Gender, diversity & inclusion

Diversity connects: Together for an inclusive future!

Feminist orientation

This means that an integral part of Karlshochschule’s mission is to deepen our members’ understanding of issues related to gender, diversity and inclusion. We pay particular attention to ensuring that all people, regardless of their gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, skin color, ethnic background and nationality, faith and religion, age, mental and physical status, health or abilities or other characteristics and their intersections, feel included and can make their contribution at and in the university. At Karlshochschule, we teach and discuss a range of theoretical and practical concepts related to equality and equity, social justice and care, and constantly practice how to implement them in the university and in our social, personal, study and work environments. We are working to increase the diversity of our student body and staff and to ensure that everyone at Karls not only has a home, but also feels that their individual voice is heard.

Commitment to anti-racism

This means working to become ever more aware of our individual and institutional racist structures and ways of thinking and acting, to broaden our understanding of how colonization and colonial history continue to impact our experiences of identities and social relations today and are reflected in local and global cultures and knowledge, scholarship and learning, and in all related practices and institutions.

Ethics of Care

This means that we see the giving and receiving of care at individual, group and institutional levels as a matter of social, moral and political importance. We encourage each other to see ourselves as part of networks of needs and dependencies that are interdependent to cultivate plurality, communication, trust and respect in our actions and interactions, recognizing the vulnerability of others and emphasizing the spirit of competence and responsibility in our activities. At the most general level, we consider “caring as a kind of activity that encompasses everything we do to maintain, continue, and repair our ‘world’ so that we can live in it as well as possible.” (Joan Tronto 1990: 40).

Our plan for diversity and inclusion includes the following components:

Global sustainability goals

Our research and education work relates to at least 10 of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals: Poverty Reduction, Health and Well-being, Quality Education, Gender Equality, Labor and Economic Growth, Industry and Innovation, Reducing Inequalities, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Responsible Consumption and Production, and Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions. In these activities, we reflect on how the feminist, decolonizing and ethical approaches to care can contribute to achieving these goals.

Criticism of power in teaching and research

In our teaching, research and classroom interaction, the study of power as a product of inequalities is accompanied by a constructivist, critical and non-essentialist methodology. While we use and develop the latest theoretical models, concepts and empirical findings, we also recognize the historicity and specific contextual nature of the theories in question.

Therefore, in addition to intersectional, postcolonial and non-binary approaches to the study of diversity, we also examine earlier theories such as radical and liberal feminism. Students are invited to carry out feminist, postcolonial and D&I (Diversity & Inclusion) research projects in a critical and innovative way and to question destructive and unsustainable power relations. We encourage students to use similar approaches for research projects in other areas.

Participation and empowerment

We work to empower and encourage students to develop and confidently use their own voice to express themselves, decide on their life and career goals, and challenge society’s power structures and the resulting privileged and marginalized. question positions within these structures, including those at the university. We encourage students to become role models in their communities by integrating inclusivity into all of their behaviors, starting with listening to and respecting the voices of others in classrooms and assemblies and making their own decisions about how they speak about and represent other people.

We encourage our members to constantly question and reflect on their views and behavior, to lead by example and to challenge any discriminatory structures that restrict or prevent the participation of different groups and individuals. As an institution, we continue to work to break down these barriers by paying special attention to the learning and working environment by creating and updating our policies and support systems that help to combat abuse and violence, discrimination and oppression at Karls and create a safe and inclusive learning and working environment for all.

Measures in our diversity and inclusion strategy

  • Ongoing training of Karls staff and students to have the latest resources and knowledge on the above topics.
  • Zero tolerance for discrimination, harassment and hate speech. Increased sensitivity to (consisting of) sexist, racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic, ageist, ableist, etc. actions and language. actions and language use. Procedures and structures for remedying misconduct.
  • Inclusion of LGTBQI+, e.g. training on gender and sexual identities, establishment of appropriate support structures, gender-neutral language, access to unisex toilets.
  • The BARK project, Building an Antiracist Karls, to realize our demand for an antiracist university with a decolonized curriculum.
  • We are working towards aBarrier Free University by improving our understanding and structures to enable inclusion for all, as well as self-care, care for others, care for the community and care activities in the lives of our staff and students.
  • Media, events and student initiatives to disseminate knowledge and experiences and develop structures and practices of inclusion, including but not limited to LGTBQI+, anti-racism, gender, mental wellbeing, neurodiversities and physical disabilities.
  • Advice and mentoring for individuals on all topics related to personal and study-related challenges, mental health and wellbeing, gender, diversity and inclusion, and experiences of discrimination, marginalization, harassment and abuse.
  • Flexible working conditions and flexible time management for Karls members with care responsibilities or difficult life situations. We do our best to ensure that no one is disadvantaged because of their (family) circumstances.
  • Develop and implement measures for unbiased, forward-looking and targeted staff and student development, with a particular focus on gender balance and increasing the proportion of underrepresented groups and people from the Global South. Creating an awareness of bias in the recruitment and assessment processes and working to remove this bias and any barriers to membership of the Karls.
  • The employees ofneuro Karls are committed to further training and constant self-reflection on the topics of gender, diversity and inclusion. New theories and findings are integrated into teaching and research. Institutional policies and decisions are made through the lens of gender mainstreaming, anti-racism, awareness of privilege and marginalization, care ethics and inclusivity for all.
  • Networking with the local, national and international academic and business community, the media and interest groups. We are establishing ourselves as experts and innovators in these areas.
  • Our faculty and students are committed to educating communities around the world on these issues through volunteer work, publications, workshops and public speaking engagements.