‘Th!ink with Pride’, platform for LGBTIQ+ employees at the UT, was founded one and half years ago. Although it now has only one official member, timetabling officer Alex Jonkhart, he is proud of what the initiative has achieved so far. ‘I feel colleagues appreciate it, that it helps to create environment where they feel at home.’
‘The main goal is to expand our knowledge on issues related to diversity and inclusion,’ say founders of UT initiative ‘Dialogical spaces for a diverse university’. They are organizing eight online sessions, with the first one held today, as well as producing a podcast series focused on diversity and inclusion at the UT.
Lisa Waldera (25) is a master’s student Communication Studies from Bremen, Germany. For three years now, she’s been living on campus. Next to her study, she regularly visits the cinema and enjoys concerts of all music genres. Every other week she writes about her life at the University of Twente.
‘I’m a woman, I’m brown, I’m often the minority,’ says Sterre Mkatini, the new Diversity & Inclusion Officer at the UT. ‘But’, she adds, she is not here to be a poster child for diversity.’ I’m here to work on a more diverse and inclusive environment for everyone.’
‘I’m a disabled student at the University of Twente and over the years I have come across more and more issues in accessibility.’ Anouk Noordeloos (24), Industrial Design student, explains why she’s sent a letter to the UT Executive Board, asking them for help in improving the university for people with disabilities.
The UT has found the diversity and inclusion officer in the person of Sterre Mkatini. It will be her task to improve the university’s policy on these topics. Mkatini will start her task this Friday.
The UT is planning to set up a central diversity and inclusion office for both students and employees. Starting in September, a diversity officer will be tasked to take the first steps to improve the university’s policy on diversity and inclusion.
To celebrate its 30-year anniversary and national Diversity Day, the Human Resource Management research group hosts a ‘Diversity Snacks & Drinks’ symposium this afternoon in The Gallery. HRM Professor Tanya Bondarouk talks about diversity versus inclusion and how the UT operates in that regard.
The UT strives to provide a diverse and inclusive working environment. As part of its diversity policy, the university has therefore introduced several measures including a ‘gender bias training’ and an ‘inclusive selection training’, both currently available to the Faculty Boards and selection committees.
‘Inclusiveness at 360°’. That was the topic of FFNT (Female Faculty Network Twente) conference, held today on the ‘International Day of Women and Girls in Science’ in the newly opened U Parkhotel.
The University Innovation Fellows (UIF) of the UT have initiated the project ‘Keep Talent in Twente’ and a six months long research into why talented people leave the region. They just presented the results which indicate that one of the main reasons for graduates to move is the lack of diversity in Twente.
The total percentage of female students who enroll for Mechanical Engineering is only 6%. How can we achieve better gender diversity, not only at the Faculty of Engineering Technology, but also at other UT faculties? ‘External candidates are often perceived as risk by selection committees, but we need to give equal opportunities to candidates from within the university and from abroad,’ thinks Geert Dewulf.
‘Diversity is not only right, it is the only way,’ Prof. Liudvika Leisyte began today’s FFNT conference titled ‘Openness to diversity: Integrating local and global perspectives’, event which aimed to raise awareness about the importance of international talent at the University of Twente.