Karelia UAS Gender Equa­lity and Equity Plan 2022-2024


1 Intro­duc­tion

Discus­sed in the Coope­ra­tion and Health and Safety Commit­tee 16.12.2021. Appro­ved by Presi­dent Petri Raivo

Updated 25.10.2023

Karelia UAS respects the human dignity of every­one, regard­less of gender, gender iden­tity, reli­gion, origin, opinions or other perso­nal charac­te­ris­tics. The purpose of this Equa­lity and Equal Oppor­tu­ni­ties Plan is to promote the fulfil­ment of the legal obli­ga­tions and to support the entire higher educa­tion commu­nity in promo­ting equa­lity and equal oppor­tu­ni­ties and preven­ting discrimination.

Legis­la­tion gover­ning the plan

Equa­lity of persons is a funda­men­tal right ensh­ri­ned in Article 6 of the Finnish Cons­ti­tu­tion (731/1999), the core of which is the prohi­bi­tion of placing people in unequal posi­tions on the basis of perso­nal charac­te­ris­tics without justi­fiable cause. The promo­tion of equa­lity is regu­la­ted in more detail in the Act on Equa­lity between Women and Men (609/1986) and the Non-disc­ri­mi­na­tion Act (1325/2014). These laws require emplo­yers and educa­tio­nal insti­tu­tions to have an equa­lity and equal oppor­tu­ni­ties plan. The plan must include an inven­tory of the current situa­tion, the actions planned to promote equa­lity and non-disc­ri­mi­na­tion and an assess­ment of the imple­men­ta­tion of measu­res under previous plans. 

In the deve­lop­ment of the Karelia UAS Gender Equa­lity and Equa­lity Plan, atten­tion was also paid to the UN Sustai­nable Deve­lop­ment Goals (SDGs), which aim to ensure human rights, human well-being and the stabi­lity of socie­ties in a sustai­nable way from an envi­ron­men­tal pers­pec­tive. The plan refers to these goals by presen­ting a rele­vant icon. The SDGs can be found online.

Equa­lity and non-disc­ri­mi­na­tion are taken into account in all the acti­vi­ties of Karelia UAS. The UAS is a safe, caring, respect­ful, commu­nal and acces­sible working and studying envi­ron­ment, where every person is valued as an indi­vi­dual. The UAS encou­ra­ges students and staff to engage in respect­ful and construc­tive dialo­gue between life-view values.

Gender Equa­lity Plans (GEP)

Program­mes funded by the EU Commis­sion must aim to tackle gender inequa­li­ties, improve work-life balance and promote equa­lity between women and men in research and inno­va­tion. The rele­vant and recom­men­ded areas of the GEPs are illustra­ted in the graphs below. These issues have been taken into account in this Equa­lity and Equity Plan. 

Desc­rip­tion of the plan­ning process

The first gender equa­lity plan for Karelia UAS was made for the period 2009-2011. The Equa­lity Plan was combi­ned with the Non-Disc­ri­mi­na­tion Plan and at the same time the Karelia Ethical Principles 2013-2015 were created. The plan has been reviewed and updated for 2016-2018 and 2019-2021.

An update of the Equa­lity and Non-Disc­ri­mi­na­tion Plan for 2022-2023 was carried out at the end of 2021. Jaana Tolkki, Human Resources Manager, Hanna Utriai­nen, HR Specia­list, and Atte Korte, Chief Shop Steward of the OAJ, were respon­sible for the prepa­ra­tion of the plan. The mapping of the current situa­tion presen­ted in the plan is based on the equa­lity and non-disc­ri­mi­na­tion survey conduc­ted with staff in autumn 2021. In addi­tion, the student union POKA conduc­ted a corres­pon­ding survey for students. The plan was discus­sed by the UAS Coope­ra­tion and Health and Safety Commit­tee in Decem­ber 2021.

Karelia UAS also has other plans and program­mes that support the imple­men­ta­tion of equa­lity and equal oppor­tu­ni­ties. The Age and Work Capa­bi­lity Programme aims to promote the main­te­nance of staff’s work capacity and the deve­lop­ment of skills at diffe­rent stages of their careers. The well-being at work programme desc­ri­bes how the UAS consi­ders and supports the well-being at work of its staff. The active concern model is a tool for iden­ti­fying, discus­sing and resol­ving various chal­len­ging situa­tions in the workplace. The model also inclu­des guide­li­nes for repor­ting inap­propriate beha­viour and harassment.

2 Mapping the equa­lity and equity situation

Measu­res taken in the past 

Karelia UAS’s previous equa­lity and non-disc­ri­mi­na­tion plans have inclu­ded nume­rous actions to promote equa­lity and non-disc­ri­mi­na­tion, many of which have become an inte­gral part of the UAS’s normal activities. 

