Towards Equality in Education and Working Life

2013

Examples of Best Practice

- Factsheet on the research project -

The collection contains 28 established Best Practices in education, particularly from the primary and secondary school levels. The measures range from conducting a working group against homophobia in a class attended by children from several grades to ungraded courses and even anti-racist and prejudice-free education.

In education

  • In education, the topic of inclusion is generally prevalent. Correspondingly present, therefore, are examples in which the inclusive approach targets the schooling of all children with their specific situations.
  • Social status in particular turns out to be a significant factor in combination with other causes.
  • In addition, measures that refer to other dimensions of discrimination, such as disability and ethnic origin, most often examine multiple sources of discrimination.
  • In connection with ethnic origin, education institutions often address issues of language competence and multilingualism.
  • The dimensions of gender, age and sexual identity, as well as questions regarding the practice of religion, are hardly taken into account explicitly.
  • The approach taken by educational institutions is mostly motivated by pragmatic considerations and based on the concrete problem situations on the ground.
  • Successful strategies in education focus on the intensive incorporation of all of the persons involved in the school as well as the parents.
  • Expert teaching staff members work together in multi-professional team structures.

In the area of working life

In the area of working life, 26 Best Practices from government, large companies, small and medium-sized enterprises, family firms and non-profit enterprises from different branches of the economy are presented. The measures deal, on the one hand, with access to the labour market such as: anonymous job-application procedures or company internships for disadvantaged youth. On the other hand, they also deal with conditions in the working place such as: age-appropriate working conditions, the reconciliation of family life and work or works agreements on partnership-based conduct in the workplace.

The measures at the work place are mostly economically motivated and are directed to the company’s own staff with the aim of strengthening the company’s skills base.

  • Correspondingly, frequent topics are:
    • women in management positions,
    • internationalisation of the work force,
    • recruiting of personnel and age management.

  • Very widespread and proven components of anti-discrimination activities are:
    • information and public relations work,
    • the setting up of internal complaint bodies,
    • the discrimination-sensitive organisation of all staffing processes.

  • Dimensions such as disability, religion, sexual identity and ‘social status’ often receive little attention in the context of these Best Practices.
  • Age tends to be included especially in organisations that have difficulty attracting young, international professionals such as small and medium-sized enterprises and government services.
  • In large companies as well as, occasionally, in government services, comprehensive diversity strategies sometimes already exist or are being launched.
  • The number of measures implemented and the degree of professionalisation increases with the size of the enterprise.
  • Among the most sustainable measures are especially comprehensive concepts that take all levels into account and that have the support of the management and leadership level.
  • One indicator of success would be, for example, increasing application numbers from female candidates and the interest shown by expert circles in a particular concept.
  • Awards and audits, by contrast, would generate pressure to succeed and lead to problem situations being whitewashed or disregard.