As part of the program’s non-discrimination seminar, a required course in the second semester of the human rights master’s, students create working groups to address issues of discrimination in the community. This year, three students formed a working group to address issues of discrimination in the hiring process, which led them to research methods to overcome barriers to employment, such as discrimination on various bases, including perceived ethnic, racial, or gender identity.
Their inquiry inevitably led them to the topic of diversity in the workforce, and on 26 June they organized a public discussion featuring two local experts: Dr. Imke Leicht, Head of FAU Office for Gender and Diversity, and Dr. Cornelia Höschele, the Diversity Manager at the Equal Opportunities Office of Erlangen. “We were so pleased to have leading voices present at our discussion,” said Iryna Khomiak, a master’s student who organized and presented the discussion. “It’s so important to speak openly about issues of inclusion, such as support for the LGBTQI+ community in every area of life.”
Together with members of the FAU community, the experts shared insights and methods for increasing the potential for substantive equality and diversity. Topics included: unconscious bias, gender mainstreaming, proactive recruitment and headhunting strategies, the importance of awareness raising, and the challenges of data collection.
“For me, a key takeaway from the discussion was that truly representative diversity requires us to create a new definition of ‘we’ that is more inclusive,” said Camila Chaudron Aranda, another one of the master’s student organizers and a discussion moderator.