Karelia UAS has been decla­red a disc­ri­mi­na­tion-free area in 2011, and since then non-disc­ri­mi­na­tion has been a core value guiding its acti­vi­ties. Equa­lity and non-disc­ri­mi­na­tion are taken into account in all acti­vi­ties and the ethical principles of the UAS are high­ligh­ted, for example, in staff induc­tion. The model of active concern inclu­des tools to address disc­ri­mi­na­tion and harass­ment for both staff and students.

Many measu­res have been taken to promote equa­lity at the UAS. The needs of people from diffe­rent cultu­res have been iden­ti­fied. For example, both campuses have quiet spaces suitable for acti­vi­ties of one’s own reli­gious beliefs.  The inter­na­tio­na­li­sa­tion of students and staff has been taken into account, for example by making services and guidance avai­lable in English.

Acces­si­bi­lity has been taken into account in the design of the faci­li­ties and both campuses are acces­sible. Karelia has also taken into consi­de­ra­tion the needs of diffe­rent lear­ners. The Student Welfare Officer is respon­sible for the special support guide­li­nes, which have been deve­lo­ped for the Pakki student portal and intranet. 

The balancing of work and family life is suppor­ted in Karelia UAS in many diffe­rent ways. Those retur­ning to work from exten­ded leave are given an induc­tion and work arran­ge­ments are agreed with them to ensure a smooth return to work. 

When appoin­ting the working teams of the UAS, equal partici­pa­tion of women and men has been taken into account. Both women and men are selec­ted for job inter­views whene­ver there are candi­da­tes of both sexes. In the inter­nal recruit­ment process, every­one has an equal oppor­tu­nity to apply for a post. In the case of equally quali­fied candi­da­tes, a posi­tive disc­ri­mi­na­tion proce­dure may be consi­de­red in recruit­ment where one sex is clearly under-represented.

Staff are paid in accor­dance with the collec­tive agree­ment. The deman­ding nature of the work is asses­sed on the basis of crite­ria drawn up in consul­ta­tion with the collec­tive agree­ment and the shop stewards. The diffe­rences in pay are explai­ned by the expe­rience and TVA bonuses provi­ded for in the collec­tive agree­ment. Staff trai­ning and career progres­sion is regu­larly moni­to­red by means of career deve­lop­ment discussions 

Equa­lity and equal oppor­tu­ni­ties survey for staff and students


Karelia’s staff have been asked about equa­lity and equal oppor­tu­ni­ties using the same ques­tion­naire in 2011 (152 respon­dents), 2016 (67 respon­dents), 2018 (66 respon­dents) and most recently in 2021 (71 respon­dents). In 2021, the response rate was 22% of the staff. As the response rate was low, the results are approximate.

The surveys have been used to gather infor­ma­tion on emplo­yees’ expe­riences of equa­lity in their workplace. The ques­tion­nai­res asked emplo­yees to rate the imple­men­ta­tion of equa­lity and equity on a five-point scale in the areas listed. [SL5] 

Accor­ding to the survey, Karelia’s work commu­nity is fairly or very well orga­ni­sed in terms of:

  • gender equa­lity
  • best in the selec­tion of staff, worst in career deve­lop­ment and pay
  • equa­lity between emplo­yees of diffe­rent ages
  • best in social inte­rac­tion and worst in career development
  • equal treat­ment of people in diffe­rent emplo­y­ment relationships
  • best in terms of social inte­rac­tion and worst in terms of trai­ning and lear­ning opportunities
  • equa­lity for minorities
  • best in social inte­rac­tion and pay, worst in the selec­tion of mana­gers and supervisors

One part of the survey was to find out how Karelia’s staff can balance their work with caring for loved ones, rela­tions­hips, friends, studies, hobbies or second jobs. The ques­tion was asked with the options that chal­len­ges are expe­rienced on an annual, monthly or weekly basis. The most common chal­lenge is to balance work and leisure acti­vi­ties, also on a weekly basis. A few times a year, it is percei­ved as difficult to balance work with rela­tions­hip time and time with friends. However, the majo­rity of respon­dents felt that this was not the case for me or that there were never difficul­ties in balancing work and family life.

Work pres­sure is seen as the biggest chal­lenge in reconci­ling work and private life. Other reasons inclu­ded problems with work sche­du­ling, large workloads and the timing of work. Solu­tions were sugges­ted to improve work plan­ning to better distri­bute the workload over the acade­mic year and the working day.

