University of Amsterdam – Amsterdam, Netherlands

Around three years ago there was an open call among staff from the institute’s management to apply to the D&I Council. The aim was to garner a team to advise the institute’s management on the topics of diversity and inclusion.

In the last two years, various activities with regard to equal access/inclusion/diversity were carried out namely:
• Support and counselling for students and university staff
• Lectures, workshops, seminars for students, faculty and non-teaching staff
• Training courses for peer educators
• Public promotion (e.g. production of media content such as podcasts)
• Improving digital accessibility
• Outreach activities (e.g. summer internships, and talks at high schools schools)

The motivation was to structurally address the topics of diversity and inclusion within the insitute.
Not really applicable, except for the fact that article 1 of the Constitution which postulates equal treatment and prohibits discrimination forms the basis for interventions like these.
The D&I Council mainly operates on the level of the Institute of Physics of the UvA, thus not on the broader university level, nor on the entire faculty level. The Council comprises of a Chair and 8-9 council members, which are staff, postdocs and students who take this role on as an extra activity. The Chair discusses all activities centrally and keeps an overview. The other Council members are concerned with various projects. The council is in direct contact with the institute’s manager to discuss financial and practical matters. There are also external meetings with other diversity councils within the faculty, and the main Faculty Diversity Office. The institute’s D&I Council is not directly in touch with the university’s main Central Diversity Office, and thus operates quite independently from the university’s central plans.
We are still professionalising the use of terms for council members. This is important for the long-term sustainability of the council because working in terms can help to maintain the energy and flow of ideas within the council and make sure that transfer occurs smoothly.
There is a yearly report about the activities of the council sent to the institute’s management. However, there is no systematic collection of evaluation data as of yet.

Diversity and Inclusion Council

Amsterdam, Netherlands