Equal treatment group at MBB

MBB has a newly started equal treatment group. It promotes the benefits of an equal work environment where there is no discrimination against sex, transgender identity or expression, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation or age.

Full version of the discrimination act

Everyone at MBB shall be treated with respect. MBB does not tolerate discrimination, harassment, bullying or victimization.

The group is combined by representatives from different divisions within the department. The representative’s roles are to guide our employees and students in the field of equal treatment, to encourage good examples and initiatives and to inform about roles and regulations at KI.

Contact

If you have questions or suggestions regarding equality within the workplace, please contact us via our mailaddress equaltreatment@mbb.ki.se. You can also contact a member of the group directly.

Group members

Alessandra Nanni - Molecular Neurobiology

Alessandro Bosco - Biomaterials and Regenerative Medicine

Carolyn Marks - Translational Medicine and Chemical Biology

Emma Pelarhagen - Human Resources

Flor Pineiro - Translational Medicine and Chemical Biology

Lina Rowland – Human Resources

Mikael Altun - Translational Medicine and Chemical Biology

Peter Vella - Molecular Structural Biology

Code of conduct

KI has a code of conduct which is based on the fundamental core values of KI. The code clarifies the responsibilities of all co-workers at KI and what is expected of each individual, mainly from a psychosocial work environment perspective.

Read more information about the code of conduct here

Discrimination, harassment and victimization

Discrimination, harassment and victimization are not to be confused with occasional conflicts, differences of opinion and problems in working relations that are common at most workplaces. However, an ongoing conflict that has lost its reciprocity and respect can be an underlying cause of discrimination, harassment or victimization.

It is difficult to distinguish between the concepts of harassment and victimization, but there are certain differences from a legal standpoint, which can be summarized as follows. Reprehensible actions that are associated with sex, transgender identity or expression, ethnicity, religion or other belief, disability, sexual orientation or age are forms of discrimination that are covered by the concept of harassment in the Discrimination Act. 4.

Discrimination occurs when an individual is disadvantaged by not being given the same treatment as others are, have been, or would have been given in a comparable situation; and when this lack of treatment is connected with the defined bases for discrimination — gender, ethnicity, religion or other belief, sexual orientation, transgender identity and expression, disability and age.

Direct discrimination can be briefly described as a person being treated differently or in a less favorable way, which means that they are treated worse than another person (or a hypothetical comparator) in a comparable situation.

Indirect discrimination takes place when an apparently neutral decision or the equivalent proves, in practice, to be disadvantageous to certain individuals or groups. Indirect discrimination could, for example be, that a company only employ persons who are at least 165 cm long. Such a condition may appear neutral but disadvantages especially women.

Other reprehensible actions can come under the concept of victimization.

Victimization and harassment

Victimization and harassment are terms for unwelcome behavior at a workplace or educational establishment that violates personal integrity. The attitudes involved are characterized by a gross lack of respect and offence against general principles of honorable and moral behavior towards other people.

  • Slandering an employee or his/her family
  • Insults, hypercritical or negative response and attitudes (ridicule, unfriendliness)
  • Excluding and ostracizing people from comradeship at the workplace (for example by not greeting them).

Bullying is a phenomenon included in the notion of ‘victimization’. Harassment is connected with one of the statutorily defined bases of discrimination.

Sexual harassment

Sexual harassment means conduct of a sexual nature that violates someone's dignity. Unwanted physical advances, or verbal references to sex are examples of sexual harassment.

If you have been harassed or victimized

It is you who decides whether the action or behavior is unwelcome.

  • React immediately if you feel that you have been victimized.
  • Make it clear to the perpetrator that you find this behavior unacceptable.
  • Tell your supervisor. If this, for various reasons is not possible, you can turn to the local HR support. If this is not suitable: contact the head of administration.

You can also contact the Occupational Health Service, Previa, telephone number 08-789 14 14.

An isolated incident that can appear harmless, for example a joke, can become victimization or harassment if it is repeated. However, one single incident can be enough if it is of a very serious nature. If it very important that this kind of behavior is stopped at an early stage.

Responsibilities of the employer

If an employee considers that he or she has been subjected to harassment or victimization by another employee, the employer is obliged to investigate the circumstances and take the corresponding measures as soon as possible and follow this up. HR is involved in these cases.

When must the employer act?

The employer does not need to receive a claim from the person in question to become aware that discrimination, harassment or victimization is taking place. The obligation to act starts as soon as the employer becomes aware of the discrimination or abuse in some way, e.g. through their own observations or reports from a colleague.

If the person in question is then contacted by the employer, but for some reason chooses not to proceed with the case, the employer is not obliged to investigate the individual matter further. However, the employer may decide that some kind of action is needed if the event is of such a serious nature. The employer is then obliged to act even if the employee would prefer to forget what happened.

Action plan for Equal Treatment 2016–2018

A good working environment is an essential for Karolinska Institutet to achieve its goal of being one of the leading medical universities in the world. Utilising the experience and qualities of individuals is considered by KI to be a prerequisite for excellence in both research and education.

  • The work environment at KI shall promote security, well-being and health.
  • All employees shall be met and treated with respect.
  • KI does not tolerate discrimination, harassment, bullying or other victimisation. KI strives to create an inclusive study and work environment free from discrimination, abusive behaviour and harassment.
  • All employees and students shall have equal rights, opportunities and obligations regardless of gender, transgender identity or expression, ethnicity, religion or other faith, disability, sexual orientation or age.

Facts

  • There is a clear perspective on equal treatment in all recruitment training courses arranged within KI.
  • KI organizes information and marketing activities to reduce uneven gender distribution in the undergraduate study programmes. In 2015, the proportion of women among KI’s full-time equivalent students was 72 per cent at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
  • KI had a government-established recruitment target during 2012–2015, that at least 47 per cent of the recruited professors were to be women. In 2015, the proportion of women was 45 percent, but for the entire period 2012–2015 the result was that 36 per cent of the newly-employed professors were women. KI will put together an action plan in order to achieve a gender distribution in the range of 40–60 percent; this is to be finished by 30 June 2017.
  • It is possible for students to receive pedagogical support in order to overcome disabilities while studying.
  • The University Administration offers a number of training courses in order to raise the level of knowledge and awareness about gender studies, harassment, discrimination, case handling, student rights etc.
  • KI has a web-based discrimination training with the purpose to increase people’s understanding of the Discrimination Act. Take the training in discrimination
  • KI has funding for preventive work within equal treatment that all departments or study programmes can apply for. Contact HR for more information.
  • KI has a Code of Conduct for all employees. The overall purpose is to promote a good psychosocial work environment, free from discrimination, harassment and victimisation. More information about the code of conduct
  • KI participates in the Pride parade in Stockholm in cooperation with the student association Queerolinska and that all staff and students are welcome to take part. Queerolinska has a Facebook-page, you can also reach them at queerolinska@medicinskaforeningen.se. More information about Queerolinska
  • 17 May is the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT). At KI, the day will be commemorated with lectures and seminars, not exclusively about homosexuality and trans, but about LGBTQ issues in general.
  • KI has training for managers who set salaries. The purpose is that no unjustified salary differences should exist between women and men performing work of equal value.
  • KI conducts annual salary surveys to analyze the salary differences between women and men who do the same work. This result in an action plan.

Full version of KI’s action plan for equal treatment 2016-2018