HR Award - Another workshop for heads of departments focused on measures against sexual harassment

They learned about the forms sexual harassment could take, the policies and procedures the university uses to address it, and the legislative documents related to the topic.

26 Jan 2023

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In December, we organized another workshop on gender equality for heads of departments on the topic of measures against sexual harassment at Masaryk University. In doing so, we listened to the wishes of the participants of the previous workshop (Gender in Research, 12 September 2022). We included the most requested topic in the field of gender equality on the agenda.

The workshop was prepared and led by JUDr. Kateřina Kvítková, Director of the Rector's Office's Legal Office, Mgr. Silvie Šimonová and PhDr. Mgr. Zita Nováková, Ph.D., managers of the RMU Counselling Centre.

At the workshop, the heads of academic and non-academic departments of our faculty learned what forms sexual harassment can take, what are the policies and procedures with which the university approaches dealing with them, and what legislative documents are related to the topic. They received information on the roles of the contact person, the investigator, and the enforcer.

There were 20 in-person participants and another 23 persons attending online. In the second part of the workshop, a lively discussion took place.

After the workshop, participants were asked for feedback. 13 attendees completed a short survey afterward, which revealed:

  • 54% of the participants considered it essential for the MU Faculty of Arts to hold workshops focused on gender equality issues, 46% were unsure about this, and no one expressed a negative opinion.
  • Almost 70% of the participants found the workshop personally helpful.
  • Participants are interested in further workshops on gender equality. They suggested raising awareness about gender equality for all, in life and at work, in clear language, to conceptualize equality from multiple perspectives, e.g., different age groups of employees, etc. They were also interested in including gender setting change in the wider context of academic life (e.g., grant organizations, editorial process outside the university, etc.).

Participants identified the following as the most useful and interesting information from the workshop:

  • The finding is that this area is comprehensively addressed at the university.
  • The existence of a methodology for dealing with sexual harassment cases and contact persons.
  • Reference to specific documentation.
  • Instructions on what to do when they encounter harassment.
  • Information about establishing an Ombudsperson's Office at MU and clarifying how to seek the protection of rights.
  • Related discussion and views of stakeholders.

In contrast, participants lacked the following:

  • Clarification on how the contact persons at FF MU were selected.
  • More detailed information about the forms of sexual harassment, its prevention, and how to spread awareness (what is already harassment and what is already unacceptable behavior) among staff and students.
  • Information on what the expected sanctions are.
  • Examples of good practice.

Thank you to all heads of departments for their participation, and contributions to the discussion and for completing the feedback survey.

More about HR Award

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These activities are supported by the Operational Programme Research, Development and Education in frame of the project  “Development of Human Resources and other strategic areas to support research at MU (HR4MUII)“, nr. CZ.02.2.69/0.0/0.0/18_054/0014703.

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