The majo­rity of respon­dents have not expe­rienced or been subject to disc­ri­mi­na­tion. Those who have expe­rienced disc­ri­mi­na­tion report that they have been disc­ri­mi­na­ted against mainly by a collea­gue, but also by their super­vi­sor and mana­ge­ment. Disc­ri­mi­na­tion has been expe­rienced in the distri­bu­tion of tasks and in the apprecia­tion of work. 

Accor­ding to the survey, some sexual harass­ment has been obser­ved in Karelia. Sexual harass­ment is percei­ved to include ambi­guous and sub-stylish language and unwan­ted remarks about the body and sexua­lity. Sexual harass­ment is mainly expe­rienced by a collea­gue. Some harass­ment based on gender or other perso­nal charac­te­ris­tics was found in the survey.

Accor­ding to the survey, equa­lity between people of diffe­rent ages and equa­lity for mino­ri­ties are consi­de­red to be the most impor­tant areas for impro­ve­ment. Atten­tion was reques­ted to be paid to the distri­bu­tion and plan­ning of work and to equal pay. The need to take into account the inter­na­tio­na­li­sa­tion of the Karelia commu­nity was mentio­ned by several respon­dents. The second-most impor­tantly, the envi­ron­ment should support staff and students from diffe­rent cultu­res. All infor­ma­tion, commu­nica­tion and docu­ments should also be in English.


The Karelia UAS student union POKA conduc­ted in 2021 a gender equa­lity and equa­lity survey for Karelia UAS students, based on the survey conduc­ted for the Karelia staff. The survey was answe­red by 232 students, which was just under 7% of the Karelia students in atten­dance. The respon­dents were from a wide range of educa­tio­nal backgrounds. The largest number of respon­dents (50) was from the social sciences, the second largest from busi­ness (34) and the third largest from nursing (21). The previous survey of students was carried out in 2018, with 15 respondents. 

The majo­rity of respon­dents to the student survey felt that Karelia is doing a fairly or very good job in 

– gender equa­lity

– equa­lity between students of diffe­rent ages

– equa­lity for minorities 

The majo­rity of Karelia UAS students have not expe­rienced or been subjec­ted to disc­ri­mi­na­tion in the last two years. Respon­dents who had obser­ved or expe­rienced disc­ri­mi­na­tion assume that disc­ri­mi­na­tion is caused by the diver­sity of people or people’s inabi­lity to accept and work with diffe­rent people. Disc­ri­mi­na­tion was mainly obser­ved or expe­rienced by students from the same student group. Some respon­dents had obser­ved or expe­rienced disc­ri­mi­na­tion from other students or teachers.

Accor­ding to the survey, the majo­rity of students who respon­ded to the ques­tion­naire had not expe­rienced or percei­ved sexual harass­ment in Karelia. The majo­rity of students who had expe­rienced or witnes­sed sexual harass­ment respon­ded that it was ambi­guous or sub-stan­dard language. The majo­rity had respon­ded that sexual harass­ment had been obser­ved or expe­rienced by someone other than their own group or by a student from their own group. Just under a third of respon­dents had obser­ved or expe­rienced inap­propriate language and the majo­rity had respon­ded that the inap­propriate language was related to perso­nal charac­te­ris­tics. Inap­propriate language has also been related to origin and gender.

Students’ open respon­ses indica­ted that equa­lity and equity could be promo­ted by inte­gra­ting the themes into studies, Karelia’s commu­nica­tion and theme weeks. The respon­ses indica­ted that it would be impor­tant to stimu­late debate on what is and is not accep­table beha­viour towards others. It was felt that discus­sion would raise aware­ness and thus also prevent unconscious discrimination.

3 Measu­res

The aim of Karelia UAS is that the whole working and studying envi­ron­ment should be open and respect­ful of other people. The UAS values the principle of equa­lity between diffe­rent people and respect for people. Leaders­hip is based on an open, equal and coac­hing mana­ge­ment culture. Empha­si­sing gender diver­sity and chan­ging disc­ri­mi­na­tory atti­tu­des is an impor­tant part of promo­ting equality. 

