The Estonian Human Rights Centre recognized 49 employers, including Tallinn University, who have focused on promoting diversity and inclusion in their organisation with the “We respect differences” quality label.
"We respect differences” is a quality label and it shows that the employer values diversity and works to ensure that the work environment is inclusive. The label is issued by the Estonian Human Rights Centre and has been implemented by the Ministry of Social Affairs.
According to Eveli Ojamäe-Veider, Human Resources Manager of Tallinn University, the university recently carried out a self-analysis and prepared a two-year action plan for dealing with diversity. “When preparing the self-analysis, it was a pleasure to realise that in several activities in the university we already take diversity into account. For example, we have consistently developed a bilingual working environment and offer language training to our international colleagues,” said the university’s HR manager.
Eveli Ojamäe-Veider said that for many years Tallinn University has taken into account the fact that academic employees who have become parents and therefore were away from work must be evaluated differently from those who have been doing their work continuously. “Furthermore, we guarantee employees' usual salary for when they use child-related vacation days,” said Ojamäe-Veider.
The HR Manager added that the university has agreed on rules for filling positions, salary and granting holidays. The University's gender equality plan was compiled in 2021. University employees can also turn to a counsellor if they have concerns.
Receiving the quality label is a great recognition for the university, but according to the HR Manager, there is still a lot to do to create an inclusive work culture and take diversity into account. “At the university, we have set a goal to raise the awareness of employees on diversity and inclusion. I also see the need to deal with shaping an inclusive management culture, which is also one of the directions of the new development plan of Tallinn University,” said Eveli Ojamäe-Veider.
In addition, according to Ojamäe-Veider, it’s worth paying more attention to ensure that diversity is taken into account consciously when members of decision-making bodies and working groups are confirmed. “We also need to work on finding solutions that help with workload calculations for academic employees, as well as creating a system for processing complaints of unequal treatment,” said the HR Manager and added that the university still needs to find out how many employees there are with special needs and what kind of support they need.
“The university staff is large and diverse. Adding also students, the diversity is even greater and more interesting. Each of us is important and valuable just the way we are. In order to create a university and society that takes into account differences and is inclusive, it is important that every member of the university is aware of this topic and contributes to its promotion,” concluded Tallinn Universities Human Resources Manager Eveli Ojamäe-Veider.
Source: Tallinn University webpage
Photo: Students from Tallinn University