors have encountered students in a variety of life situations without prejudice and professionally, and have directed them to further support services.
The Equal Opportunities Committee decided on the recipients of the awards based on the proposals made by the university community. Congratulations to all!
Gender equality and equal opportunities as a cross-cutting principle and everyday activity of our university
UEF’s new Gender Equality and Equal Opportunities Plan was also published in connection to the Equality Day. The plan has been drawn up to promote the gender equality, equal opportunities, diversity and inclusion of the university’s staff and students.
The starting point for the plan is gender equality and equal opportunities as a cross-cutting principle and everyday activity of our university.
– Our university promotes proactive work related to equal opportunities and the realisation of anti-racism. Having people with diverse backgrounds and various ways of thinking among the academic community brings different perspectives to the university’s activities. This contributes to solving the global challenges brought up in the strategy and enables the learning of new and the strengthening of skills. An inclusive operating culture, on the other hand, strengthens our well-being, innovativeness and ability to promote our core missions, such as high-quality research, multidisciplinary education and social impact, says Rector Jukka Mönkkönen in the foreword of the plan.
The plan deals with the goals and measures for 2023–2024, gender equality and equal opportunities from the perspective of recruitment, wages and careers; diversity and inclusion at the university; accessible and diverse studies and teaching; and the legislative background.
The entire plan will be available on the University's website: https://www.uef.fi/en/equal-and-accessible-university.
Janne Pietarinen, Dean, Chair of the Equal Opportunities Committee, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ulla Hurskainen, Director of Human Resources and Staff Well-being, email@example.com