1. Promo­ting equa­lity and equity in Karelia is somet­hing we all share.

  • Our imme­diate super­vi­sors take into account the promo­tion of equa­lity and equity.
  • Every­one in the Karelia commu­nity ensures that the atmosp­here is accep­ting, open and tolerant.
  • In human resources plan­ning and mana­ge­ment, our super­vi­sors pay atten­tion to the fair­ness of work assign­ments and working hours.
  • In the trai­ning of super­vi­sors, we develop aware­ness of equa­lity and equity.
  • We will include equa­lity and equity as an element of our mana­ge­ment deve­lop­ment programme.
  • We all have a respon­si­bi­lity to address and report on gender and equa­lity related grie­vances such as harassment. 
  • We operate an active concern model and, where appropriate, we use a harass­ment repor­ting form
  • We will iden­tify poten­tial equa­lity and non-disc­ri­mi­na­tion concerns and take correc­tive action where necessary.
  • We regu­larly monitor this through staff feed­back, student feed­back, work-life feed­back and self-assess­ments of trai­ning and management.
  • We will establish an Equa­lity and Equal Oppor­tu­ni­ties Officer posi­tion, for which there will be an inter­nal open call for applica­tions in Karelia. 

2. In Karelia, we are an age and family-friendly commu­nity that takes into account the diver­sity of family forms

  • We support people of diffe­rent ages and family situa­tions through flexible working time arran­ge­ments, such as flexible working hours and the possi­bi­lity of part-time work and unpaid leave such as shift work. 
  •  We enable flexible and self-direc­ted working through Karelia’s multi-site working principles.
  • We welcome the use of family leave and support return to work with flexible working hours and training.
  • We are prepa­ring for the changes brought about by the family leave reform, for example by trai­ning our HR staff.
  • We support the deve­lop­ment of staff’s skills at diffe­rent stages of their careers, for example through career coac­hing, job rota­tion, work expe­rience periods and mentoring. 
    • We support older people’s ability to work through various arran­ge­ments such as senior holi­days and reti­re­ment coaching.
    • We will trans­form the age and work capa­bi­lity programme into a career programme to better support an age and family-friendly culture. 

3. At Karelia, recruit­ment, remu­ne­ra­tion and career deve­lop­ment are trans­pa­rent and responsible

  • Through the stra­te­gic human resources plan, we antici­pate future recruit­ment needs and ensure a sufficient supply of skilled staff. 
    • Our recruit­ment guide­li­nes are written in our stra­te­gic HR plan, which is avai­lable to staff on the intra­net. The recruit­ment guide­li­nes include instruc­tions on gender equa­lity and equal opportunities.
    • We all have the oppor­tu­nity to partici­pate in inter­nal and exter­nal applica­tion processes.
    • Our pay is in line with the collec­tive agree­ment and there are no unjus­ti­fied diffe­rences in pay. 
      • Karelia’s pay scales are openly avai­lable to staff on the intranet
      • Karelia Vipunen, which provi­des near real-time infor­ma­tion on the opera­tio­nal results of the UAS, is avai­lable to all staff in the Karelia Intra­net. We are deve­lo­ping Karelia Vipunen so that average salary data and staff job titles are avai­lable to all
    • We support staff in crea­ting their own career paths through career deve­lop­ment discussions 
      • We are buil­ding a succes­sion plan­ning system that will enable horizon­tal career paths in particular.
    • In staff trai­ning and induc­tion, we increase know­ledge about sustai­na­bi­lity and responsibility. 

4. At Karelia, we treat students fairly and respect equa­lity and non-disc­ri­mi­na­tion in the lear­ning environment.

  • Our lear­ning envi­ron­ment is equal and equi­table, and disc­ri­mi­na­tory prac­tices, for example, are not tolerated. 
    • We offer a wide range of trai­ning options in diffe­rent fields
    •  for people in diffe­rent life situations.
    • Our teac­hing and lear­ning envi­ron­ment enables lear­ning and quali­fica­tions on an equal basis for all students. 
      • Our campuses are accessible.
      • We pay particu­lar atten­tion to barriers to lear­ning and make special arran­ge­ments to support students in need of special support.
    • For students, we offer a wide range of guidance and support services such as the services of a student welfare officer and a pastor. 
    • We have made it possible for students to provide feed­back and influence, for example through OPALA feed­back and Karelia-POKA coope­ra­tion meetings.

4 Moni­to­ring the implementation

Karelia UAS conducts an annual staff survey (HEPALA) and student feed­back survey (OPALA), which also survey respon­dents’ views on equa­lity and equity issues. The results of the survey are discus­sed in the mana­ge­ment group, the coope­ra­tion and occu­pa­tio­nal health and safety commit­tee, the well-being at work group and the Board of the UAS. 

The Equa­lity and Equal Oppor­tu­ni­ties Officer is respon­sible for moni­to­ring the deve­lop­ment of the equa­lity and equal oppor­tu­ni­ties situa­tion in the UAS. Every emplo­yee and student has the oppor­tu­nity to report any concerns to the Equa­lity and Equal Oppor­tu­ni­ties Officer.

