Gender equality benefits the organisation on all levels
As an officer responsible for faculty renewal, she has integrated perspectives of gender equality in the recruitment of new staff. As Head of the School of Architecture and the Built Environment (the ABE school), she has initiated a comprehensive leadership training for all managers at the school. Muriel Beser Hugosson is awarded the President’s equality and diversity prize for employees 2019.
”We work together with all our staff, promoting gender equality throughout the entire organisation”, Muriel says.
For Muriel Beser Hugosson , Head of the ABE school , it is of vital importance that efforts to increase gender equality are being prioritised. She wants equality to be an integral part of daily work in the organisation.
“It is fantastic that the work we have done at the school the past few years is being recognised in this way. I say ‘we’ because everyone at the school has been involved in the initiatives described in the nomination”, Muriel explains. (See Nomination in the fact box below).
When working together with gender equality and diversity, you notice change at every level, among the staff and throughout the organisation, work environment, education and research, accoring to Muriel.
Gender equality – a fundamental principle of democracy
“Increased equality and diversity is a fundamental democratic issue that needs to be addressed in our society. Therefor it is important that we, as an educational institution and authority, are at the forefront”, says Muriel.
As an officer responsible for faculty renewal, Muriel has worked on integrating gender equality in the recruitment of new staff. In so doing, the ABE school has looked at various ways of promoting the concept of gender equality throughout the entire process, from recruitment and employment to career choices. In more concrete terms, this involves overseeing how the school expresses itself in job advertisements, where and how vacancies are being advertised and how the search for candidates can be done in a broader and more systematic way.
“We have also, for many years now, invested in the recruitment of more female PhD students. Here, at ABE, we have a balanced gender distribution among our undergraduate students which is likely to continue when it comes to admission for postgraduate studies and future employment”, Muriel says.
Leadership training for school managers
Another thing Muriel is being recognised is her initiative to and implementation of leadership training for all managers at the ABE school. The reason for her taking this initiative is based on the knowledge that promotion of gender equality has a lot to do with raising awareness as well as working and discussing together. Also, she notes, managers must be given access to new tools in order to be able to analyse, challenge and change the prevailing norms and the way in which they express themselves, how they are being perceived by others as well as the influence they have on others. For managers to be able to lead and encourage others to change, they must first learn how lead and change themselves. That is why further training is so important.
In 2014/2015, a popular course in gender-conscious leadership was held at the school. The next year, a similar course was arranged for all technical, administrative and service staff. Since then, a course has been arranged for various staff groups every year. This autumn sees the introduction of an annual follow-up day for previous course participants at the ABE school.
“In this way, we are spreading equality awareness throughout the entire organisation”, Muriel says.