Faculty of Natural SciencesNews and events
Wertvolle Impulse für die Fakultät: Gender- und Diversity-Tag 2022 bot vielfältiges Programm

A valuable impetus for the fa­culty: Gender and Diversity Day 2022 was a success

Dimensions of diversity

The Faculty of Natural Science organised the second Gender and Diversity Day on 16 May 2022 with great success. How do students from working-class families who are the first child from the family to study find their way in the university world? How do students who are queer or from distant countries study in Hanover at Leibniz Universität experience dealing with everyday university life? These and many other questions were the focus of the interactive dialogue and exchange forum during the day-long online event on Gender and Diversity Day. "We are overwhelmed by the positive response to our Gender and Diversity Day," says Dr. Barbara Höft-Lessdorf (Equal Opportunities Officer of the Faculty), "and we have received valuable impulses for our Faculty".

Check your privileges

Input from academia, professional counselling practice and personal experience reports from affected persons in combination with exercises and workshops were on the agenda of the day. The speakers gave the participants insights into the various dimensions of diversity, helped to raise awareness and informed them about possible courses of action for better practice in dealing with diversity. The aim of the day was to promote cultural change within the Faculty of Natural Sciences so that gender equality and cultural diversity can be implemented and lived. The interactive dialogue and exchange forum was organised by the team of the equal opportunities officers for all status groups of the faculty and institutions of the LUH. Sabine Jürgens-Krenzin (Kommunikationspiloten, Lüneburg), who led the day as a professional moderator, repeatedly compiled the essences and invited people to communicate.

Dr. Isabel Sievers (Diversity Management Officer, LUH) introduced the topic with a short keynote speech on "Dimensions of Diversity: Facts in the Everyday Life of Academia and Studies". The introduction was followed by three exciting keynote speeches, which were enriched by reports on experiences from the perspective of those directly affected. These gave the participants vivid insights into the problems experienced as well as the opportunity for self-reflection. Anika Werner (Arbeiterkind.de) and Dr. Timo Kleiner-Schäfer (University of Marburg) spoke about their experiences of structural violence and discrimination among first-generation students. The topic of queer/LGBTIQ* was taken up and explained by Yascha Hieronimus and Linus Schilling (both AndersRaum e.V, Hannover). The final impulse by Dr. Olga Zitzelsberger (TU Darmstadt), Arthur Ndonfack Dakeng (M. Sc. Chemistry, LUH) and Sofía Maribel Campos Munguia (B. Sc. Life Science, LUH) gave insights into international diversity areas and recommendations for better implementation in practice. All topics were revisited in intensive discussions and the afternoon workshops during the day. The collective conclusion was that the privileged cannot grasp what it means to be discriminated against. For example, lecturers could prevent the exclusion of single students, especially at the start of their studies, through predetermined instead of freely chosen groups. To mark the LUH as trans-friendly, the possibility to change the name in the system needs to become easier, amongst others. To impart these and further impulses, courses with a wide reach are needed for sensibilisation.

You were heard

The equal opportunities officer''s team would like to thank all participants for their great interest and active participation. The successful event with participants from all status groups of the faculty and beyond illustrates the existing interest in the topic and the importance of further promoting such exchange forums. The results from the discussions and workshops serve the team of as an important orientation for future fields of action, which are also to be tackled and shaped by actors from all status groups in the equal opportunities and diversity work at the faculty. In cooperation with the faculty members and other interested parties, the possibilities for improvement in the area of gender equality and cultural diversity are taken up in order to contribute to a long-term cultural change.