Technical University of Denmark: DTU increases focus on diversity and inclusion

In the spring, DTU’s management adopted a new plan for diversity, equity and inclusion at the university. It is now ready to be launched and implemented and is intended to guide the ongoing work on creating equal opportunities for all, regardless of gender, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, cultural background, education, disabilities, and other differences.

The motto that there’s room for anyone who’s willing and qualified to study science and technology should permeate DTU’s whole organization, and the plan is intended to ensure a systematic effort in this area over the coming years.

“This is a comprehensive plan that will involve all parts of the organization in one way or another. We’ll measure the effects of the existing initiatives and launch new ones to ensure that we work with inclusion at all levels in the organization. It’s an ambitious plan and therefore not something we can implement from one day to another. We’ll be working systematically with this for many years to come,” says Executive Vice President, Provost Rasmus Larsen, head of the steering committee.

The first step in the launch was to make the plan available online. The next step is to involve managers, researchers, staff and students in different ways.

“At DTU, we strive to make sure everyone has equal access and equal opportunities to study, research, and work. However, as a university and as individuals, we have blind spots and prejudices that can stand in the way of realizing this ambition if we don’t become aware of them. With the new plan, diversity and inclusion will be taken into account in everything from recruitment, management, research and teaching, learning environments and working environments. And we’ll also measure the effects of the efforts on an ongoing basis,” explains Rasmus Larsen.

Relevant to EU funding applications
The new activities will be rolled out in earnest early next year. Until then, there will be a great deal of communication work involved in communicating the plan and its purpose. And for those researchers who want to apply for EU research funding, the plan is already relevant.

This is because the Horizon Europe research programme now requires research institutions applying for EU funding to document their work on diversity in a so-called “Gender Equality Plan” (GEP).

“At DTU, we’ve chosen an ambitious route. That’s why we talk about diversity, equity and inclusion in a broad sense. For us, diversity isn’t just about gender, but rather about inclusion and equal opportunities for everyone. This approach is better suited to DTU’s strategy, which is about developing technology for everyone,” says Rasmus Larsen.

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