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University of Basel

Discrimination

  • What does discrimination look like?

    • Verbal or written statements and acts of a derogatory nature
      such as racist jokes, mockery of university members because of their sexual orientation, sexist depictions of individuals in presentations or videos, etc.
       
    • Unequal treatment
      such as disadvantaging someone for being pregnant, having physical limitations, or in assigning tasks to them; or assessing test results based on stereotypes (e.g. “women are better at listening,” “men are more technically skilled”), etc.
       
    • Unfair working conditions
      such as unjustified refusal of equal pay or promotions, limitations of employment level or of working hours, etc.
  • What can I do if I am affected by discrimination?

    You have the right to defend yourself.
     

    • React as quickly and decisively as you can
      Do not simply accept discrimination. You always have the right to object to unequal treatment.
       
    • Put the events down in writing
      Make a note of what happened, when, who was present, and under what circumstances.
       
    • Get help
      Contact the Personal Integrity Coordination Office of the University of Basel. All your concerns will be handled confidentially and you will receive support for taking further action.
  • What can I do if I observe discrimination taking place?

    All members of the University of Basel have an obligation to actively combat discrimination.

     

    • Support the victim
      Demonstrate solidarity with victims. It takes courage to defend oneself against both obvious and subtle discrimination. Talk to the victim whenever possible. There is no one right way to act in these situations. You can practice different responses in our bystander training sessions.
       
    • Bring up the topic
      Bring up the topic of your culture of collaboration at a team or departmental meeting or talk to teaching staff about a discriminatory culture in a course.
    • Organize help
      Advise victims to contact the Personal Integrity Coordination Office of the University of Basel. Victims receive confidential support and are accompanied throughout subsequent steps and discussions.
  • What can I do as a lecturer or supervisor?

    Employers and supervisors have an obligation to ensure a work and study environment that is free of discrimination.

    What specific actions can you take?

     

    • Be a role model
      Treat all your staff and students fairly and do not favor anyone.
       
    • Make it clear that you do not tolerate discrimination
      Bring up the working environment in a team or departmental meeting. Enforce open and respectful interaction in your courses.
       
    • Publicize drop-in centers
      You are required by the regulations to make your staff aware of the Personal Integrity Coordination Office.
       
    • Do not look the other way
      Advocate for your staff and students. Set up a personal meeting with victims if you suspect discrimination.
       
    • Get support
      If you need to, contact the Personal Integrity Coordination Office. For leadership coaching, contact the team at the Training and Development departement.
  • What can I do if I am accused of discrimination?

    • Listen
      Listen carefully to the accuser and try to put yourself in their place. Do not immediately become defensive.
       
    • Talk to the accuser
      Open and honest conversation can be powerful. It is worth having a conversation in a public place such as a cafeteria. Alternatively, you can propose a moderated conflict resolution with a person from the Training and Development departement to the victim.
       
    • Victim’s rights
      Accept that the victim has a right to defend themselves. Do not pressure them.
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