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Aalto University's management: We call everyone to take action against racism and discrimination

There's no place for racism in the scientific community says the management of Aalto University in its statement. As a university, Aalto is working hard to develop an open and diverse community.
Aalto University flags. Photo: Aino Huovio

'Aalto University is a multicultural and diverse community. As one of the most international universities in Europe, we are defending the values ​​of equality and diversity.

There is no place for racism in the scientific community. Research and education are based on equality and diversity, as multiple perspectives benefit society and contribute to the common good. The global Black Lives Matter movement has brought structural racism into the global agenda and as such, discrimination must be ended without delay.

There are many forms of racism. It can appear, for example, as a stereotypical classification of certain groups of people, in which a person's individuality is sometimes forgotten, or as silence when witnessing racism. That is also why we, as the Aalto community, want to denounce racism and stand on the side of a diverse scientific community and society.

We, at Aalto, are working hard to make our community open and inclusive yet there is still a huge amount of work left to do.

In February 2020, as a new practice, we started to monitor the development of Aalto's diversity by the university management team. We train staff on the topic of diversity and awareness building on unconscious biases. At the same time, we've also developed recruitment processes in order to get more applicants from the currently under-represented groups of applicants and to further improve equality of evaluation practices.

Mentoring, coaching and orientation of our employees and faculty have been developed to better support equal career paths. We have also improved processes to address harassment and inappropriate conduct so that the threshold for contact is as low as possible. All of this work continues.

The eradication of structural racism and discrimination calls upon action by the whole university: Each of us can promote diversity in our daily lives. If you experience, see, or witness racism or inappropriate behaviour, address it immediately — perhaps you can help others around you.

Combating racism and promoting diversity requires concrete action and courage for dialogue. We invite you to get acquainted with the topics of diversity and inclusion so that you can bring up the themes in your own Aalto community. Information, guidance and training on promoting diversity and anti-discrimination can be found here.

We need each other – that means every unique and different member of Aalto.'

Ilkka Niemelä, President
Kristiina Mäkelä, Provost
Ossi Naukkarinen, Vice President, Research
Petri Suomala, Vice President, Education
Janne Laine, Vice President, Innovation
Tuomas Auvinen, Dean, School of Arts, Design and Architecture
Jyri Hämäläinen, Dean, School of Electrical Engineering
Jouko Lampinen, Dean, School of Science
Kristiina Kruus, Dean, School of Chemical Engineering
Timo Korkeamäki, Dean, School of Business
Gary Marquis, Dean, School of Engineering
 

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