Gender distri­bu­tion at Karelia
Typical job titles, perma­nent, 2021FemaleMale
Head of education73
Senior lectu­rer67
Student services coordinator50
Prjo­ject specialist44
Data expert41
Project manager14
Financial admi­ni­stra­tion specialist40
Typical job titles, temporary,2021 FemaleMale
Part-time teacher199
Project coor­di­na­tori70
Project specia­list35
Project manager34
Project planner03
Imme­diate super­vi­sor 2021127
Pay analy­sis of men and women,  2021
  Average total income/monthFemaleMaleDiffe­rence
Senior lectu­rer592960342 %
Lectu­rer4664519710 %
Teacher4123473313 %
  Average total income/monthFemaleMaleDiffe­rence
Upper mana­ge­ment, imme­diate super­vi­sors and admi­ni­stra­tion managers618064574 %
Admi­ni­stra­tion and support services staff347732058 %
Project person­nel incl. Project managers 3592398310 %
Family leaves 2021Juri­dical gender 
Child-care leave2580
Pater­nity leave0116
Paren­tal leave1900
Mater­nity leave180
Tempo­rary nursing leave544
  Gender of prio­rity applicants to Karelia in 2020 by applica­tion targetsmalefemaleno infor­ma­tionTotal
Karelia-UAS7861 1101322028
Bache­lor of Busi­ness Admi­ni­stra­tion, Inter­na­tio­nal Busi­ness, daytime studies, applica­tion period 8 – 22.1.2020151290117
Bache­lor of Health Care, Physiot­he­ra­pist (UAS), daytime studies991263228
Bache­lor of Engi­nee­ring (UAS), Energy and Envi­ron­men­tal Engi­nee­ring, daytime studies3015 45
Bache­lor of Engi­nee­ring (UAS), Industrial Mana­ge­ment, daytime studies, applica­tion period 8. – 22.1.2020693651
Bache­lor of Engi­nee­ring (UAS), Mecha­nical Engi­nee­ring, daytime studies483 51
Bache­lor of Engi­nee­ring (UAS), Civil Engi­nee­ring, daytime studies456 51
Bache­lor of Engi­nee­ring (UAS), Buil­ding Services Engi­nee­ring, daytime studies, 453 48
Master of Engi­nee­ring (UAS), Fore­stry (Master’s Degree, UAS), Sustai­nable Energy Economy126 18
Master of Engi­nee­ring (UAS), (Master’s Degree UAS), Tech­no­logy Compe­tence Management246 30
Bache­lor of Culture and Arts (UAS), Media, daytime studies4836 84
Bache­lor of Engi­nee­ring in Natural Resources, Fore­stry (UAS), daytime studies 6318 81
Bache­lor of Hospi­ta­lity Mana­ge­ment (UAS), Tourism, daytime studies1224 36
Bache­lor of Health Care, Nursing (UAS), multi­form studies1284 96
Bache­lor of Health Care, Nursing (UAS), multi­form studies, addi­tio­nal application1263 75
Bache­lor of Health Care, Nursing (UAS), daytime studies1581399
Master of Health Care (UAS), Deve­lop­ment and Mana­ge­ment of Active Ageing  72 72
Master of Health Care (UAS), Deve­lop­ment and Mana­ge­ment of Health care and Social Services 954 63
Bache­lor of Social Services (UAS)Social Services, multi­form studies15141 156
Bache­lor of Social Services (UAS)Social Services, daytime studies24150 174
Bache­lor of Health Care (UAS), Public Health Nursing, daytime studies384 87
Bache­lor of Busi­ness Admi­ni­stra­tion (UAS), Busi­ness Econo­mics, multi­form studies3669 105
Bache­lor of Busi­ness Admi­ni­stra­tion (UAS),  Busi­ness Econo­mics, daytime studies6648 114
Bache­lor of Busi­ness Admi­ni­stra­tion (UAS), Busi­ness Infor­ma­tion Tech­no­logy, daytime studies14133 174
Master of Busi­ness Admi­ni­stra­tion (UAS), Busi­ness Mana­ge­ment and Leadership1836 54

The ethical principles of staff and students of Karelia UAS

I do not accept bullying or abusing others in any form.

I do my job well and take perso­nal respon­si­bi­lity for it.

I imple­ment equa­lity and respect difference.

I show confi­dence and respect towards other people’s compe­tence, working methods and discretion.

I take respon­si­bi­lity for well-being at work/ in studies and for the atmosp­here of working/studying environment.

I am polite and follow good manners.

I adjust my resources to my duties and express that to my superior/teachers.

I encou­rage others to inde­pen­dent thin­king and support everyone’s right to an opinion.

I strive to grow as a person and a member of commu­nity along­side my profes­sio­nal development.